Summer School


The journals Nature and Science have recently received papers from two teams of researchers showing that the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form that could spread rapidly among a human population. Various national and international bodies have expressed concern that the safety and security of both the research worker and wider society needs to be considered before work of this kind is published in full. Set against this is the basic principle of openness in science: scientists should operate openly and publish their findings.

The Royal Society will host an international scientific meeting on 3rd and 4th April 2012 to discuss the practice and policy of H5N1 research, with a programme of talks and discussions organised by Professor John Skehel FRS and Professor Simon Wain-Hobson. This conference will discuss virus research, and the safety, security, and ethical aspects from the perspectives of researchers, publishers, policymakers and funders.

Confirmed speakers include: Dr Bruce Alberts, Professor Jeffrey Almond, Professor Paul Berg ForMemRS, David Brown, Dr Philip Campbell, Professor Peter Doherty AC FRS, Sir Gordon Duff, Dr Ron Fouchier, Laurie Garrett, Professor John Harris, Dr Thomas Inglesby, Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Dr Paul Keim, Professor Hans-Dieter Klenk, Professor Michael Osterholm, Professor Malik Peiris FRS, Sir John Savill, Bruce Schneier, Dr Ross Upshur, Professor Robert Webster FRS.


Journalists are welcome to attend the meeting. Pre-registration online is essential. The full programme and a link to the registration page can be found here:


Basic Research, Economic Value and Entrepreneurship - Best Practices of International Spin-off and Technologyparks
Tuesday| June 5, 2012 | 17:00 | IST Austria Klosterneuburg | Raiffeisen Lecture Hall

A lively and growing entrepreneurship and high-tech scene is important for the economic long-term strength of a region and country, in addition to macro-economic and other micro-economic impact factors. One important principle of IST Austria is to exploit the results of basic research, if possible, either via licensing or successful spin-offs. A joint company with the Lower Austrian eco plus will develop the spin-off area opposite the campus. But what does it take to start a successful technology- and spin-off-park close to a first-class basic research institute? What are the international role models and best practices? A high-level international panel will discuss these questions and try to provide answers.

Science-Industry Talks
This event series is a joint initiative of IST Austria and the Federation of Austrian Industries, as a signal for the good partnership between industry and basic research in Austria. The event takes place regularly to enable the intellectual exchange of opinions and facts between science and business. With this event, IST Austria would like to express its gratitude to President Sorger for his tireless commitment dedicated to the establishment and advancement of our Institute.

A free shuttle is provided to / from IST Austria
16:20 from Haus der Industrie, Schwarzenbergplatz 4, 1031 Vienna
Return from IST Austria at 21:00 to Haus der Industrie for registered participants.

REGISTRATION: Please register for bus and event via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Looking forward to welcoming you at IST Austria,
Ursula Gerber
Public Outreach and Events
IST Austria
Am Campus 1
A-3400 Klosterneuburg

ABSW visit to the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge

 20th April 2012

There is an opportunity for ABSW members to visit the WellcomeSanger Institute on Friday 20th April from 1:30-5pm. Over the courseof the afternoon members will hear from the Director of the Institute and aselection of the Institute’s researchers as well as going on a full guided tourof the facilities.
Research at the Institute is varied and addressesissues that may impact us all directly. Mainstream media frequently coverstheir high profile research. Stories which have been highlighted recentlyinclude: the publication of the full gorilla genome sequence, cataloguing themutations present in Tasmanian devil cancer, and a key discovery inunderstanding how the most deadly species of malaria parasite, Plasmodiumfalciparum, invades human red blood cells.
There is very limited space so please complete thebooking form (as per the link below) ASAP if you wish to attend.
For more information please contact Lizzie Crouch (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).A full programme will be sent out when all the spaces for the day have beenfilled.


The International Conference on Science Communication (Journées Hubert Curien) will take place in Nancy (France) from 4 to 7 September 2012. Open to all science communicators (researchers, PhD students, science journalists, science and technology museum curators, communication officers...)


Les Journées Hubert Curien auront lieu à Nancy du 4 au 7 septembre 2012. Le colloque est ouvert à tous les chercheurs, doctorants, chargés de médiation scientifiques, communicants, journalistes scientifiques, responsables et animateurs de musées et centres de science... Faites passer l'info !

How to register: Click on this link (registration form online):

PRESS RELEASE - March 11, 2012 

8th World Conference of Science Journalists,
Helsinki, Finland, June 24 – 28, 2013


WCSJ 2013 Call for Proposals for the 8th World Conference on June 24–28, 2013.

People wishing to give papers or organize complete sessions for the program  for the 8th World Conference on June 24–28, 2013, are invited to submit proposals electronically at the website

The conference will include a pre-conference day (24 June) with skill building workshops, three full conference days and day  (28 June) for tailored post-tours.  The conference language is English.

The main themes for conference days are:

25 June Theme: Our common values

26 June Theme: Our exciting work

27 June Theme: Our vulnerable world

Papers and proposals may include (but are not restricted to) these main themes or other common topics like:

- How to read scientific results – and make news

- Practice your social media skills

- Climate change, what about journalism

- Medical journalism in 2020

- Risks, frauds and public relations

- “Muzzling” scientists?

