Session Speaker Instructions

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Scientific Integrity

International Conference planners and presenters have diverse interests and relationships that contribute to the success of the Conference but may also cause potential or actual conflicts of interest (COI) that must be disclosed, reviewed, and managed to comply with Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) requirements. To accomplish this in the context of a large number of Conference sessions and diverse topics, ATS must rely heavily on each program committee, session organizer, chair, and speaker.

Please ensure that the following requirements are met as you organize and carry out your session:

  • Independence, balance and scientific rigor.
    • All participants in official ATS activities, including conference session organizers and speakers, are required to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct.
    • Content must provide objective information based on scientific methods generally accepted in the medical community and be free of commercial bias.
    • Data presented should not be outdated.
  • A balanced view of therapeutic options
    • Use of generic names will contribute to this impartiality and is preferred. If the presentation requires trade names, where available trade names from several companies should be used.
  • Disclosure of relevant conflicts of interests (COI) to ATS and learners

*See related ATS policy at  

Managing Conflicts of Interest

Mandatory Disclosure of Relevant COI by Session Chair and Speakers – both to ATS and to Attendees (Learners) – and Formal Review before the Conference

  • Instructions for completing or updating the online ATS COI Disclosure Form will be emailed to the chairs and speakers in all sessions designated for CME credit ( instructions will be mailed before or by mid-February 2023).  COI forms must be completed online at the ATS COI website by the deadlines announced in the instructions to be emailed to chairs and speakers*.
  • Disclosures will be reviewed initially by ATS COI staff, and when warranted, by members of the ATS Ethics and Conflict of Interest Committee. When conflicts are reported or perceived, some chairs of sessions designated for CME credit will also be instructed to return to the ATS COI website to review the disclosures submitted by their speakers and choose a management option if needed (i.e., an ATS-prescribed step to ensure that the speaker’s content is seen as unbiased). Chairs can contact ATS COI Staff if they need assistance. Staff will contact Ethics and COI Committee members and may contact the respective Program Committee Chair if the session chair and staff are unable to resolve a matter.

Disclosure to Session Attendees at the Time of Presentation:

  • In addition to disclosure-to-ATS prior to the conference, chairs and speakers must disclose to learners (audience) any financial relationship with commercial entities that is relevant to her/his talk, according to ATS and Accreditation Council for CME requirements. Speaker creation of a disclosure slide for this purpose may be required, and if so, a slide template will be provided at a later date on the ATS website. Chairs and speakers will be notified of procedures.
  • Please also orally note any commercial relationships that are relevant to your talk, and if you wish, assure the audience that your findings and recommendations are free of commercial bias.

* Disclosure and review of speaker changes made past these deadlines will be arranged separately. ATS COI staff are available for assistance at       

Please also note:

  • The ACCME prohibits the use of employees of commercial interests such as medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies as organizers, chairs and presenters in accredited CME activities if the content of CME that the employee controls (e.g. her/his presentation) relates to the business lines and products of her/his employer. Sessions that do not meet this requirement will be ineligible for CME credit. ATS staff will contact organizers/chairs that state on their workform that they think involvement of an industry scientist is necessary and discuss options. Please be sure to state the company name on the workform rather than just the person’s academic appointment if one also.
  • The ATS prohibits persons affiliated with the tobacco industry – including as an employee, consultant, advisory committee member, grant recipient, or in other roles - from organizing, chairing or presenting at conference sessions. ATS similarly now prohibits persons affiliated with any cannabis entity that promotes recreational use and/or non-evidence-based uses of inhaled cannabis products if the relationship has existed within the past 12 months preceding application for presentation at conference sessions. ATS does not, at this time, explicitly prohibit persons affiliated with the vaping industry in these ways from participation (unless the company is tobacco industry owned fully or in part) but may impose conditions to ensure that content is scientifically rigorous, non-promotional and complies with any legal restrictions. Future ATS policies may affect participation by persons involved with these industries more extensively.

*International Conference requirements for COI management may be found at

Overall Responsibilities

Prior to the Conference:

  • Complete and submit the online ATS COI Disclosure questionnaire, which will be available on or prior to mid-February 2023. Questions about the COI form? Please contact:
  • When preparing your talk, refer to the session objectives and title for your presentation
  • Adhere to the time allotment specified by the session chair/organizer; and leave time during this allocated time for a general discussion with the audience after your talk.
  • Prepare and upload your PowerPoint presentation. (March 2023)
  • To ensure visuals are consistent in format, please see the Procedures for Electronic Presentations, which will be available on the ATS website in March 2023.
  • Do not use industry logos or brand names in your PowerPoint presentations.
  • Complete the online Speaker Agreement and Disclosure Forms prior to uploading presentations.
    *Speaker agreement forms are for Scientific Symposia and Postgraduate Courses speakers only.
  • Visit the Speaker Ready Room onsite to be sure your presentation is running correctly.

*Only Scientific Symposia and Postgraduate Course Speakers are required to complete the Speaker Agreement Form.

Photography During Presentations

Attendees are prohibited from using flash photography or otherwise distracting the presenters or members of the audience. However, photographs may be taken during sessions or poster presentations, provided that the photographs are strictly for personal, non-commercial use and are not published in any form.

ATS requests that any speaker who does not want their content posted on social media or shared on other websites, make an announcement to attendees at the beginning of their presentation. Presenters may also add the request to their presentation.