The ISBM Newsletter is regularly distributed. The most current newsletter is from May 2021 and was edited by Susanne Fischer.
Letter from the Editor
Dear ISBM Members,
Nearly half of this year has flown by and if we are optimistic, we could say that we find ourselves at the verge of summer as we are now eagerly anticipating the first virtual ICBM 2021.
It has been a while since I have spoken to Sharon Simpson (Chair of the Local Organisation Committee), Olga MacAskill (Conference Secretary) and Judith Prins (Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee), about the postponing of the ICBM, which was originally to take place in Glasgow in 2020 (see the last issue of this Newsletter). Therefore, I was curious to hear about the experiences they have made whilst undertaking the immense task of translating a face-to-face conference into a virtual format that. If you are keen on learning more about the fascinating journey Sharon Simpson and Rebecca Jones (KC Jones Conference Organisation) have been on, please go to page 10. Luckily, I was also able to quiz Rebecca on how to best navigate in a virtual environment, so make sure to take her advice on board for a smooth conference experience!
Apart from the terrific scientific content that the Organisers have put together, the virtual ICBM 2021 will offer plenty of opportunities for attendees to get to know one another. As pointed out by the Editor in Chief of the IJBM, Michael A. Hoyt, in his letter, this year’s conference will witness the inaugural awarding of the Springer Awards for Excellence in Publication in Behavioral Medicine at the opening ceremony. For the participants early in their career, the ISBM’s early career network INSPIRE has organised a number of fun activities, which you will soon be able to access via the ICBM website. Please go to page 14 to learn more about the committee members and feel free to use meeting/networking hubs to connect with them during the conference (if you do not know what meeting/networking hubs are, check out Rebecca’s technical tips on page 13). Furthermore, there will be plenty of chances to learn from those with many years of experience during key notes, master classes, and various oral sessions.
Speaking of those who have provided guidance and inspiration to several generations of young researchers: I am very excited that the person I was able to interview for the luminaries in behavioural medicine section of this Newsletter is Emeritus Professor Christina Lee. Professor Lee is one of the most distinguished international experts in women’s health. On top of this, she has been instrumental in the organisation of several past ICBM’s and has dedicated six years of her academic life to being Editor in Chief of the IJBM. I vividly remember meeting Professor Lee in this role at the ICBM 2012 in Budapest and was now fascinated to learn more about her interdisciplinary career path and about where she currently locates the biggest gaps in in behavioural medicine. I also highly recommend to read her advice to young researchers on page 18.
For those interested in emerging topics of global relevance, I would like to draw your attention to the different viewpoints of individuals from our member societies on Artificial Intelligence (AI). This time, Kirstin Aschbacher, Monica Baskin, Anne H. Berman, Edmond Girasek, Colin Greaves, Shigeru Inoue, and Sakari Suominen have reflected on the promises and pitfalls of these new technologies as they apply to behavioural medicine.
Last but not least, this issue contains the final letter by Urs Nater, our current President. Turn this page to learn what he considers the ISBM’s biggest achievements since 2018 and where he thinks we are headed towards in the future. Dear Urs, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the brilliant ideas that you had for this Newsletter back when you were Editor, for your continuing support since then, and for all your numerous services to the ISBM in the past 13 years!
With this, I would like to close and to wish us all a joyful virtual gathering at the ICBM 2021!
Editor of the ISBM Newsletter