Its colloquium – but not as you know it!

There’s very little about 2020 and the start of 2021 that has been in any way normal. The same applies to the IBTS (what, no C?) annual colloquium. Even during the challenging years of the transition from Prague to Amsterdam the colloquium gathered together all the researchers and supervisors in a makeshift arrangement. Colloquium has never not happened – and this year, despite Covid, it is still taking place in the virtual realm of Zoom.

The team in Amsterdam have done a marvellous job of lining up a full colloquium programme with even more goodies than usual. While participants may be denied the wonders of Dutch cuisine (particularly the wonderful Roomboter cake) they are being treated to three first class special lectures from Paul Fiddes, David Gushee and Katya Tolstoj. In addition, everyone gets to witness two promotions at the VU during colloquium week, when Lon Graham and Leonid Mikhovich defend their dissertations live and online.

The technical ease with which the programme was launched on Monday (18th) speaks of the professionalism of the team and the level of preparation undertaken in advance of the colloquium. Although participants are joining from places as far apart as South America and Russia and across a wide range of time zones, the clever scheduling allows for full participation in all the major elements of the programme – a great achievement. Well done everyone!

David McMillan