COVID-19 has disrupted the world, but also has highlighted the growing importance of international cooperation in science. Adapting to these unprecedented times, Janelia Research Campus is organizing an online seminar series with an initial participation of 8 “sister” scientific institutes around the world. This series, which also will be open to the scientific community, will expose our researchers and trainees to science and science culture in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Through this seminar series, our sister institutes also may develop new ideas for collaborations and scientific exchanges. We hope that this series will reveal how communication of science across borders can increase knowledge and advance solutions to global problems.
The Initial Sister Institutes
Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Ashburn, Virginia, USA
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA
University of Buenos Aires/CONICET; Buenos Aires, Argentina
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology; Cambridge, United Kingdom
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Cape Town University; Cape Town, South Africa
European Molecular Biology Laboratory; Heidelberg, Germany
National Centre for Biological Sciences: Bangalore, India
Center for Life Sciences, Peking and Tsinghua Universities; Beijing, China
The Sister Institute Seminar Series (SISS) will take place every week on Wednesday, beginning July 1 using Zoom webinar with the order of institutes that shown above. The times will be 9 am for US ET, 10 am Buenos Aires, 2 pm UK, 3 pm Central Europe and South Africa, 6:30 pm India, and 9 pm Beijing. We hope that the sister institutes will participate live, but recorded talks also will be available on a YouTube website. We will evaluate the interest level and format of this series at 3‑month intervals. Each of the 8 sisters will have 3 turns in a 6‑month time period.
Each institute will host 2 talks per 1‑hour seminar. The first talk (25 min + 10 min Q&A) will be a traditional scientific seminar, but framed for a broad audience of biologists from different disciplines. Institutes will select excellent scientists and communicators, and the topics can be broad within the biological sciences. The second talk (15 min + 5 min Q&A) will cover some unique aspect of their institutional culture (for example — training program, unique program for conducting science, collaborative project, education, public outreach, community mission, etc). Talks will be moderated, and questions can be asked at the end of each talk using the chat function.
Zoom webinar will be used for live presentation and Q&A, technically facilitated by Janelia’s A/V team. No advanced registration will be required.
The Institute Director, or comparable host, will introduce the speakers.
Dr. Janine Stevens will facilitate each session, including starting the seminar and facilitating Q&A.
Dedicated slack channel will be used for each presenter for follow-up Q&A and discussion, or for later interactions between researchers at the Sister Institutes.
Talks will be recorded and posted to dedicated page on YouTube for on-demand viewing.
Local advertising, critical for success, will be managed by each host institution (social media, websites, email blasts, etc).
Janelia will coordinate the organization and technical aspects of the series with input from all partner institutions.