This will be the last time I have the opportunity to write a ‘presidential address’ in an ESB Newsletter, as my term will end at the World Congress of Biomechanics in Boston this July. I know this is a cliché, but these (by now almost) two years have passed very quickly. I will not bother you with an overview of all tasks that have been completed or are currently being tackled by the various Council members – in fact, I already did that at least partially in the previous Newsletter and for a complete overview I invite you to the General Assembly in Boston – so instead, I want to look at the near and somewhat farther future.
As to the near future, our attention obviously goes to WCB2014 in Boston, where we hope to meet many of you, and which promises to be an exciting and at the same time massive biomechanics event – with 11 plenary talks, about 1900 podium presentations and 2300 poster presentations you better be prepared for a very intense week. I want to draw your attention to the ESB-related activities that take place at WCB, which are listed below for your convenience:
- The ESB General Assembly at Tuesday noon (12.45-14.30h): the opportunity for you as an ESB member to raise your voice and to also vote for four vacant Council positions.
- The ESB Student award and Clinical Biomechanics award competitions on Tuesday afternoon at 14.00h.
- The ESB Social Event on Tuesday evening: a get-together offered to all ESB members, where among others the new ESB Council, the winners of the ESB Student award, Clinical Biomechanics award and Mobility awards will be announced. So please keep this time free in your diaries. More information, including venue, will follow by email.
- The plenary ESB award session on Wednesday morning (9.45h), where the winners of the Perren award and the Thesis award will be presented
Notice that there are still a couple of days left (until 16 May) to candidate for the Council elections, so if you are interested, please hurry and have a look here on the formalities. If for one reason or the other you cannot make it to Boston, it is also good to know that our By-Laws allow ESB members in good standing to vote by proxy, more information will follow by email. For our younger members (up to one year of postdoc experience), you can still apply for the Mobility award until 31 May.
Last but not least, I want to highlight the plenary lecture of Marco Viceconti on Tuesday at 9.45h – okay, not a truly ESB-related activity, but given the fact that Marco is a past ESB president and that (at least as suggested by the title of his lecture) he will take us “To Infinity and Beyond…” I am sure you don’t want to miss that!
After WCB, it is time to already start thinking about the next ESB congress in Prague on 5-8 July, 2015. Last January, the Council visited the congress venue and was very pleased about its quality as well as the professionalism of the local organisers, meaning that we are confident this will be a successful event in a beautiful city. For the Council, ESB2015 will be the occasion to introduce a new format of podium presentations. Apart from the plenary lectures and the ‘traditional’ oral and poster presentations that are selected from submitted abstracts, we will introduce ‘Perspectives’ talks that will typically be given by more established and leading scientists (independent researchers who have completed their postdoctoral training and who are leading their own research groups) and that give a broader view on the progress and challenges in a specific (biomechanics-related) research field. Based on the feedback from some of our members and after discussion within the Council, we felt such talks could be very inspiring and complementary to the (shorter) oral and poster presentations (that typically only deal with research results from a single PhD or postdoc project, thereby failing to cover the broader perspective), in this way adding to the scientific quality of our congress. The implementation is currently being discussed with the local organisers and more information will follow after WCB2014.
In 2016, we will move to Lyon for the 22nd ESB congress, the year in which ESB celebrates its 40th anniversary! No idea yet what is going to happen on that occasion – I leave that to the next ESB Council and the local organisers. I can already tell you that ESB2016 will be the congress at which our new and own congress web portal will be introduced that among others will facilitate the integration with the membership database, standardise certain procedures such as abstract management and that will add to the visibility of ESB. Needless to say, this is a serious endeavour, which needs to be prepared well in advance. At this very moment, these preparations are ongoing and being implemented by our web manager Barry Kaye. Again, you will hear more about this in the future.
With this, I wish you all a very fruitful and enjoyable Spring and I look forward to meeting you in Boston!
Hans Van Oosterwyck