18 March 2020
Dear AOGS Members, Friends and Colleagues,
With regret we announce the cancellation of the AOGS 2020 Meeting in Gangwon Province, Korea, due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is unprecedented and the disruption has been profound. Many in our AOGS family of members, friends and colleagues have expressed concern and their health and safety is our foremost priority.
We have been carefully monitoring updates from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, worldwide. We all need to heed their recommendations to minimize the spread of infection.
AOGS2020, the 17th annual meeting was scheduled to take place on 28 June to 4 July. With increasing uncertainty about international travel as the virus spreads globally, the AOGS Council has taken the decision to cancel the meeting. This decision has not been taken lightly. We have considered the possibility of delaying a decision until nearer the time of the event or in postponing the event until later in the year. However, we have come to the conclusion that the most appropriate course of action is to cancel the event completely. We feel that a prompt decision is fairer to participants, session conveners, exhibitors and organisers. We will reconvene in Singapore in 2021.
It is particularly disappointing to cancel after the huge amount of effort invested by the Local Advisory Committee (LAC), Programme Committee, Secretariat, Gangwon Convention Bureau and the Vivaldi Park Resort management. The AOGS Council acknowledges the excellent work of the LAC, chaired by Professor Sang-Mook Lee. The considerable efforts of Prof Daekyo Cheong, Prof Kyung-Ja Ha and Prof Joong-Bae Ahn are much appreciated. The conference had attracted in excess of 4000 abstracts and was on track to be the largest AOGS meeting to date. Several prestigious guest speakers and exciting field trips had been arranged to augment the scientific programme. Nevertheless, during the planning of the conference AOGS has gained many friends in the Korean geosciences community and we hope that this will further enhance future meetings. Although the 2020 meeting will not take place, AOGS will endeavour to return to Korea in the near future.
On behalf of AOGS Council, I am sorry for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation of the 2020 meeting. As we ride out the coronavirus pandemic, keep safe and stay strong and we look forward to seeing you at a future AOGS event.
Professor David Higgitt
AOGS President (2018-2020)