- Culture and science journalism

- Modern ways to earn with science journalism

- The role of national science journalists´ associations

- New ways to change the world with journalism

Please, note also possibilities to discuss about actual science topics, like new technology, drugs and vaccinations, health promotion, science policy, globalization, GMO, food production,  water problems, etc.

To propose a paper, please submit an abstract through the conference management system in on 15 May 2012 at the latest.

Please, find the web link and more information at our website

Welcome to Helsinki!

Ulla Järvi
Chair of the WCSJ 2013 Organizing Committee

Eeva Pitkälä
Conference Director

IST Lecture on April 12, 17:00 at the IST Austria Campus in Klosterneuburg.

Studying interneurons at the cellular and network level

 Thursday | April 12, 2012 | 17:00 | IST Austria Klosterneuburg | Raiffeisen Lecture Hall

Hannah Monyer is Head of the Department of Clinical Neurobiology and the Interdisciplinary Center of Neurosciences of the University of Heidelberg. She has received a series of prestigious awards for her research, including the German Federal Cross of Merit and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, and was awarded an ERC grant in 2009. Hannah Monyer’s work focuses on GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in spatial representation and memory. Monyer presents her studies on the role of GABAergic neurons in long- and short-term spatial learning by interfering in their recruitment. Monyer illustrates how she studies connectivity of GABAergic interneurons using optogenetics, a revolutionary method using light to switch neurons “on” or “off”.

Further information:

Please register for the lecture (and shuttle bus) by hitting the reply button or via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Free shuttle buses are provided to / from the campus:
Shuttle 1: 16.12 from U4 Heiligenstadt/ public bus stop (return from IST campus at 18:48)

Shuttle 2: 16:00 from the Center for Brain Research, Spitalgasse 4, 1090 Wien (return from IST campus at 19:00)

IST Lectures aim to introduce eminent researchers and their work to a scientific audience and the general public. IST Lectures are given in English, refreshments are served.  
Looking forward to welcoming you at IST Austria,

Ursula Gerber
Public Outreach and Events
IST Austria
Am Campus 1
A-3400 Klosterneuburg


Science Showoff 5 featured cement, live art and some very amorous rabbits. What will Science Showoff 6 feature? You decide!

The gig is on Tuesday 6th March, same time, same place: The Wilmington Arms, Clerkenwell, London at 7pm.

To sign-up, please click here: As ever, the first seven to sign-up get to perform, and there is one slot for a reserve who might be called upon if one of the original seven drops out.

p.s. Anyone in Brighton or who can travel to Brighton might be interested in coming along to our first non-London gig on Wednesday next week. Details of the line-up and venue are here:

The Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2012 promises to be Europe’s largest ever general science meeting, and will be held in Dublin in July (11th-15th). Registration is now open, and delegates who register before 28 March can take advantage of a reduced fee. There are also opportunities to submit proposals for the Science-2-Business programme and travel grants will be awarded to a number of qualifying journalists.

The European Commission is a major supporter of ESOF2012, and we hope that the widely varied and exciting programme will attract thousands of European and international scientists, researchers, innovators, science communicators and policy makers.

You will find further information and registration details at:

Science Showoff is back again at the Wilmington Arms (, Clerkenwell, on Tuesday 7th February at 7pm.

Can we beat last month's gig, which featured a stunning aria from an opera singer-turned-pharmacologist and the funniest best man's speech I've ever heard? Will we smash the new charity donation record we set of £455.85? I hope so.

Next week, Helen Arney will let the audience sing-a-long to a tune about time, space, maths and philosophy. Rhys “Lightning” Phillips will look at what happens when planes are hit by lightning (plus, why do some songwriters think that lightning is "very very frightening"?). And we'll go a bit CSI when our very own techie Helen Clarkson explains how forensic scientists identify human remains in mass disasters and gang crime scenarios.

Full line-up here: Please come along, and please give generously to our chosen charity, the London Wildlife Trust We recommend a donation of £5. And because it's Valentine's Day this month, the person who donates the most gets a kiss on the cheek from me (or from our compere Steve Cross, if you ask really nicely).

Best wishes,

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ESOF2012, Europe’s largest general science conference, is coming to Dublin. Over the 5 days of July 11th-15th 2012, more than 5,000 scientists, business leaders, policy makers and international media will come together to discuss the current global scientific challenges.

A critical element to the conference is the Science to Business Programme which will offer delegates the opportunity to engage with business experts irrespective of what stage their idea, business or their entrepreneurial career might currently be located.

If you want to be part of these discussions now is the time to act.  ESOF 2012 is looking for creative and exciting session proposals that address the key issues facing entrepreneurs from a science background.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is the 13th of February 2012.

To submit a proposal, please follow the link to Criteria for proposals are available here along with instructions on how to make a submission.

Both I and the rest of the ESOF2012 team are available to answer any queries you may have about ESOF2012. My contact details are below and further info can be found at

We look forward to seeing you in Dublin for ESOF2012.   

Emma Critchley, Programme Coordinator
Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser
Wilton Park House, Wilton Place
Dublin 2, Ireland

P:            +353 1 607 3044
F:            +353 1 607 3059
E:            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @esof2012
Linkedin: Euroscience Open Forum 2012

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