It is with a very heavy heart that due to the war in Ukraine, the SCOS Board has made the decision to cancel SCOS 2022 at Jagiellonian University in Kraków in July. We know how disappointing this will be for all of us in the SCOS community who planned to come together this Summer, those of us who had developed paper abstracts, and especially for Grzegorz Mazurkiewicz and the Kraków organising team, who have been working so hard to get the conference off the ground in the most difficult of circumstances.
The proximity of Poland to Ukraine and the ongoing uncertainty in the region means that we cannot have confidence that the conference would be able to take place and that people would be able to attend. Kraków has become home to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees over the last two weeks alone, and the humanitarian crisis in the region is only likely to exacerbate over the next few weeks and months. We do not feel that we can now ethically justify the conference and the organisers need to turn all their energies to support family, students, colleagues, friends, and new Ukrainian visitors at this time. We hope that we will be able to return to the wonderful city of Kraków for a SCOS in the future.
We collectively share utter disbelief and horror as we watch events unfold in the region and we send our heartfelt solidarity to all our academic colleagues directly affected. While we cannot hold the conference, we all felt it was imperative that we hold an event to come together to support our colleagues and provide necessary academic discussion and debate about the war in Ukraine and its ramifications. Indeed, the planned conference theme of ‘Stranger’ seems only more relevant and necessary as a subject for intellectual discussion at this time.
We will therefore hold a shorter online event during the period July 4 to 6 when the conference would have taken place. Please continue to save these dates and do come along to the online event and engage in a sharing of hearts and minds in the way that only the SCOS community can do. We are not sure yet whether there will be a call for abstracts but will let you know details of this event and any submission process as soon as possible.
Anne-marie Greene, Chair of the SCOS Board.