Would the creation of a European Society for Systems Biology be valuable to the community?

The Systems Biology community in Europe is broad and diverse, as can be explored through this web portal. The integration of this community into an European scientific society could have, among others, a potential value in lobbying funding agencies, national and European funding programmes and regulatory bodies.

What is your opinion? Do you think that a branch of a currently existing society (i.e. the International Society for Systems Biology, ISSB) would cover the needs of this community or rather that only a new, independent European Society for Systems Biology could do? Or do you consider that there is no need for a Europe-specific society in the field of systems biology?

Centre for Genomic Regulation


-17 points

Very valuable to the SB community

I think the creation of a European Society for Systems Biology (SB) would be very valuable to the SB community. It will enable researchers to intensify collaborations fostering new research outcomes which will benefit both new future research and health innovation but even more important help (in the long run) to optimise Biologically Personalised Therapeutics on a pan European level.

Another important advantage is that young researchers in the SB field will be provided with a platform to gain additional knowledge, possibility to start a professional network but also one that provides the opportunity to work on research skills in general.

-32 points

Branch of a currently existing society

I fully support Colm's view, and would be strongly in favor taking the ISMB/ECCB as a model and set up ICSB/ECSB, where ECSB would be organized annually in Europe.

C4Sys - Center for Systems Biology
-45 points

Special interest group in a larger society

As a lapsed member of multiple biology societies I think best approach is one that requires least effort to join and administer e.g. ticking a box for a special interest group focussed on European Systems Biology when joining ISSB. That way the European specific group can benefit from the administration & membership base of the larger organisation and avoid all of the overhead that would come from setting up an entirely new society.

Even within the framework of a special interest European group in a larger society I think it would be difficult to focus solely on lobbying without other activities to encourage communication and participation of members from different countries. An annual conference would be a good idea - to allow people to meet regularly in person - with the possibility of a town hall meeting on lobbying if that is desired.

In the computational biology field ISMB/ECCB is a nice model. ECCB runs every year in Europe and every second year it becomes a merged ISMB/ECCB conference. One could see a similar approach with ICSB and a smaller European version.

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