The much-awaited 6th European FASD conference was held in Arendal, Norway from the 12th to 14th September, after two years of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly all continents were represented in this conference with over 20 plenary sessions and over 50 parallel sessions. Several organisations and researchers were present to deliver sessions on the progress of their work in advancing knowledge/awareness about FASD in their respective countries.
Amongst the countries represented, there was the remarkable presence of UK researchers and FASD-focused organisations. See picture!
Aside numerous poster presentations and parallel sessions from the UK team, there was a remarkable presence of the UK team in 5 plenary sessions. The plenaries included: Robyn McCarthy on insights on the prevalence study; Prof. Raja Mukherjee – psychiatric and neurodevelopmental comorbidities; Dr. Michael Suttie – automated FASD identification; David Gilbert – FASD and suggestibility, and Joanna Buckard/Susan McGrail on the ‘Me and My FASD resource’. The parallel sessions delivered included talks by Prof. Penny Cook, Dr Alan Price, Dr Cheryl McQuire, Dr Stewart McDougall, Helen Howlett, Bethany Webster, and several others. Posters were also displayed by Rachael Nielson, Miranda Eodanable and Sam Francis alongside many others.
Prof. Mukherjee, the leading UK expert in reference to the UK attendance says: “The first EUFASD, there were I think 3-4 people from the UK . This year we had a few more. Things have progressed a lot, but we cannot rest on our laurels. Lot of new researchers in this group, let’s encourage them to be the experts of the future.”
The conference was highly successful with very information-laden sessions. Starting off with the opening remarks by the chair of the event – Gro CC Løhaugen, and Diane Black, the outgoing EUFASD chairperson, the conference proceeded seamlessly. The conference was concluded with the election of the new chairperson for the EUFASD alliance – Dr Oscar Garcia-Alger. Special thanks to Dr. Gro CC Løhaugen, Dr Diane Black, Prof. Jon Skranes, and several other experts in the scientific planning committee.