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It is my great pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the ESC board and myself to the 21st annual conference of ESC, which, at this turbulent time, will take place online. As in the previous year, the pandemic waves made it impossible to run conference business “as usual” in the face-to-face form. These new circumstances essentially challenged the role of the Board, Secretariat and working groups in organising this international meeting. Unlike in previous years, in lieu of national organisers, the ESC board became the formal organising committee for the conference. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank all of those whose commitment and organising efforts made this conference possible. Also, special thanks should be addressed to our colleagues Marcelo Aebi, Csaba Győry and Dorel Herinean, who have been at the centre of the organisational process during the last several months.
Of course, an online conference cannot substitute for real human contact; the virtual rooms cannot transmit the energy and atmosphere of academic discussions; interactive social events are not the same as real togetherness with old and new friends. However, we tried to do our best, and even in the virtual form, the conference and its programme look promising. The conference will gather about 850 participants, virtually attending 200 sessions devoted to several dozen criminological thematic areas. As in the previous years, the conference programme refers to the traditional topics of crime, criminal justice, policing, imprisonment, violence and gender issues. However, this year it also reflects the role of the COVID-19 pandemic, which challenges the previous visions of crime and social control. Looking at the abstracts of posters and oral presentations, one can expect that the online ESC conference will become an attractive criminological event and a collaborative platform for open academic discussions between researchers and practitioners of different academic schools, generations, political traditions and cultures.
Thank you for attending the 21st annual ESC conference and I hope you will have a fruitful and stimulating time.
President of ESC
Registration for the conference closed on Monday 6 September at 1PM CET.