Crossroads in Biology 2016
Highlights from the 2016 CiB meeting
Dr. Kurchi Bhattacharya, Alumna of IGSDHD and GSfBS wrote to us how she experienced CIB2016
22 February 2016
Going to conferences is one of the favorite aspects of being a scientist. As a PhD student, you spend a lot of time in your lab pipetting in solitude. A proven cure is talking to people! Being at a conference allows you to step back from the details of your own graduate research and think again about why you decided to become a scientist in the first place. It is stimulating!
On February 18th-19th 2016 an international and interdisciplinary crowd of students and veteran scientists, at all levels from grad students to senior faculty, flocked to the city of Cologne to attend the 6th international Crossroads in Biology (CiB) meeting. It is a biannual event organized BY the students, FOR the students. The meeting this year was all about crossing borders. With 12 eminent guest speakers from Europe, USA, and Australia, 4 excellent student speakers, 2 enlightening workshops, and 30 lively poster presentations, the CiB meeting was indeed a ‘one-stop shop’ where you could buy knowledge for FREE. It is a platform where you can link up with your peers but also see, hear, and question the experts in your field. Many of the names that you know well from citations were here at this meeting, walking around, drinking coffee, talking to you during the various breaks.
Terrific minds in Science discussed passionately about their fascinating fields of research (Cell Death and Immunity, Neurobiology in Health and Disease, Developmental Biology and Genetics) at this 2 day event.
The exhilarating speech by the Nobel Prize winner of chemistry 2014, Stefan W. Hell was like the 'cherry on the cake' for me. He took the audience of biologists on a journey through his career and personal hallmarks into the world of physics and shed light on Super Resolution Microscopy. All with a great portion of humor. His most inspiring note for me was “If you have an academic curiosity, if you work on a ‘risky’ but fascinating problem and yet remain not discouraged by anything or anyone, then nothing can stop you from reaching the pinnacle of success or even winning a Nobel Prize”.
Day 1 wrapped up with a get-together, networking continued over good food and music, small talks and humor. We made sure that our 8 leading event sponsors have visitors at their exhibition; a sponsor’s rally was a new feature where registered participants could go and chat with the company representatives, gather stamps on rally sheets and enter a ‘lottery’ to be conducted at the end of the meeting.
Day 2 had more in store for us, two science communication workshops, one concerning science and media, hosted in partnership with the UK-based charity organization ‘Sense about Science’ where we were once again reminded of our role as young scientists of bringing science to the public, backed with evidence and integrity. The other workshop was single-handedly run by the Chief-Editor of EMBO Journal, Bernd Pulverer where he emphasized on ‘Transparency’ in publishing and ‘Reproducibility’ of shared data.
The day closed with the much-awaited prize ceremony for best poster, best student talk and the sponsor rally winner.
Overall, the meeting saw many new faces in the poster alleys and on the workshop panel reflecting an increasing popularity of the meeting over the last years. For me the most memorable aspect of CiB apart from the scheduled proceedings was catching up with peers, chatting with speakers and sharing new hire stories (in industries)…and of course the goodie bag.
Three cheers for the organizers of CiB2016!