In 2014, Australia’s then Prime Minister, the Hon. Tony Abbott, was quoted as saying:
“There needs to be a significant emphasis in boosting our focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) because science is at the heart of a country’s competitiveness and it is important that we do not neglect science as we look at the general educational and training schemes”.
Today STEM is almost every country’s preoccupation and is shaping global economic plans. In other words, economic plans are designed to support the focus on STEM, rather than limit it.
For example it is estimated that scientific and technological advances have produced roughly half of all the US’s economic growth over the last 50 years.
An education in STEM also fosters a range of generic and quantitative skills and ways of thinking that enable individuals to see, solve and grasp opportunities. These capabilities — including deep knowledge of a subject, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills — are relevant to an increasingly wide range of occupations and will be part of the foundation of adaptive and nimble institutes and workplaces of the future.
So, why am I talking about STEM; because biomechanics encompasses everything that STEM is about. Biomechanists around the world have taken up the mantle to promote biomechanics in our schools as a way of showing that Science is fun. None more so than Professor Paul DeVita who founded USA’s National Biomechanics Day in 2016 and managed to engage more than 2000 students and teachers to participate in biomechanics activities in their schools. Paul is currently taking ‘Biomechanics Day’ worldwide and already nine countries have committed to celebrating the day.
Make sure you follow and support National Biomechanics Day on April 6th this year.
It also gives me pleasure to inform you that the ISB2017 Congress is progressing well with over 1200 abstracts received from around the globe. Abstracts have now been reviewed and delegates notified of their acceptance. Please make sure you visit the ISB2017 website to take advantage of the early-bird registration and check that your ISB membership is current so you can take advantage of a further discount. All of the keynote speakers are confirmed and the pre-congress tutorials have something for everyone.
I am delighted to say that ISB2017 is being held in conjunction with the Asian Pacific Association of Biomechanics (APAB) and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Biomechanics (ANZSB) and will also include one and a half day concurrent sessions by two ISB Working Groups; Hand and Wrist Biomechanics International and the Motor Control Group. APAB and the Working Groups have guaranteed an excellent line-up of speakers. Satellite symposia by the Footwear Biomechanics Group and the Technical Group on Computer Simulation are also planned to take place prior to the conference on Queensland’s iconic Gold Coast, which is only one hour south of Brisbane. Both of these meetings conclude on the 22nd of July, which gives delegates plenty of time to travel to Brisbane to take part in the ISB Tutorials, which are scheduled for the morning and afternoon of the 23rd of July.
In closing I would like to encourage you all to join us in Brisbane for the XXVI Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics. Your participation in the congress will go a long way toward maintaining the sustainability of our society and its future congresses.