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FEBS Special Sessions

Alongside the core research-focused scientific program of the FEBS Congress, FEBS committees and working groups are organizing sessions of wide general interest to molecular life scientists – on education, research and career skills, 'science and society', and gender issues. These provide a contrast to the scientific symposia, with opportunities to hear about research-related interests such as teaching in the molecular life sciences, soft skills for researchers, and subjects for debate. The topics and speakers for these FEBS Special Sessions are announced later than the core Congress scientific program and details will be gradually added here over the coming weeks.

FEBS Special Session on Gender Issues in Science 

Sunday July 7; 16:15–18:15. Chair: Cecilia Arraiano, Portugal

Women and men should have the same opportunities across all science disciplines. Different careers are possible – e.g. academia, industry – but we have always to address gender issues if we want to ensure diversity to support the quality of research and innovation. A culture of collaboration implies the inclusion of both men and women solving problems facing society. The session will present and discuss how we can avoid discrimination and significantly contribute to the progress of science.

Speakers include:
• Isabelle Vernos – member of the ERC’s Scientific Council since 2011 and Chair of the ERC’s Gender Balance Working Group. She is a research professor at ICREA (Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats), Centre de Regulació Genòmica, Barcelona, Spain.
• Maren A. Jochimsen – Vice President and Managing Director of the European Platform of Women Scientists, and Professor at Essen College of Gender Research, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

FEBS Special Session on Science & Society – Personalised medicine: a future vision 

Tuesday July 9; 16:15–18:15; Organized by the FEBS Science and Society Committee

The advance in the knowledge of the human genome and in the technology that allows it to be sequenced, analyzed and compared, is allowing the beginning of a new era in the study of human diseases. Likewise, it opens new opportunities to develop tailor-made treatments, especially to understand and treat rare diseases, as well as new ethical challenges in the use of biomedical information. 

Chairs: Emmanouil Fragkoulis, Greece; Isabel Varela-Nieto, Spain
• An introduction to personalised medicine, Stylianos E. Antonarakis, Switzerland
• Bioethics and personalised medicine, Andrzej Kochanski, Poland
• Precision medicine of rare diseases and the link with common disorders, Francesc Palau, Spain

FEBS/IUBMB Special Sessions on Education 

Session 1 – Creative teaching: Effective learning in life sciences education

Monday July 8; 16:15–18:15; Co-organized by the FEBS and IUBMB Education Committees

How do we go about fostering effective learning in our students through the use of creative teaching methods? How do we bring together student-centred approach, active learning and ideal doses of creative activity? This session will explore the nature and value of creative teaching and propose a number of strategies that life sciences educators should consider if they hope to graduate the future scientists of 21st century society.

Chairs: Luciane Vieira de Mello, UK; Laszlo Dux, Hungary
• Enhancing your classroom teaching by integration of open online courses, Peter de Jong, Netherlands
• Student-activating methods of teaching in life sciences, Michal Nowakowski, Poland
• Undergraduate teaching laboratories the transformative impact of learning technologies, Bill Heslop, UK
Panel discussion and Q&A

Session 2 – Title TBC
Tuesday July 9; 16:15–18:15; Co-organized by the FEBS and IUBMB Education Committees

Internationally recognized educational innovators Eric Mazur and Joan J. Guinovart will be the speakers of this session. Now is the time for FEBS educators to listen to their motivational talks and be inspired.

Chairs: Gul Guner Akdogan, Turkey; Jean-Luc Souciet, France
• TBA, Eric Mazur, USA
• Revamping postdoctoral training and education, Joan J. Guinovart, Spain


FEBS Special Session on Research and Career Skills

Wednesday July 10; 16:15–18:15

This session will provide short talks and small-group exercises on skills beyond the lab bench, including preparing scientific manuscripts and grant applications. More details will be provided soon.

FEBS Research and Careers Skills Workshop – Networking 

Monday July 8; 18:30–19:30; Organized by the FEBS Network Working Group

Following a popular session at last year’s FEBS Congress, this workshop will look again at the value of networking for scientists and a range of networking approaches for different aims, such as finding a collaborator or seeking a new academic position. Participants will take part in small-group discussions facilitated by FEBS-associated scientists, and one aim will be to generate and share a set of tips to take away and put into practice. The session will end with a short speed networking game. 

FEBS has twin commitments to high-quality publications and the promotion of molecular biosciences. As a charitable academic organization,
FEBS uses income from the journals to fund its diverse activities, including support for the FEBS Congress.