The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge for society and has highlighted the importance of scientific research, in particular the efforts that are being made to create a vaccine to combat this terrible disease. Although WIT's main areas of interest are somewhat remote from pharmacology, we applaud the contribution of the large number of scientists whose work appears to be on the brink of achieving, in the space of a few short months, something that normally would take several years. Let us hope that by next year, there is an effective treatment for COVID-19 and that for most of us life can return to something approaching normality.
WIT's conference programmes are set many years in advance. Arrangements for the 2020 meetings were all but finalised by the time the potentially devastating effects of COVID-19 became apparent and international travel restrictions were imposed throughout the world. We realised early in 2020 that it would not be possible to host a traditional form of a conference in the first half of the year although, at the time, we were hopeful that those arranged for September and October would take place as planned. That optimism proved to be ill-founded but thanks to the efforts of our conference coordinators and the loyalty of our delegates, WIT has successfully completed its 2020 programme albeit in virtual rather than physical format. My thanks also go to those who have chaired our 2020 conferences for their important contribution and their willingness to embrace the revised format. The feedback from those who participated in the conferences has been encouraging and gratifying. Suggestions for improving delegate experience are being carefully considered.
The need for scientific papers to be published promptly is well understood by our publishing division which has managed to adhere to strict timetables despite the obvious difficulties presented by COVID-19. Our SCOPUS accredited books and journals have been published on schedule throughout the year and continue to attract papers of high quality.
Our industrial research division has not seen any slowdown in the need for developing applications for our boundary element code and in addition to our in-house research, we are co-operating with Bournemouth University on two interesting projects which, if successful, will further enhance the code.
WIT's core function is to facilitate and promote the transfer of scientific knowledge and its staff and Board of Directors have worked tirelessly to further its aims during 2020. Thank you for your continued support.