AACR Statement Regarding Venues for the 2023 Annual Meeting and Other Conferences
As previously stated, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is deeply concerned about the ramifications of the recent Supreme Court decision (Dobbs v. Jackson) and any such future legislative actions by individual states restricting reproductive rights that could have a harmful effect on patients with cancer and limit their access to equitable, quality health care.
Many of our members have concerns about this legislation, and some have requested that AACR move its scientific meetings out of states where political decisions may not align with our values. There are significant reasons why AACR’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, and our other conferences cannot be moved. It is not feasible for AACR to move its 2023 Annual Meeting from Orlando to another location because of its size and complexity. This meeting requires an enormous amount of space and hotel rooms to accommodate more than 20,000 attendees. Contracts with convention centers and hotels are signed many years in advance of the Annual Meeting, and AACR would be unable to secure a new meeting venue with sufficient space and housing options in such a short time frame. Leaving Orlando would likely result in canceling the meeting, which would disrupt the sharing of scientific information that benefits patients with cancer. Therefore, AACR will hold its 2023 Annual Meeting in Orlando on April 14-19 and offer it virtually for any attendees who cannot travel to the meeting.
AACR has contracted with venues several years in advance for its other conferences and also holds meetings in collaboration with partner organizations, including the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Here, too, it would not be possible to relocate these meetings because of the short turnaround, logistical challenges, and financial implications of contract cancellations.
We agree with other peer associations that moving meetings out of specific states is not an effective way to advocate for political change. Boycotting certain meeting venues disproportionately and adversely affects individuals in the local communities, such as employees of convention centers, hotels, transportation vendors, and restaurants. It does not drive meaningful legislative action. Instead, AACR will be engaging in open, productive national dialogue among policy makers, the health care community, and members of the public about issues that impact researchers, clinicians, and patients. We encourage our members and others to express their views directly to policy makers in their own states so that all U.S. citizens will continue to receive safe, evidence-based health care.
AACR will continue to monitor states that enact legislative policies that may not align with our core values and mission, and we will take any such policies into consideration when selecting future meeting venues.