Coronavirus (COVID-19) Announcement
ATINER does hope and wishes that the world situation will improve and it has done so in China and more recently in South Korea. 25 years now ATINER is “…is open to the world, we never expel a foreigner from learning or seeing”. Even the last minute if these extraordinary circumstances change ATINER will be ready to organize its small academic symposiums and welcome the expected and the last-minute participants (like Alcibiades in Plato’s Symposium). ATINER’s model has been the organization of symposiums as the one described in Plato’s famous Symposium (i.e., few speakers introduce the subject and a dialogue follows among a limited number of attendees) as this is explained in ATINER’s mission (https://www.atiner.gr/mission). But the new situation may demand the organization of a symposium as described in Plato’s Protagoras Dialogue (i.e., one (monologue) or two speakers (dialogue) introduces the theme which is attended by few selected attendees).
Prometheus has provided the ecumenical cosmos with the “fire” (technology) to have attendees from the stratosphere of academies without their physical presence. ATINER is ready to welcome any ecumenical Protagoras who will be able to escape from the synchronous Abdera to come and deliver his/her monologue in Athens. Thus, nothing will be cancelled! So far, ATINER’s 2020 program is executed as planned including its events in January, March and April (see https://www.atiner.gr/2020conferences). IMPORTANT NOTE: The cancellation of an academic event due to a pandemic with the assistance of the ORACLE OF DELPHI has been prognosed in ATINER’s terms and conditions which are always linked to the registration form signed and submitted by all participants since ATINER’s establishment in 1995. Cancelling claiming the pandemic as the reason would have been the easiest way out for ATINER and without any financial burden (see article 9 of https://www.atiner.gr/Terms-and-Conditions.pdf).
However, going beyond these Platonic ideals as well as ignoring the down the earth legalities of the fees and given the pragmatic extraordinary ecumenical circumstances, ATINER recognizing that many participants cannot come for objective or subjective reasons offers a raincheck (i.e., a free voucher) which can be used at any of the many ATINER’s upcoming academic small symposiums organized throughout the year including the academic events this November, December and January 2021. This applies to only those whose abstracts and registrations have been accepted. Upon their request, automatically their acceptance and registration will be transferred to one of ATINER’s upcoming conferences. All others are more than welcome to submit their abstract and registration for evaluation.
ATINER is trying to do the best for our ecumenical academic politeia. In doing so we respect a long tradition of the Socratic Ethos and we do hope that our academic members and friends will respect laws, policies, rules, regulations and most importantly their commitment (signature) to ATINER’s transparent policies which are available 25 years now on our website for the entire ecumenical academic politeia to review. Over the years ATINER has respected laws, rules, regulations, policies, ethical beliefs etc., of all the governments of the world (more than 200), of all the academic institutions of the world (more than 14,000) and most importantly of the individual academics from all the ecumene (more than 10 million people). But all of them must also respect ATINER’s bylaws, decisions, rules, regulations and ethical values which have been applied 25 years now. ATINER will not change its policy to fit the needs of one government, of one University, of one individual academic even under the current conditions of a pandemic.
In summary, ATINER offers three options:
- Remote presentation (online or prerecorded to take account of time differences). Requests should be sent to ATINER’s ICT department (firstname.lastname@example.org). This option will be combined with onsite presentations if this is possible for some of the participants. Using this option ATINER has organized two conferences so far and plans to implement this option for all its upcoming academic events. Thus, no academic event will be cancelled. This option cannot be combined with option (3) below but it is possible to be combined with option (2). Please note that remote presentation option will only be available if a minimum number of participants accept to present online. Alternatively, the online presentations can be rescheduled for any upcoming pertinent academic events without any additional cost for the participant.
- ATINER offers a free voucher to present at any of the many upcoming events ATINER organizes throughout the year. The free voucher is for the entire amount paid and cannot be combined with option (3) below. This was not an option available in the written terms and conditions of the registration and is valid only for those who do not apply for total or partial refunds. By no means and nowhere is mentioned that ATINER is legally bounded to offer such free voucher. On the contrary, ATINER does mention that even in pandemics fees and other costs are not refundable for reasons explained in the registration form and in the terms and conditions. ATINER mentions this to prevent any misunderstanding of its intentions. As a matter of fact, even large private organizations (e.g., airlines, hotels etc.) claim liquidity problems and they do not provide the refunds promised in their terms and conditions. ATINER never made such a promise!
- Apply for refund as this was stated on the registration which was signed and submitted by the individual participant and in the terms and conditions linked to it which also cover such unfortunate situations as the current pandemic. Please review those before you decide to apply. Applications for refund must be sent only to the accounting and finance department (email@example.com). Please do not cc your refund request to all emails of ATINER you know including any academic member of ATINER who are responsible for the academic part of the conference. This will only delay ATINER’s response! Important Note: Because of the pandemic, ATINER has no other (financial) choice but strictly implementing its refund policy! At the current ecumenical conditions, no exception can be afforded by ATINER. According to current developments (13 April 2020), Greek authorities have adopted a law to protect tourist industries (hotels, etc) due to huge demands for refunds. According to this law (see here https://atiner.gr/gtp/covid19-fek.pdf for the official Greek Government Gazette and here https://www.atiner.gr/gtp/covid19-law.pdf for an English version), which has been implemented by other countries as well, hotels and other tourist industries are not obliged to refund payments even partially but they must offer a free voucher valid for 18 months. Please note that this changes by law ATINER’s refund policy. ATINER cannot refund hotel payments but only offer a free accommodation voucher valid for 18 months.