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A new strategy for Biochemical Society scientific meetings

The Biochemical Society is implementing fundamental changes to its approach to scientific meetings. The need for change arose from the requirement for more managed science programmes, higher delegate expectations of standards at venues and the need for the Society Meetings to appeal to the wider life sciences community.

Members were agreed that essential elements of successful meetings were excellence of the science programme and 'quality of the experience' for delegates. The changes aim to address the need for scientifically attractive, well run and value-for-money events.

Full implementation of the strategy for Society meetings will take place over the next two to three years. The new framework for funding, which offers greater flexibility for programmes, comes into effect from the beginning of 2000. The greatest area of change will lie in the new role of the Meetings Committee (previously the Group Secretaries' Committee) to plan and manage the science programmes, within the facilities offered by the venues.

Science programmes

The Meetings Committee of the Biochemical Society invites the Special Interest Groups, academic research departments, individuals, and other groupings of scientists to submit bids for the funding of proposed colloquia. Information about how to submit a proposal can be found on the following page. The Committee also welcomes proposals for stand-alone meetings and proposals from other societies for joint meetings.

Funding

Funds that were previously assigned across the 16 Scientific Interest Groups will be pooled. There will be absolutely no diminution of the total funding available for meetings. Allocations by the Meetings Committee for colloquia funding will be dependent upon the proposals meeting the criteria of the quality of science, commitment to publish in Biochemical Society Transactions, a full list of speakers and a budgeted programme.

The Meetings Committee, which will now meet three times a year, will decide the allocation of pooled funds for colloquia and strategic programming for the science at meetings, for at least three years ahead. The Society also wishes to be able to respond quickly to current life sciences issues by organizing meetings on 'hot' topics and, again, invites submissions.

The colloquia organizers for each meeting will form the 'programme committee' and, if the meeting is themed, will try to cover a greater breadth of science, outside the theme, through poster topics and mini symposia organized around the posters.

Venues

Members have also agreed a set of criteria by which the Meetings Office will judge the suitability, or not, of venues for future meetings in terms of lecture theatre facilities, poster and trade exhibition space and delegate accommodation.




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