IUIS Executive Committee Statement on Gender at IUIS 2019

April 3, 2019

To all IUIS Members,

On behalf of the IUIS Executive Committee (ExCo), I would like to acknowledge the imbalance in the IUIS 2019 preliminary and partial scientific programme posted on the website in regard to both gender and geography. IUIS is committed to equity, and the current ExCo has worked extremely hard over the last two years to improve imbalances at all levels of governance, including Council and Committees.

The IUIS 2019 congress is the first to run under a new management system. This system includes: an external management company, K.I.T. Group, who organise all of the logistics of the meeting, and who bear the financial cost of the meeting; the local member society (in this case the Chinese Society of Immunology); and IUIS itself, headed by ExCo. As we have adjusted from the previous, more conventional,  model to the current model, several issues have arisen around roles, responsibilities and communciation for all partners. The Scientific Programme Committee has been under utilised and a greater burden assumed by the Chinese Society to organise a scientific programme in conjunction with IUIS. These difficulties have led to the unfortunate imbalanced preliminary programme we currently have. All attempts have been and will be made to address the imbalance by increasing gender and geographical representation at the Symposium and Mini-symposium levels, and for Session Chairs; however I realise this is not sufficient to correct the overall unbalanced programme.

I strongly encourage you all to play your own role in addressing this issue by urging your community to submit work before the abstract deadline of April 12. Please also monitor the website and see how the program lineup evolves over the coming months. https://iuis2019.org/abstract-submission

While we are unable to make drastic changes in the current invited programme, the experience has highlighted the need to create clear, consistent and mandatory, guidelines for the organisation of this prestigious meeting. High on this list of guidelines is the issue of representation. A proposal outlining these guidelines will be presented tot the General Assembly at IUIS 2019, and any contribution from IUIS members is welcome in the meantime, by direct email contact with me.

We hope that all member societies will accept that this meeting represents a learning curve for all parties, and that you will continue to support the meeting in 2019 and beyond.

Yours truly,
Roslyn Kemp
Secretary-General, IUIS


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