State of the Art – meet colleagues, network, be part of the debate

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Dear colleague

State of the Art is nearly here. Take a look at the updated programme on the conference for the latest news on our exciting line-up.

What else is new this year?  We have put more emphasis on networking, interaction and after-hours social options.  We would like State of the Art to be a unique chance to meet and exchange views with your UK colleagues, in a way that is harder to do at the big European meetings. 

Firstly, we want your input in the main sessions, and have taken steps to reduce the barriers to taking part.  We have introduced floor microphones by request, and there will be an online moderator to take Twitter questions (we will show you how to set this up). 

Secondly, many of the sessions will be set up for combined panel debates with all the speakers, to give everyone in the audience time to warm up and take part, (instead of the usual ‘blink and you miss it’ Q&A after each talk) and so that the speakers can exchange and create new ideas with the delegates and each other. 

Thirdly, in the exhibit and poster halls, we have two podium stages for some ‘soapbox’ sessions – a mixture of main speakers, ad hoc debates, and even an ‘open mic’ slot for your own ICM-related topics, when you have something you want to get off your chest.  How convincing can you be in 2 minutes? 

After hours, we now have evening receptions on both Monday and Tuesday (the latter sponsored by Aerogen), and the registration desk will remain open until 7pm on both evenings to give you advice, printed guides, and act as a meeting point for going out for the evening – whether in Docklands or in central London.  A couple of the more gastronomic and fun-loving ICS council & committee members (yes, we have resurrected one or two) are writing a quick guide to recommended dining and entertainment areas – advice definitely to be taken at your own risk. 

Unfortunately we can’t put on a gala dinner without wiping out the ICS education budget for the year, but we will be interested to hear your networking and social ideas for 2016.  These meetings should be as much about getting to know and learning from your colleagues as from the speakers, and we welcome your further suggestions.

See you there!

Ganesh Suntharalingam

State of the Art Programme Lead