Dear Bio-IT community,
Before the end of the year, we would like to take the time to thank you all for your support, participation and contributions. We thankfully recognise that Bio-IT - a project spontaneously born within the EMBL Heidelberg community - still preserves its essence and aim. It is and always has been a community initiative, a way to join forces and share knowledge and ideas, reach common objectives, support each other.
Speaking of support, we are aware that these last years posed unique challenges. The pandemic changed our way of working: we moved our activities almost entirely online, often working from home, and we understand that this may have impacted your engagement and motivation. We encourage you to increase, decrease or change the form of your involvement however feels right for you at any time. We have no expectations, and we value all forms of contributions.
Moving all activities online had other types of impact. It allowed people from other sites to join our taskforce and other meetings, spontaneously (once again!) expanding our community. Our next taskforce meeting - on the 12th of January, you are all welcome to join - will probably feature participants from all EMBL sites! We are very happy to share with you the merits and gratification of this news.
Online (and more flexible) training also partially expanded our community and audience towards primarily experimental scientists and groups. We foresee that the freshly announced EMBL Open Science policy will strengthen multidisciplinary collaborations, and look forward to play our part in this process. The inputs and feedback of people at all levels of computational expertise will be fundamental to support it.
Also with the aim to guide newcomers through our training offer, in the last months we analysed and compared it to needs of the community collected through a survey. We are curating descriptive terms and extensively classifying our training course history and training materials, with the aim of building a platform where users will be able to consult them. This is done together with the Data Sciences Training work group, led by Georg Zeller, Cath Brooksbank and Monika Lachner, and with the precious help of the EMBL centers staff, GBCS and CBBCS. A special thank you goes to Christian Tischer, who from the very beginning enthusiastically joined the annotation effort.
Thank you Christian and all the others that joined the project as trainers this year. We will dare to list them all, sincerely apologising in advance if we miss anyone and inviting you to contact us in that case to take the credit you deserve. Antonio Politi, Constantin Ahlmann-Eltze, Wasiu Akanni, Nicolas Descostes, Sarah Kaspar, Mike Smith, Jakob Wirbel, Matt Rogon, Eva-Maria Geissen, Balint Meszaros, Manjeet Kumar, Toby Gibson, Jesús Alvarado Valverde, Jelle Scholtalbers, Josep Moscardo, Martin Larralde, Matthias Monfort, Francesco Tabaro, Jean-Karim Heriche, Charles Girardot, Vladislav Kim, Colin Sauze, Dominik Kutra, Lazlo Dobson.
Our lively participated activities include the bi-weekly coding clubs, emblr - R and EPUG - Python. These events are another brightful example of how getting together to share experiences, challenges, insights can be enjoyable and fruitful. Thanks to the coordinators and presenters: Tom Schwarzl, Constantin Ahlmann-Eltze, Katharina Imkeller, Marisa Metzger, Thea Van Rossum, Mike Smith, Maksim Kholmatov, Sarah Kaspar, Luoyan Yong, Eleonora Mastrorilli, Jelle Scholtalbers, Anthony Fullam, Benedikt Best, Gregor Moenke, Marco Raffaele Cosenza, Nikolaos Papadopoulos, Martin Larralde, Martin Schorb, Sudeep Sahadevan, Tristan Wiessalla.
Collaboration would never happen without communication. Thank you community for all the engagement that happens through the EMBL chat, so active that we will probably reach the one million post mark in January next year! A special thank you to our happiness enhancers and to Jelle, that manages the platform together with Renato. The same dream team, with the support of Jakob Wirbel, Christian Schudoma and Wasiu Akanni, administrates EMBL’s GitLab through which we can share our projects. For the technical support in these and other platforms, thanks to the entire GBCS team.
Last but not least, a cheerful thank you to Lisanna Paladin that joined the Bio-IT coordination team this year and helped invigorating the project with fresh energy, positivity, openness, FAIRness and awesomeness.
We are far from being able to thank each and every one of you the way we would like to. We hope you all share with us the feeling that Bio-IT is a quite unique example of collaboration and we encourage all inputs to make it more supporting and inclusive.
Finally, we wish you an happy holidays season, and look forward to start the new year with energy and drive!
Renato & Lisanna
Photo by Yoav Hornung