Meetings

The society hosts and promotes a wide variety of meetings and conferences.

IBBS18 - the 18th International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation Symposium
6 - 9 September 2021

The IBBS Council recently met to discuss the status of the global pandemic as it might impact IBBS18. After careful deliberation, the Council determined that IBBS18 cannot be safely conducted as an in-person meeting in Bozeman, MT, USA, in September 2021.

Reasons for this decision include the following:
• Only about ~50% of the US population has been vaccinated.
• The worldwide rate of vaccination is far too low to approach herd immunity (WHO dashboard https://covid19.who.int).
• The unvaccinated and therefore susceptible pool includes adults under 50 – exactly those who attend scientific conferences.
• As far as we are aware, there is no requirement for vaccination prior to attending most US universities – and we planned to be in a university setting.
• The development and spread of virus variants are worrisome.
• It is currently impossible and/or exorbitantly expensive to travel from most countries to the US – particularly given the need for pre- and post-travel testing and quarantining.
• Embassies are currently closed or at reduced staffing levels and passport renewal/visa documentation will take up to 12 weeks under the best of circumstances.

Thank you for your patience and loyalty to IBBS. Many of you were excited about the prospect of travel to Bozeman for an in-person meeting. Montana State University has been an outstanding partner during the planning process. However, 2021 is simply not the year to host an international meeting.

The IBBS Council also recognized the need to serve our membership. To that end, planning for a virtual IBBS18 meeting for September 2021 is in progress. As soon as the details have been established, we will post them on the website and social media platforms. A successful virtual meeting will require contributions from all members. Please prepare abstracts ready for submission. You may be contacted directly to organize a session.

Sincerely,

Brenda Little
IBBS President

Joseph Suflita
Chair of the IBBS18 Organizing Committee