17th International Congress on Catalysis: A Letter from the ICC2020 Organizing Committee

On behalf of the ICC2020 Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee, I regret to inform you that we will be unable to hold this meet­ing because it would be unsafe to do so as sched­uled.

The evolv­ing COVID-19 pan­dem­ic has made it increas­ing­ly evi­dent that such a large gath­er­ing would be nei­ther safe nor fea­si­ble. The deci­sion-mak­ing process was ardu­ous and rig­or­ous; we had to meet and address legal and logis­ti­cal require­ments that made it impor­tant that we defer a final deci­sion until now. At all times, the health and well-being of every­one involved remained our pre­em­i­nent con­cern. We regret that it has tak­en such a long peri­od of time to reach this deci­sion and to inform you. We trust that you under­stand that cir­cum­stances beyond our con­trol forced this delay.

Our dis­ap­point­ment is mixed with our grat­i­tude to all of you in the catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty for your gen­er­ous sup­port as pre­sen­ters, atten­dees, spon­sors, and exhibitors. The 2000+ abstracts sub­mit­ted rep­re­sent a com­mit­ment from all of you to the suc­cess of this meet­ing and an effort to help us suc­ceed; we are very grate­ful. Your com­mit­ment has made our own efforts grat­i­fy­ing and worth­while, even though this event can­not hap­pen as planned at this time. It would have been our priv­i­lege to serve as your hosts, with all but the last few minor details firm­ly in place to make this gath­er­ing a mem­o­rable suc­cess. Nev­er­the­less, we set aside our feel­ings of regret about this ICC meet­ing, as we turn our thoughts and con­cerns to all those who have been affect­ed so much more direct­ly and seri­ous­ly by this pan­dem­ic.

We, as an Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee, need some time for intro­spec­tion. Some of us need to assess our own needs, lim­i­ta­tions, and com­mit­ments to fam­i­ly and work and to decide whether to embark once again on a jour­ney that has tak­en so much time and effort. This is a jour­ney that we would have to start near­ly anew if we are to resched­ule this ICC at a lat­er date.

I speak for myself in my com­mit­ment to make this meet­ing hap­pen at a time and place that will make it safe and suc­cess­ful. The time for such dis­cus­sions and deci­sions will have to wait until we know bet­ter when a vac­cine or wide­spread immu­ni­ty will be at hand; I expect that this will require that we wait until a sim­i­lar time of the year in 2022 to hold a new ver­sion of this ICC meet­ing; this is a date that will also avoid con­flicts with the NAM and Europacat con­fer­ences. The place, the time, and whether we even try once again, most­ly from the start, to mount this effort will hinge on agree­ments and delib­er­a­tions by the spon­sor­ing orga­ni­za­tions (the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties and the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety). As with most oth­er mat­ters that we are fac­ing in these try­ing times, uncer­tain­ty is the rule, and only the pas­sage of time will bring less of it.

I remain com­mit­ted to orga­niz­ing this ICC meet­ing, as Chair or in any oth­er role, when the time comes to make it safe, suc­cess­ful, and mem­o­rable, to bring us togeth­er again.

There are some logis­ti­cal mat­ters that I must include along with my heart­felt com­ments above:
(i) All reg­is­tra­tion and social event fees will be refund­ed with­in the next two weeks.
(ii) Those who made hotel reser­va­tion at the Man­ches­ter Grand Hyatt should can­cel them at https://www.hyatt.com/reservation/find using your con­fir­ma­tion num­ber. Reser­va­tions made at oth­er hotels should be can­celled direct­ly with those hotels imme­di­ate­ly to avoid can­cel­la­tion fees.

We thank each one of you for your sup­port and intend­ed atten­dance and for your patience as we nav­i­gat­ed the intri­cate process that led us to this deci­sion. I only wish that we could have reached it ear­li­er.

I am per­son­al­ly indebt­ed to all the mem­bers of the ICC2020 Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee (https://2020icc.com/organizing-committee/). They trust­ed me to lead, and they more than matched that trust with their ded­i­ca­tion and their sup­port. To all of them and to all of you, thanks; I trust that we will make this meet­ing hap­pen and that we will see all of you under more aus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances.
Stay safe and healthy. With regards and best wish­es,
Enrique Igle­sia
Meet­ing Chair
17th Inter­na­tion­al Con­gress on Catal­y­sis (ICC2020)
ICC2020 Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee