{ C O N T E N T S }
volume 5, issue 3

President’s Letter

ISMB 2002 Overview

Overton Prize

New Board Members

2003 ISCB Membership Registration Now Open

ISCB Members’ Meeting

Application Deadline to Host ISMB 2004 or 2005

ISMB Goes Down Under

SGI Awards Best Paper and Best Poster Awards at ISMB 2002

CAPRI and ECCB Travel Fellowship Recipients

Bourne Receives Sun Convergence Lifetime Achievement Award

McKay: Executive Officer

Events and Opportunities

Newsletter Homepage

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Annual Open Membership Meeting

On August 6, 2002 the ISCB held its annual public members meeting to review the state of the Society as well as to offer members a chance to voice their concerns and to make suggestions for the upcoming year. ISCB President Phil Bourne presented a summary of the past year’s accomplishments and possible future directions for the Society, then opened the floor to the membership.

Among the first issues discussed was the number of people who chose not to join the ISCB when registering for ISMB—despite significant cost savings for the registrant. Several members mentioned that many companies and grants will not reimburse for professional society memberships. However, others mentioned that the registration form could be improved to emphasize that registering for ISMB as a member is a benefit that pays for itself.

Another topic discussed at length was the format of future ISMB meetings, whether or not to hold parallel sessions extending the poster sessions, and the degree to which SIGs should be incorporated into the meeting. In a show of hands, the majority of participants in the membership meeting indicated a preference for parallel sessions.

However, ISCB Founder and current Board member Larry Hunter said, “As the AI community split, their meeting ran mostly parallel sessions. Eventually the community diverged and the conference and journal split up—much to the detriment to the field. We need to be careful about this.”

Several people spoke about the importance of software demonstrations to ISMB and mentioned that they would like to see them more closely integrated into the overall program. Terry Gaasterland, Board member and researcher at the Rockefeller University, suggested that demos be reviewed. “Anything that we’re going to be spending time on should be reviewed somehow,” she said.

One suggestion that was seconded by several members was the idea of providing a five to ten minute slot for researchers with the best poster to make a presentation. Another member mentioned the possibility of recording sessions or providing video on demand.

Bourne brought up the topic of removing the special or “S” designation of papers accepted for the ISMB issue of Bioinformatics. He said that researchers may be hesitant to submit their best work for the conference since papers published with the “S” designation tend to carry less academic weight than regular papers. However, the process for refereeing papers would have to be brought up to a level that is as rigorous for regular papers, a sentiment echoed by several other members, said Bourne.

Among the more controversial issues discussed was the procedure for issuing society positions such as the open source statement released earlier this year. In general, the speakers wanted to change the procedure for making statements. In a sentiment echoed by several other members, Rick Lathrop of the University of California, Irvine, said, “If we are going to issue a statement about an emotionally charged topic in the name of the membership, please poll the membership; use the mailing list.”