International biophysics conference attracts largest numbers for three years

Photo: Jon Davey

The latest World Biophysics Congress, held in Edinburgh in July, was the largest in the field for three years, with just over 1,300 registered participants from 52 nations, 230 invited speakers, 35 scientific sessions and more than 900 posters.

The opening and closing lectures were both from Nobel laureates – the UK’s Venki Ramakrishnan and Bob Lefkowitz of the US – with top-quality science from invited speakers and young scientists alike.

Significant revenue from 38 exhibitors and sponsorship opportunities guaranteed numerous bursaries, as well as supporting some superb and fun social events, including whisky and beer tasting, as well as a traditional ceilidh with a contemporary twist – beating the retreat at the end of

Photo: Jon Davey

the congress ensured everyone departed with a distinct memory of the event.

Local hosts for this triennial congress were the British Biophysical Society and the IOP’s Biological Physics Group, with support from the International Union of Biophysics (IUPAB) and the European Biophysics Societies (EBSA). When compiling the scientific programme, expert opinion was sought from highly experienced chairs in a very democratic way, resulting in a good global representation of the

vibrant nature of biophysics. The cross-, multi- and interdisciplinary nature of biophysics was evident throughout the five parallel sessions each day.

Photo: Jon Davey

On the first day of the congress, a Scottish piper welcomed everyone to the convention centre and was shortly

followed by a public lecture by the University of Cambridge’s Chris Dobson, entitled Alzheimer’s: A 21st Century Plague. This was attended by more than 200 members of the public including sufferers, and a significant number of registered conference participants – about 1,200 people – came along too.

This major event was four years in the planning and the organisers proved a great group to work with.

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Anthony Watts

Anthony Watts

Professor Anthony Watts is a professor of biochemistry at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Biology and the Biophysical Society. He served as chair of the Scientific Committee fortheIUPAB/EBSA/BBS/IOP Biophysics Congress in 2017.
Anthony Watts
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