During these months we have been following the news about the evolution of the pandemic in the world, in our region and especially in Argentina. Unfortunately, everything indicates that this year the general situation will continue to be very complicated. The second and third waves of COVID-19 have had a strong impact, and the vaccination processes, although promising, still have a long way to go. In Argentina, universities are only operating virtually and they will continue until August and it is very possible that even until the end of the year. On the other hand, there are strong restrictions and controls for foreigners to enter the country due to health measures, and many countries also have travel restrictions. In Argentina, we also have intermittent closures due to sanitary measures. Vaccination is progressing in our country, but it is still far from providing a reasonable percentage of protected population. This makes it impossible to hold our meeting in person in Argentina during 2021. On the other hand, as we pointed out on a previous occasion, and the experience of 2020 has corroborated this, virtual meetings do not replace face-to-face meetings. The reasons are various. On the one hand, virtual meetings make informal talks –which are the core of these events- very difficult and even impossible. This is a very big problem because these informal talking allow broad discussion, the building of links, personal exchange and the generation of new projects. This is especially important for researchers in Latin America who, for budgetary reasons, are often prevented from meeting with their colleagues from other parts of the world. It is especially essential for young researchers. Stimulating this type of exchange was from the beginning a fundamental reason for considering organizing the meeting in Argentina. On the second hand, Oxford meetings have always been characterized by the concept of “single session” that encourages all attendees to listen to all exhibitors. It is very complex to coordinate that in a virtual modality with participants from all continents, with very different time zones. On the third hand, for the participants staying in their workplace and fulfilling multiple activities, makes it very difficult for people to dedicate themselves full time to get involved in the meeting.For all these reasons, after talking in depth about the subject, the Local Organizing Committee, together with the Directing Councils of ISAAC and SIAC, has decided to postpone the Oxford XII / VIII SIAC Conference until November next year, 2022. At that time, the opinions of health professionals indicate that it will be possible to hold the meeting as we had planned, in person and with everyone enjoying the meeting. Soon we will announce the mechanisms for those who have approved abstracts and want to modify them. We will also announce in due course the reopening of abstracts’ call.We thank everyone for their collaboration and patience in these difficult circumstances, as well as their commitment to promoting cultural astronomy in the world. 𝐓𝐎 𝐒𝐔𝐌 𝐔𝐏 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐍, 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐍𝐄𝐖 𝐃𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐒 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐌𝐄𝐄𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆, 𝐖𝐇𝐈𝐂𝐇 𝐖𝐈𝐋𝐋 𝐁𝐄 𝐅𝐀𝐂𝐄-𝐓𝐎-𝐅𝐀𝐂𝐄, 𝐀𝐑𝐄: 𝐒𝐂𝐇𝐎𝐎𝐋: 𝐅𝐑𝐎𝐌 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐃𝐀𝐘, 𝟐𝟒𝐓𝐇 𝐎𝐂𝐓𝐎𝐁𝐄𝐑 𝐓𝐎 𝐅𝐑𝐈𝐃𝐀𝐘, 𝟐𝟖𝐓𝐇 𝐎𝐂𝐓𝐎𝐁𝐄𝐑, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐. 𝐎𝐗𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐃 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐅𝐄𝐑𝐄𝐍𝐂𝐄: 𝐅𝐑𝐎𝐌 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐃𝐀𝐘, 𝟑𝟏𝐒𝐓 𝐎𝐂𝐓𝐎𝐁𝐄𝐑 𝐓𝐎 𝐅𝐑𝐈𝐃𝐀𝐘, 𝟒𝐓𝐇 𝐍𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐌𝐁𝐄𝐑, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐. 𝐏𝐎𝐒𝐓-𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐅𝐄𝐑𝐄𝐍𝐂𝐄 𝐓𝐑𝐈𝐏: 𝐅𝐑𝐎𝐌 𝐒𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐃𝐀𝐘, 𝟓𝐓𝐇 𝐍𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐌𝐁𝐄𝐑 𝐓𝐎 𝐒𝐔𝐍𝐃𝐀𝐘, 𝟔𝐓𝐇 𝐍𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐌𝐁𝐄𝐑, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐. Dates and methods for the reformulation of abstracts or sending new abstract proposals will be announced soon (through these same channels).
Both the Conference and School will be face-to-face. Neither streaming nor virtual attendance will be available. As we all know after the COVID pandemic, virtual and hybrid meetings cannot replace face-to-face encounters, especially in the case of this conference. There are several reasons that lead to this choice. On the one hand, virtual and hybrid meetings make informal interaction, the core of such events, very difficult, if not impossible. This is a great inconvenience, because informal conversations allow for open discussion, bonding, personal exchange, and the generation of new projects. On the other hand, Oxford and SIAC meetings have always held single sessions to encourage attendees to listen to every speaker. This is very hard to coordinate in a virtual or hybrid modality with speakers from different continents and time zones. Furthermore, it is hard for attendees that must remain in their workplaces and fulfill a variety of tasks, to get fully immersed in the meeting.
After the meeting, and subject to technical possibilities and the authors’ authorization, it is likely that some of the presentations will be posted online.