Message from the President

Thanks to all participants for a successful ESB conference 2015

The first thing I would like to do is once again thank the local organisers for a stimulating and enjoyable conference in Prague in July, see the full report here. It was wonderful to see so many old and new colleagues and friends there and the council were happy to see that the meeting was well attended by enthusiastic participants even though it is still quite a new experience to have an European Society of Biomechanics meeting every year. One thing that particularly stood out for me were the excellent keynote speakers, and medal winners and the positive way in which these busy senior colleagues interacted with all the delegates. As a community I think we all really appreciated that our visitors did not ‘helicopter in’ but stayed for most of the conference and attended many sessions and events. Interaction and debate between senior and junior colleagues is a strong feature of the ESB community and I am pleased to see that we are not losing this, despite our increase in size and the workload pressures that many members are under.

This year in Prague we trialled a new type of talk ‘perspectives talks’ which were longer and covered more breadth and depth than a single oral presentation. As with all new initiatives we had some teething problems but in general these talks were well received and in our survey the majority of responders urged us to continue this format. Our intention was that the broader perspective would allow delegates to give a greater context to their latest results, and allow group leaders at a range of career stages to present. Often the ‘mid-career’ researcher is somewhat neglected at conferences and the hope was that we could redress that. We understand that there were some misunderstandings with the eligibility criteria and the abstract submission process so we have tightened these up in response to your feedback. We often state that if you ask us something we will respond, and I hope it is evident that this is the case. We hope that you will partake in the upgraded version of perspectives talks for 2016. Lastly, I would like to emphasise that we really appreciate the contributions of our ‘guinea pig’ perspectives talks speakers, and the effort you put in to your presentations, providing such a range of topics, techniques and questions for the future.

General Assembly votes in favour of electronic ballot for council members

For those of you that were unable to attend, I would like to report that an important decision was taken at our General Assembly held in Prague on 6th July 2015. The General Assembly voted, by a large majority, in FAVOUR of using an electronic on-line ballot for future council elections. 78 votes were cast, there were 64 in favour, 11 against and 3 abstentions. The council is now tasked with making this on-line ballot procedure straightforward and accessible to all members and facilitating interactions between the voting members and the candidates. The next council elections will take place by July 2016 and more information about nominations and the voting procedure will be available in the Spring newsletter.

It is time to prepare abstracts for Lyon 2016

Now it is already time to look ahead to the next congress which is sure to build on the success of Prague and be another scientific, social and cultural success. The abstract submission will open in a short time, see more information here: This year, for the first time, abstract submission will be embedded in the ESB website, this is something members have been requesting for some time and there has been a lot of work in the background by our council members and our long-suffering web-master to get it right. Please do approach us with feedback where you can see improvements to be made. Now that abstract submission will be a long term feature for ESB congresses we intend to continuously update it overtime rather than ‘re-invent the wheel’ every year, as we did when using different software for each conference. From 2016, abstracts will be accessible as open access documents on our website. We are also considering a more formal publication process so let us know if you have any thoughts on that.

We expect the abstract review process to be tough and selective. Ultimately a conference is only as good as the scientific participants and the interest that the presentations generate. At ESB we pride ourselves on the positive comments that usually emerge about the scientific content; that it is novel and relevant. So we hope that you will use your abstract as a way to stimulate and intrigue people. Aim to stand out from the crowd and leave the reviewer wanting to know more.

Looking forward to our middle age

In case you do not already know – the European Society of Biomechanics will reach its 40th birthday next year. So far, I am glad to report, that there are no signs of us approaching a mid-life crisis! It is rather the opposite, we have become a mature and confident society with a unique character that has grown-up enough not to care about what other people are doing, but to forge our own path. Becoming 40 is quite a major milestone and so we will be celebrating this in our next newsletter, which will be a 40th Anniversary edition, and at the congress in Lyon. We ask our senior members to send copies of any interesting memorabilia – photos, conference programmes, fliers etc. from past congresses and events to our publication chair: publication.chair@esbiomech.org, together with a bit of information about where it came from and why it is special. We would also welcome e-mails with stories and anecdotes (that are fit to print!).

We hope you find this newsletter interesting and informative and as ever if you have some news or comments please get in touch with the Council.

Gwendolen Reilly, Sheffield 2015.