• Message from ASBMR President
    Peter Ebeling, AO, FRACP, MBBS, MD – April 14, 2022

     
    Dear Colleagues:
     

    I’m excited for ASBMR to gather together for our Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, USA, September 9-12, 2022. The Annual Meeting remains vital to our success as a community and an important means to connect with each other and share our science.

    During this time, we recognize the complexity of not only the ongoing pandemic that continues to evolve, but also the ever-changing political landscape of Texas. Recently passed legislation in Texas simply does not align with our values and we understand this gives some members pause.

    ASBMR Annual Meeting locations are selected 5-7 years in advance and unfortunately cancelling our current contracts in Texas would result in steep penalties that would significantly impact the Society financially.

    Moving forward, the Council in its consideration of future Annual Meeting locations will add to its evaluation criteria a host city/state’s alignment with our organizational values and its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Austin was selected as the 2022 Annual Meeting location in 2017 because of the city’s vibrancy, its innovative nature, diversity initiatives and forward-thinking culture. In fact, a recent Municipal Equality Index report from the Human Rights Campaign awarded the city a maximum 100-point rating for its LGBTQ+ initiatives. I believe the city of Austin aligns greatly with who we are as a Society and will help advance our important scientific discoveries during the Annual Meeting. I also believe that our mission—to advance bone, mineral and musculoskeletal science worldwide and promote the translation of basic and clinical research to improve human health—transcends politics.

    As we plan for the Annual Meeting, we cannot lose sight of how our ability to come together, in person, makes a tangible difference in the lives of our members and communities around the world.

    We’ve compiled information below that will illuminate our decision to push forward in Austin and I hope you will share your science at the Annual Meeting this year.

    I also welcome your feedback.

    Sincerely,

    Peter Ebeling

    President, ASBMR

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    Q: Why is this being held in Austin, Texas, USA?

    A: Annual Meeting locations are selected 5-7 years in advance. ASBMR selected Austin as the 2022 Annual Meeting location in 2017 because of the city’s vibrancy, its innovative nature, diversity initiatives, and forward-thinking culture. We believe this aligns greatly with who we are as a Society and will help advance our important scientific discoveries during the Annual Meeting.

    Q: Can this event be moved to another location?

    A: Locations for the ASBMR Annual Meeting are selected 5-7 years in advance. Cancelling our current contracts in Texas would result in steep penalties that would significantly impact the Society financially. A key reason we were able to move the location of our 2021 Annual Meeting was due to our ability to exercise the “force majeure” clauses in our contracts in the original host city, as a direct result of the global pandemic, freeing the Society from incurring financial penalties. Like ASBMR, most similarly sized events book their venues 5-7 years in advance, so it is highly unlikely that we would be able to secure an alternative venue with the required program space and hotel rooms over our currently contracted meeting dates (September 9-12). We understand and value the concerns of our members. Moving forward, the Council will add to its evaluation criteria of future potential Annual Meeting locations how that host city/state aligns with our organizational values and its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Q: What is ASBMR doing to address these concerns about Texas?

    A: ASBMR is partnering with vendors (e.g., hotels, A/V providers, food and beverage companies, etc.) that share our organizational values and are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Additionally, we will file for tax-exempt status in Texas to minimize the amount of Society monies that go directly to the state of Texas.

    Q: I hear that Austin is different than the rest of Texas – how so?

    A: Austin is a beacon of inclusivity and equity. A recent Municipal Equality Index report from the Human Rights Campaign awarded the city a maximum 100-point rating for its LGBTQ+ initiatives. You can view the report here.

    In addition, the city’s Innovation District is an inclusive community where collaboration and solutions are born. The hub is where businesses, healthcare institutions and more solve big challenges.

    Many restaurants in Austin are also participating in a reopening agreement to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help businesses stay open in Austin. Learn more about the “Dine With Confidence” agreement for visitors and guests.

    Q: How else does ASBMR support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)?

    A: ASBMR is committed to placing a deliberate focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). For this year’s Annual Meeting, the Society has doubled the amount of travel support available to members from all over the world so that they can experience diverse perspectives in person and come together this fall in Austin. To see a complete list of the Society’s DEI activities and initiatives, please visit the ASBMR website.

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