Tag Archives: conference

Get Your Abstract In for Biocuration2010

As I’ve posted before, the next Biocuration meeting will be in Tokyo, Oct 11-14th. I recently got notified that they are now accepting abstracts for the meeting:

We cordially invite you to join us for Biocuration2010, the Conference
of International Society for Biocuration (ISB) and the 4th International Biocuration
Conference, is held in Tokyo, Japan, from October 11-14, 2010.

Abstract submission and registration are now open!

* abstract submission
* registration

Currently abstracts are only being accepted June 1- July 14th and the organizers say authors will be notified by August 14th as to whether their abstracts have been accepted for presentation.

OpenHelix’s abstract was selected for presentation & I was really happy with all the comments, feedback and interest that we received – both from the poster presentation and the 15 minute talk we were able to give. If you’ve got a resource that you’d like to present, or get feedback on, from this group I highly suggest that you submit an abstract now!

OpenHelix Collaborative Conversations on ScienceOnline2010

Lots of people have already written lots of great posts about the ScienceOnline2010 unconference already – you can see a list of them from this post of Bora’s (Thanks, Bora, for collecting these!), with lots of good analysis and observation (including these: ).  I know I am a bit slow, but I just can’t let something so special go by without trying to add to the discussion.

For anyone not familiar with ScienceOnline, it is an unconference for anyone interested in science communication. I’ve blogged about it in the past, but I think the best descriptions of it come in posts by some of its organizers, Anton Zuiker, here, and Bora Zivkovic, here.

As I tried to figure out what I could add, it occurred to me that OpenHelix might have a cool dichotomy of ScienceOnline experiences. You see, I am a less-experienced blogger and I attended in person. Mary is a savvy blogger & she attended virtually. We are going to collaborate on a series of posts that cover various collections of topics associated with the conference. I hope this series is informative, interesting, and inspires you to join the conversation too!

Friday Night Report from ScienceOnline10

Due to the luck of my local I again have the distinct pleasure of attending the ScienceOnline un conference. This is apparently the 4th year of the meeting, three of which OpenHelix has attended (both in person and virtually). Tonight was the kickoff event – dinner and a speaker at the RTP headquarters. For anyone who isn’t familiar with RTP, it stands for Research Triangle Park and it is a research collaboration/region in North Carolina. I have heard figures that this region is third in the nation (behind only San Fransisco & Boston) for volume of research. Our hosts did a nice job, the food & drink was pleasant & the venue allowed for extensive & enthusiastic mixing & conversing.

I heard a lot of good things about the pre-conference workshops – I should have arranged my schedule better so that I could have attended them. I guess there were a few wifi issues, but the people that I spoke to said most sessions were either well documented ahead of time, or were being well tweeted during. Anton said that tomorrow’s sessions will have wifi from the same guys doing the superbowl (I think) so there should be no troubles.

Tonight’s speaker was Michael Specter, a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the book, “Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives”. It was a good and amusing talk, and largely preached to the converted. I took his main point to be “use your head & help others to do the same. Most issues have two sides, if not 7 or 10 sides. But just because you don’t get it, or don’t like it, that’s not a reason to deny it exists”. According to him, a lot of people vilify him for what is & isn’t in the book. I haven’t read it so I can’t say, but I do agree that scientist need to get more involved in the conversation (we’ve posted on that before), and that science education should be good. I of course believe in education – it is what OpenHelix was founded to do!


EDIT from Mary: the twitter feed from the #scio10 tag is excellent.  And reports are the recordings will be up Monday. We’ll link to them in subsequent posts.

STELLA & Unconferences

I attended my first ever “unconference” last weekend. And I’ll have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, learned a lot and have come away feeling that there definitely is a strong and important place for such conferences in science. I’d like to give you a quick update on what the STELLA conference was and some quick impressions, and a bit about my take on unconferences in general (now that I’m an expert having gone to one :D).

STELLA took place at the University of Denver (which is inexplicably called “DU” for short ;-)) and was an unconference for science librarians. Joe Kraus and a few others did a great job of ‘un’organizing this ‘unconference’ :). We at OpenHelix were very interested in the growing topic list, so we decided I would go. Later we decided it’d be great to sponsor Friday’s lunch. I was a bit apprehensive attending an unconference, precisely because it would be unorganized, free-form. I wasn’t sure how much I’d get out of it. I have to say, my misapprehensions were misplaced. I attended Friday sessions (envisioning library of the future, science library and web 2.0, ebooks and citation-based metrics). Though there were times I thought the discussion was not productive (for me), I found 90% fascinating, informative and I learned a lot. I particularly loved the free-form discussion. It was precisely the participatory nature of the unconference that I found so informative. Instead of one person speaking with a Q&A afterwards, there were lots of contributions. I guess that would have the possibility of becoming something less-than-informative, but I found that not the case at all. You’ll see a lot of what I learned in my tweets (#stella10 is the hash for that conference).

