Allow me to take a brief look over some recent and upcoming events & activities and the progress we are making as the Society. First of all, the 43rd Annual Conference of the ISCB is taking place in Newcastle upon Tyne in the U.K., between 21-25 August 2022. Notably, it will be the first hybrid conference organised by the ISCB, which will certainly involve many challenges for the organisers, but should also offer a long-time awaited and welcome possibility of attending the annual conference in-person, following the last two years of pandemics. At the time of writing this report, the epidemic situation appears promising, namely across Europe and the U.K., and our hopes are high for a chance of holding a vibrant scientific meeting, seasoned with the social and cultural flavours of the host city and country.
ISCB 43 Newcastle UK 2022
In Newcastle we will welcome two distinguished biostatisticians as principal invited speakers.
Prof. John Carlin from the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, University of Melbourne, who will serve as President’s invited speaker. Furthermore, we will welcome Prof. Bhramar Mukherjee from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, who will serve as Keynote speaker. The Local Organising Committee (LOC), chaired by Prof. Dawn Teare, and the Scientific Programme Committee (SPC), chaired by Prof. Thomas Jaki, have prepared a choice biostatistical menu through both invited and contributed sessions. The key topics selected for this year’s conference include Efficient clinical trial designs, Machine learning methods for health, Bayesian nonparametric methods, (Semi-)competing risks and causal inference, Ageing, Communicating statistical methods and Simulation studies. On Sunday prior to the Conference, four pre-conference courses will be given, 1 full day and three half-day courses. On Thursday, Early Career Biostatisticians’ Day will take place, as well as two mini-symposia, STRATOS and Modern software tools for modern statistics. On Tuesday afternoon, four different social excursions will take place, showing-off a few local attractions.
We look forward to meeting many of you in Newcastle, be it in-person or online, as circumstances allow.
New website domain
Recently, the Officers and ExCom have decided to move from the long-established and complex format of bi-annual ISCB Newsletter to a more flexible and perhaps less elaborate format whose content should interact with the ISCB website. Please, note as well the new website domain www.iscb.international, which is so far being re-directed to www.iscb.info. Related to this is a newly established position of the Media and Communications Coordinator, which was kindly engaged by Charlotte Bolch from Glendale, AZ in the U.S. She is now in charge of the new ISCB News Bulletin, plus the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube ISCB accounts. Charlotte has also become a co-opted member of the ISCB ExCom.
Following the withdrawal of the proposal of organizing the annual ISCB conference in 2024 in Romania, submitted by Anca Vitcu, the ExCom decided to approach Vana Sypsa and Giota Touloumi with the plea to move the Thessaloniki, Greece, ISCB annual conference one year forward and was extremely pleased by their positive response. Furthermore, the preparations are in full swing for the 2023 annual meeting of the Society in Milan, Italy, which will be in the hands of a very experienced team, chaired by the former ISCB President Maria Grazia Valsecchi (LOC), Stefania Galimberti (SPC chair and current President of the IBS Italian Region) and Paola Rebora.
Despite the difficult times, the Society keeps supporting great biostatistical research to be presented at its annual conferences. This year in Newcastle we will therefore have a chance to follow selected contributed talks or poster presentations by the winners of the ISCB Student Awards, Scientist Awards and the colleagues from developing countries sponsored by the ISCB support scheme called Conference Funds for Developing Countries.
ExCom elections 2022
Finally, let me remind you that in November 2022 the Society will again hold its bi-annual elections for various offices available in the Executive Committee (ExCom). As announced in the December 2021 News by Elaine Pascoe, the ISCB Secretary, nominations will be sought for 3 positions among the Officers (Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary) and 8 places among ordinary ExCom members. Nomination forms will be made available soon via an email to the ISCB Permanent Office (represented by Maria Arvaniti). Deadline for nominations will be 15 September 2022 and the nomination needs to be backed by the Proposer and Seconder which will have been ISCB members in 2021 and 2022. Candidates for the Officers position will need to have been members of the ISCB in the three consecutive years of 2020-2022. Members will soon receive an email with full details of the nominations and elections process. For the purpose of overseeing the nominations and elections process the ISCB Ballot Committee (BC) was put in place in 2021. It will be chaired by the former ISCB President Harbajan Chadha Boreham, and the BC members will further include Giota Touloumi and Jindra Reissigová. I am happily serving as the Nominations Officer, whose principal role is to encourage you, eligible members of the ISCB, to get involved in the elections and perhaps also consider your own candidacy for some available position in the ExCom.
Looking forward to meeting many of you in Newcastle upon Tyne, the U.K., be it in-person or participating remotely.
Prague, 4 July 2022
Zdeněk Valenta, ISCB President