18th International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology (ICPE)
August 18-21, 2002
Edinburgh Conference Centre
Scientific Program Committee
The 18th annual Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology will be held in Edinburgh from Sunday 18 until Wednesday 21 August 2002.
A new feature of the 2002 conference is that it will be held at a University campus location. Various options were considered, and in response to many members' comments about expensive city centre venues, it was decided to use the Edinburgh Conference Centre at Heriot-Watt University.
The Conference Centre provides state of the art facilities for meetings up to 620 delegates. Audio visual facilities are excellent, seating is comfortable and there is ample flexibility for program development including small group sessions. Prof Tom MacDonald is chair of the program committee, and plans are already well under way.
Heriot-Watt University is one of Scotland's smaller universities. The campus is located about 8 miles from the city centre, 20 mins by taxi or car and about ½ hour by bus. It is only about 15 mins by taxi from the airport which is well served by flights from London and other UK centres, together with more limited services from mainland Europe.
ISPE will take over the entire conference centre for the 4 days of the conference. Accommodation will be arranged in blocks of rooms on campus near the meeting facilities. Do not be afraid! Mark Epstein and some senior ISPE members have made detailed visits to the site and can report that the rooms are comfortable and very adequate for our needs. All have en suite facilities, and all have phones with data access via prepaid card. We hope that almost all delegates will decide to stay on site and can assure you that the local organisers will plan events to keep everyone fully entertained. Networking has always been a strong feature of our conferences, and where better to do that than in a re-run of your student days!
Because the arrangement with the University is inclusive of meeting rooms and sleeping rooms, registration for the meeting will be different from previous years. Room bookings and payment will all be done through the ISPE office.
Edinburgh is perhaps the most exciting city in the UK to visit at the present time. Once again the seat of devolved government in Scotland, it is a dynamic centre of commerce and culture. There will certainly be an organised Conference social program, but in addition, delegates will want to know that our meeting coincides with the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe. This 3 week long Festival provides a huge range of theatrical, musical, comedy and just plain strange events to suit all tastes. Even if we wanted to, we could not secure adequate meeting and sleeping facilities in the city itself because of the pressure caused by the Festival.
Scotland of course has many other attractions, and we hope that many ISPE members and other delegates will take the chance to stay for a while either before or after the Conference to sample what we have to offer. Sightseeing, golf, fishing, walking and historical visits are all well worth considering.
To assist local organisers and the ISPE office, we have engaged Experience Scotland, a recommended Destination Management Company. They will provide help with:
They will offer a Festival ticket booking service. The demand for tickets for main events is very high, and for those who wish to take this option, it will be necessary to book well in advance. Ticket bookings will be subject to availability and there will be a booking charge. There will be information and booking available at the conference itself. To get an idea of what is on offer, visit the website for information about this year's Festival program
For those wishing to stay on, or wishing to stay off campus for other reasons, they will be able to help with city centre accommodation. This is in short supply, so early booking will be necessary. Remember it can take ½ hour to reach the conference venue.
Pre and post conference activities
Experience Scotland works with many hotels throughout Scotland. They are able to provide assistance in the following areas for those who might wish to extend their time in Scotland:
Telephone: +44 (0)1968 679 969
Fax: +44 (0)1968 677 638
In the meantime, the following websites offer a starting point for your planning. Mark the dates now!