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Photo Credit: European Society of Radiology / Dominik Walchshofer

The Summer Edition of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), held in Vienna at the start of July, was the first in-person instalment of this prestigious event since the start of the pandemic. For three days, MuTh – the concert hall normally occupied by the Vienna Boys Choir – set the scene for a scientific exchange that also managed to put entertainment centre stage. But the main takeaway was just how valuable face-to-face, direct contact is.

“It was great to see participants, speakers and industry representatives all in one place after such a long time. You could really see just how we have all been craving this return to normality,” Program Director Prof. Christian Loewe confirmed after the meeting. “It was the right event at the right time and a great scaled-down test run for ECR 2022,” he added. The inaugural ECR Summer Edition, which played out against the musical backdrop of the MuTh concert hall from July 1-3, brought a good 100 participants to Vienna. A further 400 took part online.

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European Society of Radiology / Dominik Walchshofer

Making up for lost time

Summer Edition coordinators Dr. Maximilian de Bucourt and Prof. Majda M. Thurnher were also delighted with the in-person meeting: “It is not that often that you meet so many colleagues from different subspecialties in one place, but this is what scientific exchange is all about. For us, this meeting has shown the benefits of in-person meetings and what we have missed about them so much lately.” The meeting was also a great success from a scientific point of view. At the Oncologic Imaging Course, which took place at the same time in the same location, participants at the Summer Edition had the perfect opportunity to compare notes with fellow professionals.

Viennese culture goes around the world

To share a Viennese cultural experience with viewers from all around the world, Prof. Michael Fuchsjäger, Chairman of the ESR Board of Directors, surprised attendees with “Vienna Waits for You”, a six-episode series in which he guided viewers through some of the city’s most famous cultural landmarks. Fuchsjäger: “It made me really happy to finally see participants returning to Vienna. For all those who were still unable to join us in this magnificent city, I wanted to create something special to shorten the waiting time until ECR 2022 next March. ECR is a congress that provides a holistic experience of science, culture and friendship, which is the message we wanted to share with the whole world.”

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European Society of Radiology / Dominik Walchshofer

Innovative approaches

The Summer Edition also hosted twelve companies that showcased their technologies in a special exhibition. In an unusual twist, they were directly involved in three simulator training sessions. This meant that participants were also able to use these simulators throughout the meeting and gain valuable insights directly from the experts. The ECR 2021 Summer Edition lit the touch paper for an entirely new approach to special exhibitions, which will make its full debut at ECR 2022, removing the border between science and industry.

All of the videos in the Vienna Waits for You series are available online at the European Society of Radiology website ESR Connect.