Flooding from Hurricane Katrina has forced several scientific societies to relocate their annual national meetings this fall–including at least eight of interest to life scientists–away from New Orleans to other cities.

Early yesterday afternoon (Sept. 1), the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau cancelled all conventions through Dec. 1. "I think the decision to close December will be [in] a week or two, should that happen," Donna Karl, the bureau's Chicago-based vice president for client relations, told The Scientist yesterday.

Two of the planned conferences would have drawn 25,000 attendees to New Orleans: 12,000 people to the American Society for Microbiology's Sept. 21-24 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), and 13,000 to the American Public Health Association's (APHA) Nov. 5-9 meeting.

Earlier this week, ASM rescheduled ICAAC for Dec. 16-19 in Washington, DC. Lori Feinman, ASM's assistant director for meetings, told The Scientist yesterday that any New Orleans...

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