A lot has happened over the summer in terms of preparing for the AAAR 39th Annual Conference. Earlier this year, the conference committee, led by Chris Hogan, came up with an exciting new format for the in-person meeting. As we were enthusiastically preparing for the implementation of the new format, we began to observe an increase in COVID-19 cases. Out of an abundance of caution, we surveyed our members to gauge their ability and willingness to travel. It quickly became clear that we needed to change our approach because an in-person event was not feasible under the circumstances.
In August, the AAAR Board of Directors voted to change the meeting format to a virtual conference during an emergency meeting. Quickly thereafter, Chris Hogan, in an amazing feat of efficiency, fully restructured the program for delivery in a virtual format. In parallel, everyone who submitted abstracts received revised acceptance letters within a week of the Board’s decision. So, the preparation for the virtual conference is well underway. Please read Chris’s message in this issue to learn more about the details of what we have in store for the upcoming virtual conference.
Though we have been down this road before, it is nonetheless surprisingly expensive to host a virtual conference, particularly if we wish to have a high-caliber event. Despite this, we have elected to keep the conference registration fees at the lowest levels possible to cover the costs of the conference. Our hope is that reduced registration fees will make the event more attractive not only to our members, but to newcomers as well. So, while it is a major disappointment once again not to be meeting in person, there is a potential benefit in that we can reach new audiences who might be willing to participate at a lower registration fee and without incurring the costs of travel.
That’s where we could use your help in getting the word out!
I am asking you to please share your excitement about the upcoming conference with your colleagues, potential exhibitors and sponsors, and with other people who may be interested in participating! Aerosols have been in the spotlight because of COVID-19, and it would be great to capitalize on this increased awareness and appreciation of aerosol science and technology and, in the process, make our Association even stronger. I am continually amazed by AAAR members who are tireless in promoting aerosol research to the scientific community, policymakers, and the general public. We should all be doing this! And right now is the best time to do so.
You can find AAAR on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook – make sure to tag us when sharing your excitement about #AAAR2021
Future AAAR Conferences
Time comes faster than we imagine, and thus, we are already thinking about future AAAR conferences.
- The 2022 conference will be chaired by Amy Sullivan of Colorado State University. It will be back in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 3-7, 2022.
- The 2023 conference will return to Portland, Oregon, October 2-6, 2023.
- The 2024 conference will head back west to Albuquerque, New Mexico as we shifted all of our convention center and hotel contracts to that time to avoid losing money.
We already selected the 2023 conference chair but we cannot announce them until the Board of Directors confirms. Akua will be on the lookout for the 2024 conference chair next year. If you’d like to see who chaired past AAAR conferences, check out the AAAR history page. Additionally, it would be great to get suggestions for suitable locations for future AAAR meetings in 2024 and beyond. With the size of our event, we are limited to either large hotels or small convention centers.
The International Aerosol Conference (IAC)
As we look deeper into the future, believe it or not, we need to start working on the next International Aerosol Conference (IAC), which is held once every four years, with rotating venues alternating among North America, Europe, and Asia. The opportunity to host the IAC comes to North America every 12 years, with the next one set for the Fall of 2030. AAAR has hosted IAC several times, with the excellent 2018 conference in St. Louis as our most recent example. Although 2030 may seem like a long time from now, AAAR members need to start proactively selecting the strongest candidate organization to host the 2030 IAC. If you are interested in leading this major event, please let me know. We need to assemble a list of candidates by the time of this year’s AAAR Conference, so please do not delay your bid for hosting this important meeting!
The President’s Farewell
My service as AAAR President will come to a close during the upcoming conference. I am truly honored by the amazing vote of trust from the AAAR members represented by my appointment to this role. I have learned a great deal in this position. AAAR is a fantastic Association – it is much more than an annual conference and a journal. It is a working community that relies on an astonishing amount of work by AAAR members and by our management company, Virtual, Inc. Something is happening at all times, and I am deeply thankful to everyone involved with AAAR for donating their valuable time and energy to the Association. With so many dedicated members, it made my work correspondingly easy. That, in my view, is a signature of a well-functioning Association!
I wish you all the best in your professional and personal endeavors. I am looking forward to seeing you virtually in October and, then, back in person in 2022!
2020-21 AAAR President
Newsletter Committee Members:
Editor | Gabriel Isacman-VanWertz, Virgina Tech UnivesitySenior Assistant Editor | Kerry Kelly, University of UtahJunior Assistant Editor | Krystal Pollitt, Yale University