Dear Anna, Emily, and Laura, dear members of the IAQMS Bureau, dear IAQMS
I am writing to thank Anna Krylov, Emily Carter, and Laura Gagliardi for their letter to Zhigang Shuai, the organizer of the 2015 ICQC in Beijing. They pointed out a serious problem with the partial list of speakers that appeared on the ICQC web site: although 2/3 of all speakers were already selected, there was not a single woman among them. As the current president of the IAQMS, I am ultimately responsible for the congresses that this Academy organizes and for the content of the web pages on which they are advertised. Please accept my sincere apology for the premature public release of a partial speaker list. The gender representation among speakers at the Beijing ICQC will be balanced, as it was at the preceding ICQCs. Zhigang Shuai and his organizing committee are performing a difficult balancing act with regard to gender, geography, and subdisciplines. Please kindly give them the benefit of the doubt until you see the final list. A large fraction of the people already on the list was outside the control of the organizing committee (medalists, newly elected IAQMS members, previous organizer). Unbeknownst to many of you, Zhigang's effort to solicit suggestions of women speakers had already been underway. I thank all those who have provided constructive suggestions, in particular Odile Eisenstein, Gustavo Scuseria, and Hiroshi Nakatsuji. I also again thank Anna Krylov, Emily Carter, and Laura Gagliardi for raising a very well justified objection.