The ESC 2020 congress is around the corner and we are excited to attend! The organizing committees have been working incredibly hard to make this congress one to remember. And that’s not an easy task during these dynamic times. Face-to-face meetings are cancelled and are reimagined in online settings. A digital conference can be highly effective with many presentations and discussions on-demand or live without the need to travel halfway around the globe. There seems to be no disadvantage to online meetings. However, the main reason people prefer to meet face-to-face (in a COVID-19-free world) is of course the social aspect. Meeting friends and collaborators during one big event boosts relationships and projects, and frequently leads to new opportunities. This leaves a great need to connect with like-minded people who pursue the same goals and seek unity in an era of social distancing.
The Dutch cardiovascular community still hosts this year’s ESC congress and this offered a great opportunity to highlight the great efforts of organizations like the DCVA, the Dutch Heart Foundation, the government (i.e. NWO), and, of course, Young@Heart. Therefore, we reached out to various international young communities, including the Scientists of Tomorrow (ESC), German Heart Foundation (DZHK), Early Career Investigators of the International Society of Heart Research (ISHR), and the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Early Career Committee (American Heart Association). Together, we published a Point of View paper in the Netherlands Heart Journal. Here, we highlight and emphasize the intentions of the Dutch cardiovascular communities to support young researchers on various levels in collaboration with international partners that have the same goal. We also underscore the unifying role of the DCVA in the scientific community and how they can support young researchers and/or early career investigators. You can read the full paper at the website of the Netherlands Heart Journal.