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And now for something slightly different

Posted by , on 21 December 2022

The European Developmental Biology Congress: a distributed meeting across Oxford, Barcelona and Paris 25th – 28th September 2023

The quadrennial European Developmental Congress usually positions itself neatly at the mid-way point between meetings of the International Society for Developmental Biology, or at least that was the case, until the pandemic-induced postponement of the latest ISDB meeting to October 2021.

This left less than a year between the ISDB and EDBC meetings.  We at the British Society for Developmental Biology, the hosts for #EDBC2023, see this not as a problem but an opportunity – a chance to experiment with some alternatives to the usual international conference format.

For one thing, we have decided to focus EDBC on the ‘rising stars’ of European developmental biology. Most of our invited speakers will be outstanding and engaging speakers who started their own labs within approximately the last five years. We are currently finalising our programme and are always happy to take suggestions of excellent speakers based in European labs from our community, so please do get in touch through our twitter @_BSDB_ or our shiny new mastodon account @BSDB@mstdn.science or by emailing our Meetings Officer sally.lowell@ed.ac.uk. The meeting will also contain all the usual highlights of BSDB meetings, including talks from the winners of the Waddington medal, the Cheryll Tickle medal and the Beddington medal.

Furthermore, in the spirit of experimenting with more accessible conference formats1 we will distribute the meeting across three different locations in Europe. The main hub of the meeting will be in Oxford, and there will be interlinked one-day ‘spoke’ meetings in Paris, led by Sigolène Meilhac, Nicola Festuccia, Tanya Foley, Tom Cumming & Guillaume Frasca and Barcelona, led by Alejo Fraticelli & colleagues tba.   Talks will stream back and forth between the Oxford hub and the spoke locations, and each of the three sites will also host its own social and scientific events. Anyone who attends one of the one-day spoke meetings will be able to view the entire meeting online for no additional cost.

We have exciting plans for the scientific and social programmes at all three locations, including lots of opportunities to present your work through short talks chosen from abstracts, flash talks, and lively poster sessions. All will be revealed early next year when the #ECDB2023 website goes live – watch this space! 

We encourage anyone who can’t travel to any of the three locations to consider organising a small scale ‘watch party’, perhaps streaming your favourite sessions to a departmental seminar room and combining this with a local poster session. We particularly hope that PhD students and postdocs might be interested in organising local events of this type – do get in touch (sally.lowell@ed.ac.uk) if you’d like to discuss how BSDB can support you with this.

Given our big plans for next September’s EDBC, the BSDB will not hold their usual large Spring Meeting in Warwick in 2023. We’ll instead take the opportunity to run a more focussed medium-sized meeting in Sheffield on April 17th-19th, exploring Cell Plasticity in Morphogenesis, organised by Ben Steventon, Anestis Tsakaridis and Kyra Campbell. Registration is now open.

We look forward to seeing you in Sheffield, Oxford, Paris or Barcelona!

Sally Lowell, Shankar Srinivas, Ben Steventon & Paul Martin 

British Society for Developmental Biology

1The future of conferences. Lowell S, Downie A, Shiels H, Storey K. Development. 2022 Jan 1;149(1):dev200438

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