President’s Blog – March, 2013

Posted on March 21, 2013

The weather is still cold in Cleveland, but we are already looking forward to the summer season and the scientific conferences we will attend.  As I’m sure you all know, the ISB will meet August 4-9 in Brazil. It always impresses me how many old friends and colleagues I meet at each ISB congress, no matter how far away it is.

This year, we gave travel grants ($1000 each) to 30 students who have submitted abstracts to ISB 2013.  This program was administered by Hae-Dong Lee, our student grants officer.  I was one of the reviewers of the grant applications, and reading those applications made me feel very good about the future of the society.  We have many student members who are smart and do good work.  But what really struck me was the large number of students who are already very well connected internationally, some have visited labs in other continents, some have moved permanently, and are likely to move again.  All are clearly comfortable with seeing the world as a village where they can find the people who can help them advance their career.  My hope is that many of them will become lifelong members of ISB. Some will certainly become leaders.

We were also able to put substantial resources into additional travel funding for students and faculty members from economically developing countries (EDC).  This was made possible by a generous donation of $26000 by the organizing committee of the 2011 Congress, led by Veronique Feipel.  The program was coordinated by Andrea Hemmerich (EDC committee chair) and several council members helped review applications.  A total of 10 faculty members and 10 students received support through this mechanism. All had submitted an application that included an abstract for ISB 2013. The amount of support depended on the economic status of the applicant country as well as the distance to Brazil. These grants are of enormous importance to the recipients. It is often their first opportunity to connect to the international scientific community. We are hoping that this program can become sustainable by additional sponsorship.

Those of you who submitted abstracts to the congress, if you are like me, were probably working right until the deadline to get the best possible abstract submitted.  You probably wish you had more time and more than two pages.  But guess what, you do have more time and space!  Until 1987, an ISB abstract had to be followed by a full 6-page paper for the proceedings which were published in book form.  We no longer publish proceedings this way, but there is no reason why an abstract could not be turned into a full manuscript and submitted to a journal before the congress even starts. This is a great way to produce a good manuscript and a good presentation at the same time, and to ensure that the work has the impact it deserves. Consider adding a footnote on the title page of the paper that says “This work was first presented at the 2013 Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics, Natal, Brazil.”  Acknowledge any financial support from the ISB, as well as from other grants.

Finally, I urge all members to cast their votes for the ISB executive council elections.  Past-President Julie Steele has coordinated the nomination process and has produced a slate of excellent candidates.  Nevertheless, we need your input to help select those that best represent the membership as a whole with all its geographic and disciplinary diversity.  More information about this year’s candidates can be found elsewhere in ISB NOW.

Ton van den Bogert
Cleveland, March 19, 2012

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