- Lisa Green
The first NextBio Travel Grant was such a smashing success that we have decided to continue the program!
I am extremely happy that the NextBio Travel Grant will continue. I remember how hard it was to live on a grad student stipend and what a relief it was when I received $500 from my department to offset the costs of attending a conference. But much more clearly than I remember the financial strain of attending conferences as a student, I remember the excitement of attending those conferences. So many ideas, so many high-bandwidth conversations, so many people passionate about their work – all gathered together in a wonderfully enriched and rarified environment.
- Lisa Green
On Friday I attended the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference held in San Francisco. It was an exciting day of talks including the announcement of the transfer of a large amount of Merck data into the public domain through the new non-profit entity, Sage.
Many of the conference talks addressed the problem of accessing and connecting massive amounts of biological data, including the talk given by my colleague, NextBio cofounder Ilya Kupershmidt. I’ll readily admit I am biased – I think Ilya is the bee’s knees – but I thought Ilya did an exceptional job addressing these issues. He detailed the challenges of effectively leveraging the ever-increasing collection of biological data in a clear and logical manner and then went on to present a compelling approach.
While the last day of a conference generally tends to be fairly low energy, Ilya’s talk created an audible buzz and several enthusiastic conversations. It could be that the vaguely coffee-flavored beverage served by the conference center was actually some kind of GMO supercoffee, but my bet is that the energy was brewed up by Ilya’s talk.*
*My apologies to those who do not share my love of bad puns
Last night Creative Commons held a salon in San Francisco with short talks given by several members of the Creative Commons team including John Wilbanks from Science Commons.
John is an excellent speaker whose enthusiasm reveals his passion for improving science. He gave a thought-provoking talk about creating a network effect in science similar to the effect that drove the evolution of ARPANET into the Internet we know today.
- Lisa Green
Are you a graduate student who would like to attend a scientific conference but is concerned about the expense? Apply for the NextBio travel grant!
Attending scientific conferences is important for graduate students. Unfortunately, many students find the expense of attending a conference to be a significant barrier. I remember even with the budget-stretching strategy of sleeping on the couch in a hotel room full of grad students, attending my first national conference took up a noticeable share of my monthly stipend.