We are very sorry, but due to the ongoing protests and violence in Chile, we have to cancel our “IWA Biofilms 2019: Biofilms and their interaction with surfaces” conference.
BACKGROUND: There has been protests and violence all over Chile since October 18th. In part there are peaceful protests. But there are also violent protests with looting and burning of subway stations. During the last week the army got involved and there have been 18 deaths. Earlier this week there was some hope that the protests would become less violent and that we could proceed with our conference. But during the past days violence has increased and it has increased not only in Santiago but also other cities. We have explored a number of alternative locations in Santiago and in nearby cities. But protests are throughout the country. In this situation the conference organizers, the management committee of the IWA Biofilm Specialist Group, and IWA headquarter have jointly come to the unfortunate decision, that we cannot ensure safety of the participants and that we have to cancel the conference.
CONFERENCE FEES: We will be working on a transparent plan to do at least a partial refund of conference to participants. We understand that there are also other costs incurred by participants (travel, accommodation) and we are very sorry about this last minute cancelation.
CONFERENCE CONTENT: We are still debating within the organizing and scientific committees and within the management committee of the IWA Biofilm Specialist Group about how to proceed with the excellent material submitted to this conference. We are discussing a potential alternative date for the conference. Another approach would to pursue a combined publication of the material in Water Science and Technology if authors agree to this. These ideas are still under discussion. If you have ideas or suggestions, please let us know.
SUPPPORT: If you need help with cancelling your hotel accommodation with any other issue, then please let us know.
We are very sorry for this very unfortunate situation. We all were very much looking forward to this interesting event to be hosted in Chile.
Gonzalo Pizarro (Conference Chair)
Eberhard Morgenroth (Chair of the IWA Biofilm Specialist Group)
Hong Li, (IWA Global Operational Office)