The 2020 University Press Redux conference, organised by Cambridge University Press and ALPSP, and due to take place 17th-18th March, has been cancelled. Organisers wrote to attendees and speakers saying the decision had been made “in light of the unprecedented, ongoing and unpredictable developments around the novel coronavirus”.
“With such a volatile situation it is hard to know how the next two weeks will play out. What seems certain is that any conference we do hold at this time will be compromised,” the organisers said. “We have worked to build an international conference with a corresponding agenda, and a list of chairs, speakers and delegates from many different places. At the moment, our best guess is that at least a quarter of the attendees and speakers will not be able to come. This feels both unacceptable and unfair to us. It is not the event you signed up to, and it is not fair on the attendees who find they cannot attend through circumstances beyond their control”.
Instead, an alternative Redux Online virtual event will be held over the summer, following much of the original conference agenda and speakers. “This will likely consist of recorded presentations followed by live debate,” said the organisers. "Our plan is to make this an entirely open event, available to anyone who wants to attend. In this way, we hope to facilitate a positive outcome from a difficult situation.”
Conference registration fees will be refunded to anyone who requests it, but the organisers are also hoping to be able to use existing registration money as a form of crowdfunding for the online event this summer. “This way no individual need be out of pocket, but anyone who chooses not to have their fees refunded will be contributing towards the virtual conference,” said organisers. "We will be listing the ‘funders’ on the ALPSP website (you can opt out of this if you wish), and we will be promoting the virtual conference widely, so this will be a genuine good-news story for both the original attendees and for the wider University Press community.”
Sponsors will also be asked to transfer sponsorship to "Redux Online".
Mandy Hill, m.d. of Academic Publishing at Cambridge University Press, said: “We want to create this alternative event to preserve the hard work that’s gone in and generate positive results from a difficult situation.” Wayne Sime, chief executive of ALPSP, said: “This is chance to hold an exemplary virtual event, retaining the quality of the original and built in partnership with our fantastic international community. We hope that many in that community will want to help us make Redux Online a success and will allow us to use their registration fees to crowdfund the event.”
Meanwhile a second joint CUP/ALPSP Redux conference is being planned for Cambridge in spring 2022.