Biomechanics in South America

Posted on December 23, 2015

A report from our Economically Developing Countries officer Felipe Carpes

Right after the ISB Congress in Glasgow it took me a while to get updated on all the EDC activities. After a couple of months this short report brings some novelties to the ISB members. Once again I would like to invite all members to take part in the EDC programs and contribute to the development of Biomechanics in the economically developing countries.

As you remember, during the ISB Congress the EDC Micro Grant Competition was held. The two projects awarded received the grant and have started work on their projects. Prof Le Li sent us a report in which he acknowledge to the ISB in the project and University’s website. Take a look! Early in 2016 the EDC officer will request updates on the activities of all the EDC programs that are in the ISB website. The idea is to help these projects to get disseminated and also to bring attention of other members willing to contribute to the EDC projects!

In South America we also have some news that I want to tell you. Last November during a Biomechanics Conference in Medellin it was possible to discuss with Colombian researchers the advances of Biomechanics in Colombia and also try to help them solving questions and difficulties in the establishment of the Colombian Society of Biomechanics. A major difficult in Colombia is the limited number of researchers engaged in biomechanics. However, this reality starts to change. They organized a biannual congress in which participants from different parts of the country are able to come (this year, Prof. Marco Vaz – former ISB executive council member – and I had the honor to be the international invited speakers). I have no doubt that Colombia will very soon establish their Biomechanics Society and when it happens, we will give all support so they can become an affiliated society of the International Society of Biomechanics.

Felipe Carpes and Marco Vaz in Colombia

Felipe Carpes and Marco Vaz in Colombia

Impressive fast and significant advances are also noted in Chile. In the previous two years I have been in contact with some Chilean researchers involved in biomechanics and related fields. They attended some events in Brazil and after the ISB Congress in Natal they definitely decided to establish their society. And it happened! Last October, during a travel to Chile to participate in a congress, Prof. Walter Herzog was the keynote speaker in the founding meeting of the Chilean Society of Human Movement Sciences. I asked prof. Walter Herzog for a short report of his visit to Santiago:

"On October 28th, 2015, the Chilean Society of Human Movement Science was officially formed. There were approximately 40 scientists from Chile at the all morning meeting. Mauricio Delgado from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile Joel Álvarez of the Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación were leading the proceedings. The aim of the society is to be registered as a not for profit organization within the next six months, organize a first scientific conference of the society in the fall of 2016, and work towards becoming an affiliated society of the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB). The general mission statement of the society is to foster human movement science research in Chile, allow for better communication and use of resources in human movement science in Chile, and to establish an international profile, in part with the help of the International Society of Biomechanics. I gave a 30 minute presentation on the expectations of an ISB affiliated society and the rules and processes that need to be followed to become an ISB affiliated society. The Chilean Society of Human Movement Science plans to officially apply for affiliated status at the 2017 ISB conference in Brisbane Australia."

The Chilean Society of Human Movement Science

The Chilean Society of Human Movement Science

I was in Santiago two weeks ago and I can tell you this group is highly motivated. Walter’s visit and talk were (of course) fundamental to motivate the entire group. Particularly, I considered a vey interesting strategy to establish a “Human Movement Science Society” since in Chile the number of researchers working specifically in biomechanics is not as big as it is in Brazil (for example). Therefore, they were able to put together people from different fields (physical education, physiotherapy, neuroscience, engineering and others), which can be very productive. It can be a good strategy for others countries willing to establish scientific societies that will also leverage biomechanics. Want to learn more about this? Take a look at some photos and a video of the activities!

Well, 2015 is almost over. Time to plan for 2016. As your EDC officer my main goal is to promote activities that can benefits economically developing countries. Among the specific purposes for 2016 is a complete update in information from the EDC programs we have in our website, proving the ISB members with information about the progress of those projects and also hear from the coordinators the difficult they may have been experiencing in the last year. Hopefully we will be able to use the mentorship tool of ISB to help EDC proposals as well. Together the whole executive council we will keep working to promote opportunities of sponsorship for EDC projects. Finally, and perhaps the most important, if any of you are interested in join this team and help the EDC program, please let me know.


Best wishes for the holidays!

Felipe P Carpes

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