SOT leadership continues to assess and prioritize activities resulting from the cancellation of the Annual Meeting. We appreciate your patience as we work to address the myriad facets of affected SOT activities. In this weekly message, we want to talk with you about our continuing efforts to present Annual Meeting content and provide an update on financial aspects of the meeting cancellation.
First, finances. You probably know that the Annual Meeting accounts for most of the Society’s revenue each year. The income we receive from meeting registration, exhibitor fees, and sponsorships is used to pay for meeting-related expenses, as well as costs we incur throughout the year. Obviously, the meeting cancellation is part of a much larger economic situation that involves all the vendors we contract with for Annual Meeting services: hotels, caterers, security, A/V, and others are among the many vendors. While we have heard from some of these, many are still determining what they will return or what they believe they are still owed.
In the meantime, we continue to examine registration refunds. All refunds will be completed by June 30, 2020—although we hope to complete the process sooner. If you have not done so already, remember to complete the Annual Meeting Registration Request form to indicate if you would like to donate your 2020 registration, transfer your 2020 registration to 2021, or receive a refund.
SOT leadership would like to thank the SOT Finance Committee for its assistance in exploring options available to the Society to help it maintain its reserve funds while also meeting its financial obligations. SOT also is grateful to the leadership of its other Committees and Component Groups as they assess their programs to determine creative ways to accomplish desired goals and outcomes in a cost-effective manner. While the Society is asking all its groups to take a close look at their budget request for 2020–2021, we want to assure our members that the Society is in a sound financial position and will continue to provide programs and support to its members. We are simply doing due diligence to ensure that the long-term effects on our reserves and operating budgets are minimized.
As for Annual Meeting content, we had great attendance at our three webinars presented last week, with the attendance at the vaping webinar topping 400. We will continue with webinars of Annual Meeting content, starting next week and going through June. Both Scientific Sessions and Continuing Education courses will be presented as live webinars. Most Scientific Sessions are being presented on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm (ET), while Continuing Education courses are being presented on Fridays between 12:00 noon and 3:30 pm (ET).
In addition to the Scientific Session webinars announced last week, two more virtual events have been added to the schedule:
- Thursday, April 30, 1:00 PM–3:45 PM (ET): Symposium Session—“Organ to Silicon Chip: Emerging In Vitro and In Silico Tools for Evaluation of Cardiotoxicity”
- Thursday, May 28, 12:00 Noon–2:45 PM (ET): Symposium Session—“Single Cell Technologies: A Potentially Transformative Tool for Toxicology”
For further information on these and previously scheduled sessions and to participate, please consult the “Virtual Meeting Program” web page.
Additional Continuing Education (CE) courses, including both sunrise mini-courses, also have been added to the virtual CE schedule:
- Friday, May 15, 12:00 Noon–1:00 PM (ET)—SR01: “Advances in CRISPR-Cas9 Tools and Applications for Toxicologists”
- Friday, May 29, 11:00 AM–2:30 PM (ET)—AM08: “Timing Is Everything: Developmental Exposure Alters the Path of Immune Cell Maturation and Function”
- Friday, May 29, 12:00 Noon–1:00 PM (ET)—SR02: “Qualifying Biomarkers and Navigating the US FDA Predictive Toxicology Roadmapto Improve Decision-Making in Toxicology and Drug Safety Assessment”
Details on the CE course webinars are available on the “Virtual Continuing Education Courses” web page. Remember, if you were registered to attend the CE course in Anaheim, you have been automatically registered for the corresponding virtual course. If you were not previously registered but are interested in participating in an online CE course, you may register to attend.