German Conference on Bioinformatics 2007

GCB 2007, Germany’s annual bioinformatics conference ran from Wednesday until yesterday. This year it met in a conference hotel in Potsdam and saw 180 participants, mostly researchers located in Germany.
People from institutes in Potsdam and our department at the MPI for Molecular Genetics were organizing the conference, and which ran very smoothly both in terms of the program and the organization. My favourite key note by Yitzhak Pilpel, who is studying general mechanisms of the cell, such as translation one a cellular scale by mixed bioinformatics-experimental approaches, is my most noteworthy discovery. Contributions to the conference are aimed to come from PhD students and younger Postdocs rather than initial presentations of ground breaking research. What surprised me most this year was the high quality of the presentations. It would be nice if all talks at major conferences where as thoroughly prepared as those of the average student at this year’s GCB.

Still, it occasionally receives loathing for not comparing to focused workshops or international conferences, mostly from people who don’t seem to enjoy networking and expect presentations to be unique entertainment. You can hear similar criticism from the same people on the ISMB. While I was disappointed by the conference in earlier years, too, the previous GCB I attended, 2005 in Hamburg, was already a conference worth going to. GCB 2008 will take place in the Museum of Hygiene in Dresden, which appears to be a much more interesting place than what it sounds like and I hope that I’ll find the time to go.

Sounds like the malaise is in other places at the moment.

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