With great reluctance it has been decided that WALS 2020 will not be able to go ahead as planned in December 2020. This is because of continuing uncertainties arising from global effects of the Covid19 pandemic. The conference is therefore cancelled.
This decision has been taken with sadness on all sides as we know so many people were looking forward to attending, presenting and hosting open lessons at the conference. We took the decision in line with other international conferences scheduled for December/January, so people do not book flights or make arrangements that then have to be cancelled.
I want to thank Catherine Lewis, Shelley Friedkin, the wonderful Mills College team and all the members of their organising committees for their visionary work, investment and effort in preparing this conference over the past 18 months. Future WALS conferences will certainly benefit from the imagination and thought that they have brought to the design and planning of WALS 2020.
WALS now plans to run a series of webinars in November and December so that those of you who have submitted proposals to the conference (or are planning to do so) may still have an opportunity to present them to an international WALS audience for discussion. If you have submitted proposals you will in due course hear back from us about the possibility of presenting at a webinar symposium. If you are about to submit them, please wait until next week when new instructions will be issued on the WALS website.
In no way will these events replace what WALS 2020 would have been, but they will provide opportunities for WALS members to share their research and development activities and for early career researchers and practitioners to do likewise. Indeed, it may even be possible (local restrictions permitting) for some smaller regional face-to-face events to take place and that these can also be webcast internationally to WALS members.
We will inform you further about all these plans as soon as we can and we will also bring you information about WALS 2021 in Macau and Hong Kong.
Finally though, and very importantly, I would like to extend my thoughts and wishes to you and to your families, friends and colleagues during this current difficult and for many also sad pandemic.
Please everyone, stay as safe as you can!