The COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying as the autumn approaches in the Northern Hemisphere and the number of confirmed cases has been increasing, particularly in western Europe.

It is unlikely that the pandemic situation will improve in the upcoming months unless a vaccine or an effective treatment will be developed, which might still take several months. This situation has direct consequences on traveling and on conferences involving large number of participants like ASSW2021.

Therefore, the ASSW2021 Local Organizing Committee in coordination with IASC decided to move the Science Symposium part of ASSW2021 (23 – 26 March 2021) into an online event.

As the Business and Community Meetings (20 – 22 March 2021) involve less participants, we are still considering the possibility of organizing this part of ASSW2021 in a hybrid format (partially in-person and partially online). A final decision on this part of ASSW will be made in December.

The Local Organizing Committee is disappointed with the need to implement this decision, but we think that it was a necessary given the current circumstances. We are working towards an excellent online Science Symposium in ASSW2021, which will also allow for wider access across the world. We expect that it will be a very good opportunity to discuss Arctic science, engineering, education, as well as Indigenous and local community issues. Hence, we are looking forward to meeting you all online soon and to organize a very fruitful ASSW2021.

Helena Pereira, President of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology

João Canário, Chairman of the ASSW2021

Gonçalo Vieira, Chairman of the ASSW2021 International Scientific Committee