Dear Friends and Members of the ISPN,
Our 2017 Annual meeting will be held in Denver, Colorado in the United States on October 8th to 12th. President Trump introduced a ban on seven, predominantly Muslim, countries during his first week in office. Although this ban has been suspended despite an appeal to the US Federal Appeals Court I believe that this will not be the end of the matter and we can expect that travel for many non US citizens will be affected and especially those from Muslim Countries.
The ISPN is not and never shall be a political organisation. We are committed to the Global enhancement of the Neurosurgical care of Children and in order to fulfil our mission statement it is essential that we continue with the free exchange of scientific information relating to our discipline. Restricting the access of vital members of our scientific community to our annual scientific meeting potentially undermines the very foundation of our Society. It must remain a core feature of the ISPN that we endeavour to ensure unhindered access to this and subsequent meetings whatever the political situation may be.
Since the ban was first introduced we have been in discussion with Kenes our Conference Organisers, Mike Handler our 2017 meeting President and Tony Figaji our Scientific Chair. We are all 100% committed to organising an outstanding meeting and will do our utmost to ensure that all of our friends and members can attend. I would like to strongly encourage all of you to attend the meeting, as boycotting will merely play into the hands of those who wish to prevent free exchange of science and damage not only the strength of our organisation but the care of children worldwide. Indeed, it is the aim of my Presidency to develop a strategy for Global Paediatric Neurosurgery and therefore attendance from as many countries as possible is imperative, regardless of creed.
The website and abstract submission for the Denver meeting are now open at www.ispnmeeting.org/2017 so please make your preparations and get your abstracts submitted and all members of your team, especially your nurses and trainees signed up. Kenes and our organisers will do everything humanly possible to ensure that everyone can attend, so if you encounter any difficulty whatsoever please contact us. Mike can be found at email@example.com and you can reach me at William.Harkness@gosh.nhs.uk.
Let's show the politicians that our International Scientific Community will not be bowed, by making Denver 2017 our most successful meeting on record!
With best wishes,
William Harkness FRCS
President of ISPN 2016-2017