Dear Members of the Meteoritical Society,
We wanted to update you on the status of the 84th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society. In 2020 we were close to fully moving the meeting online only due to the ongoing ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2021 with increasing vaccination rates and decreasing COVID-19 cases the situation for holding an in-person meeting with an online component in the summer looked promising. Professional networking opportunities at in-person meetings are particularly important for early career scientists, especially for 3-year PhDs. Anything longer than the one-year hiatus with in-person meetings will deprive these early career scientists of the opportunity to present at a MetSoc. The Meteoritical Society Council and the meeting organizers, therefore, decided to hold a hybrid meeting. This decision was not an easy one, particularly given the highly increased workload and expenses that are involved with organizing a hybrid meeting. But given the circumstances with the pandemic, the hybrid form is the most inclusive solution that is possible for this meeting and allows participation by everyone from any country, regardless of travel restrictions. This decision was taken months before cases with the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-19 virus started to increase.
Travel to Chicago from abroad is possible as the restrictions vary for different countries and individuals. If you haven’t done so, you can find travel restrictions and requirements at the US Consulate in your country of residence (https://www.usembassy.gov). Several participants applied for a visa with an invitation letter from the convener. Should you require such a letter please request one from the organizers (Emily Hallock: firstname.lastname@example.org).
As of July 15, we have received 199 registrations (114 in-person and 85 online). If you haven’t registered, we encourage you to do so. If you have registered and are scheduled to give an online oral presentation you should have been contacted by our broadcasting partner. If not, please let the organizers know (email@example.com). Upload your electronic poster ahead of the meeting and register for the virtual poster session to be held on Wednesday before the main meeting week (see https://www.metsoc2021-chicago.com/copy-of-workshop). All in-person talks will be live streamed, recorded and along with the prerecorded talks from remote participants will be available for viewing for a year after the meeting. Prerecorded talks will be projected and streamed in blocks in each session and are followed by a live Q&A session for all. More details are posted on the meeting website.
As this meeting takes place during a pandemic, we hope for your understanding that these extraordinary circumstances require much compromise and extra caution, for everyone’s well-being. If you plan to attend in person, we kindly ask you to complete this simple one-question anonymous survey if you are fully vaccinated: https://forms.gle/Z1nU8R2L6k7LRsUG9. No identifying information will be saved. The survey will give us the fraction of vaccinated in-person attendees and helps us with planning.
The meeting organizers will be implementing a series of health and safety protocols and onsite precautions in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As new developments arise over the coming weeks, our approach will adapt, and we will keep the community informed of any changes. Onsite health and safety measures and requirements for in-person attendance will be communicated prior to the start of the event.
We hope to see you, in-person or online, at the upcoming Metsoc 2021 meeting. Stay and travel safe.
Yours sincerely, and
Brigitte Zanda Philipp Heck
President of the Meteoritical Society Convener, 84th Annual Meeting in Chicago