Saturday the grouped decided which topics to carry on to that day. I attended the continuation of web 2.0, social reference management (Mendeley is great, I’m going to do a tip on that later) and and next-generation discovery tools. Again, informative and interesting (though notes aren’t up for several).

All in all a great conference. Even as a non-librarian I learned a lot for my own work and I got a great feel for some of the issues facing information management (electronic vs. physical, funding, etc, etc).

I don’t think unconferences will be replacing dyed-in-the-wool conferences, but I do see them as very useful for getting a general sense of the zeitgeist and some real solid information. One person suggested an ‘unconference’ tagged on to the beginning or end of a larger organized conference. I love that idea, the best of both worlds.

Gordon Conference: Quantitative Genetics and Genomics

From the MGI mailing list this week came this announcement. You can help Galveston Island recover from Hurricane Ike AND learn great stuff! Students/Postdocs should see the scholarship pieces especially:

The Gordon Conference on Quantitative Genetics and Genomics will be held at the Hotel Galvez from February 22-26. 2009. Although Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on the Texas gulf coast, the Hotel sustained minimal damage and massive repair and restoration efforts are underway across the region.
We have received a letter from the mayor of Galveston
(http://www.grc.org/Files/News/galveston_letter.pdf) urging us to keep the conference on the island. They are trying to quickly restore the tourism industry and are welcoming visitors.

Due to the generous support from many sponsors, we are able to fund several scholarships for graduate students and postdocs to partially defray registration costs for attending the conference. Depending on interest, we are currently expecting to fund at least 10 scholarships of at least $500 each. To apply, please email the following by October 27 to

a) A one page letter stating the reasons why you would like to attend the conference.
b) Your current CV

We already have over 100 applicants for the conference, and space is limited. I urge you to register as early as possible:

See you in Galveston,
Daniel Pomp , Chair
Peter Visscher, Vice-Chair

(emails removed for web post, go to the web page).

Hat tip to David Threadgill for forwarding that along to the MGI mailing list to draw attention to it.

Systems biology software day for me

I’m in Göteborg today, at the ICSB International Conference on Systems Biology. I’m taking a couple of the tutorials today. My first one is on the Edinburgh Pathway Editor or EPE (description of this can be found in this PDF of the session). They have made available a 2.0 version for the attendees here. I’m eager to learn more about this.

The next session I signed up for is CellDesigner 4.0. You can learn more about it from the session PDF here.

Both of these tools require downloading and installation. We usually focus more on web-based software, but these systems biology tools often require you to install and run it locally. You can get the software directly from these sites:

Edinburgh Pathway Editor: http://www.bioinformatics.ed.ac.uk/epe/index.shtml

CellDesigner: http://celldesigner.org/

Have fun! I expect I’ll post more thoughts on them after I have had a chance to dive in and swim around some.

Liveblogging the GenBank 25th Anniversary

I’m preparing to liveblog this event, internets permitting:

GenBank: Celebrating 25 years of Service at NCBI: http://www.tech-res.com/GenBank25/ official announcement.

The agenda is here: http://www.tech-res.com/GenBank25/agenda.html

Not being a married person, I didn’t know which one this was. I had to look it up. This is Silver. I can’t think of a decent gift, so I’m not bringing one. Maybe they are registered somewhere??

There is a link to a videocast of the event from the Celebration link, supposedly:

View event: You will be able to view the event at http://videocast.nih.gov when the event is live.
Air date: Monday, April 07, 2008, 9:00:00 AM

Will try to update as often as I can, if I have decent wireless and power.

Welcome remarks

Michael Gottesman: GenBank one of the major accomplishments of the NIH. Major reasons for success: 1. timely, visionary idea. Already a protein seq database (Dayhoff), need for nucleotides as well. 2. International cooperation from the beginning. Support from other US organisations as well. Stable foundation at NIH has been important. 3. Contributions of researchers providing the data has been a third key. 4. Technology improvements in sequening and comparison algorithms. 5. Move from contract basis to NCBI/NLM provided stable support.

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