international online community for dna barcoding professionals
Interest in the Fourth International Barcode of Life Conference is running very high so the organizers want to be sure that everyone has a chance to participate. Accordingly, the original 15 May deadline for submission of abstracts has been extended to 15 June. The deadline for applications for travel bursaries from developing countries has also been extended to 15 June 2011.
Looking back at the International Barcode Conferences that have taken place every two years it's easy to see how far DNA barcoding has come.
The agenda for the First Barcode of Life Conference (London, February 2005) included 28 invited speakers, all of whom gave their presentations in a single plenary hall. There were no open calls for contributed talks and only a handful of volunteers prepared poster displays. The organizers of the Second Barcode of Life Conference (Taipei, September 2007) invited 39 speakers and received 135 abstracts for poster display. By the time of the Third Barcode Conference (Mexico City, November 2009) it was clear that interest in barcoding had grown too large to fit into four days using just a plenary format. More than 250 abstracts were received and reviewed. Plenary sessions were held in the morning; half the speakers gave invited talks and the other half were selected from contributed abstracts. There were seven parallel technical sessions each afternoon and 79 abstracts were presented as posters.
For the Adelaide conference, the Program Committee decided that all plenary talks would be selected from contributed abstracts. None of the presentations will be invited talks except for the opening Keynote Address. By resisting the temptation to invite their favorite presenters, the Program Committee has made this a true ‘bottom-up’ conference. They're also challenging the barcoding community to step forward with the exciting, innovative presentations that will make the conference a memorable success.
The parallel technical sessions will also reflect the directions that the community is taking, not the organizers. The abstract submission form has a list of almost 30 session topics that have been proposed. If your abstract doesn’t fit into one of these, then propose a new topic! The organizers are dedicated to making the conference four days of top-quality science and a look into the future of DNA barcoding.