We are all learning about the growing severity and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic day by day, not only seeing our daily life changing, but also accepting that plans for much of 2020 are also drastically affected.
It is within this new environment, this new reality where we see borders closing, cities and entire countries in lockdown, and daily applause for our struggling health services, that we need to address our own community plans.
So, what seemed an impossible thought just two weeks ago, turns into an unavoidable reality today. Where social distancing and isolation are the highest form of caring for each other and our community’s health, physical conferences can no longer take place. The cancellation of TNC20 seems extraordinary in view of its history (TNC19 was its 35th edition!) but it is the only direction we can take.
We have thought about holding TNC20 as an online conference, but we have decided against it. The reason is that the TNC supporting teams at NORDUnet, PSNC, Jisc and GÉANT are maxed out supporting research institutions, universities and schools, as is probably the case at all NRENs. Keeping science, innovation and education going is our most important goal now.
To those of you who have already registered: we will be refunding your registration fee. We will be in touch with arrangements.
To all of you who have accepted papers and sessions: please hold on to them, update them and resubmit them for TNC21.
To our Programme Committee: we hope to count on your commitment and dedication again next year.
To our Sponsors: We greatly value the support you offered over the years and hope you will understand our decision was not taken lightly. We will be working with you to ensure that you and the community will be able to maintain the lines of communication started at TNC and to support each other. All pre-paid sponsor fees will be refunded in full.
To our community: This is our community event, this is where our community comes together and has done so for 35 editions!
“TNC feels like the almost forgotten human experience of a gathering. Call them groups, extended families, tribes, (read organisations) and they come together once a year. They bring their elders, grown-ups and youngster, they discuss the past and future, success and failures, who should lead them where and why, plan joint-activities, hold each other accountable, but also eat and party together, laugh, smile, share pictures of their loved ones and queue up to have pictures taken at the photo-booth. They anticipate this gathering so much, that they even track each other on the #road2tnc. Not sure about you, but I have certainly never come across anything similar anywhere else.” (Cathrin Stöver, GÉANT)
We will have to do without this in 2020 and we will all need to find different ways of keeping our community together. We are so much stronger as a community and NRENs around the world need this community across all borders to support global research, innovation and education.
We would like to thank our host Jisc and the TNC team from PSNC, NORDUnet and GÉANT for all the work done to date, up to the last few weeks planning and in the TNC Emergency team during these last 10 days.
We are already working on TNC21 and will make an announcement on tnc20.geant.org soon.
All of you stay safe, stay healthy, stay in virtual touch – TNC will be back stronger than ever.
For any questions and clarifications, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org