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With the spread of the Omicron variant, Science reports that many scientific meetings that had been planned to take place at least in part in person have switched to virtual only or have been cancelled.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, which was to take place as a hybrid meeting with an in-person component in Philadelphia, is now a solely virtual event; the American Meteorological Society annual meeting is also now virtual; and the Joint Mathematics Meetings is also to be virtual and slightly delayed, Science notes.

It adds, though, that some organizers had had difficulties shifting — the American Astronomical Society was unable to move to all online at short notice and has cancelled its meeting, though hopes that its smaller meeting in the summer will make up for the loss of this one. The Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting, meanwhile, still took place in person, but with extra precautions, it says.

AAAS's Sudip Parikh tells Science, which is published by AAAS, that he suspects most future meetings the association puts on will have a virtual component, not only due to COVID-19 concerns, but because of the added accessibility of virtual meetings and their decreased carbon footprints.