Beyond the genome and onto the web

Organising a conference feels a bit like the final stages of a PhD: spending months scouring the scientific literature, a gradual increase in stress levels, followed by three manic days on a diet consisting entirely of coffee.

As an organizer of the third Beyond the Genome meeting, hosted by Genome Medicine and Genome Biology and recently held in Boston MA, I had much this experience despite having little to worry about. Thanks to the sterling work of the BioMed Central commercial and events teams, the meeting ran very smoothly, and the committee of James Lupski, David Dooling, Oliver Rando and John McPherson had assembled a fantastic speaker program packed with world-leading researchers.

However, I was so busy at the conference that I find I have come home with barely any notes about many of the excellent talks. Luckily, in the era of the internet and social media there are many ways of sharing content from conferences, and, in the spirit of “open access” to the meeting, I have rounded up some of these below.

Firstly, on the most formal level, the abstracts presented at the conference have been published as a supplement to the journal BMC Proceedings, and Genome Medicine will be publishing a full meeting report later in October.

Some of the speakers’ slides are available on the conference website and we hope to add more, so please do check back.

The informatics workshop included a hands-on challenge, set by David Dooling, Mike Schatz and James Taylor. The winner solved the challenge within 45 minutes, but the information and files are available (including a walkthrough solution) so that you can still give it a try.

For all meeting info, follow @beyondthegenome and use hashtag #BtG2012

— Genome Medicine (@GenomeMedicine) September 27, 2012

On a more informal level, tweeting and blogging of academic conferences have become commonplace over the past few years, although there has been (yet more) debate over the past couple of days about the ethics and etiquette of this. The Beyond the Genome meeting had a hashtag (#btg2012) and a transparent opt-out policy (attendees were free to use social media unless speakers indicated otherwise).

For a live roundup of the talks, see Oliver Hofmann’s notes and for a more nuanced summary, Stephanie Hicks’ blog. @blueseq has compiled all the tweets from the conference, and Yaniv Erlich has created a Google Doc that automatically collects and analyses these. The tweets and blogs, along with some relevant links, are also collected on my storify.

If you have written your own blog, or have come across any other roundups of the conference, please let us know in the comments.

#btg2012 is now over and we’re handing over to @genomebiology for @beyondthegenome 2013 Hope you can come!

— Genome Medicine (@GenomeMedicine) October 2, 2012

Finally, if you have found the above links interesting, why not register for updates about Beyond the Genome 4, in San Francisco CA, 1-3 October 2013.

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