Our « Data scientists for life » came together at our community conference, the SIB days, held last week in Biel/Bienne. Over two days, about 340 members and employees from across Switzerland and representing the scientific diversity of Swiss bioinformatics met, presented their latest work and put their heads together to tackle some of the cutting-edge challenges in the field of data science: data and code sharing, data privacy, algorithmic fairness and more. A few highlights.

SIBdays drone 340 software developers, computational biologists and biocurators who took part in the SIB Days 2020. Credit: Frédéric Burdet

About the SIB days

Organized every two years, the SIB days are the scientific conference and community event of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Its ambition is to give a voice to the institute's 85 groups across Switzerland, through a diversity of bioinformatics topics, and to offer its members and employees opportunities for learning and discussion about each other’s research and activities in a friendly atmosphere.

For the first time since 2018 and after a fully virtual event in 2020, the SIB days took place in person on 14 and 15 June in Biel/Bienne. An inspiring programme was put together by the Scientific Committee, and featured a healthy mix of fundamental and applied data science, formats (keynotes, talks and poster pitches, tutorials and workshops) and afterwork activities:

  • 54 speakers incl. 2 inspiring keynotes by Antonella Chadha Santuccione from the Women's Brain Project on « Sex and gender differences as a biological variant: the work of the Women's Brain Project » and Johannes Rainer from Eurac Research on « The power of Open Software Development in metabolomics research » (more);
  • 8 thematic sessions across life science domains: environment, evolution, genes and genomes, medicine and health, methods, proteins and proteomes, structural and systems biology (more);
  • 9 workshops and tutorials, from protein structure prediction to sex biases in data science and algorithmic fairness (more);
  • 1 panel discussion “Who is afraid of data sharing?”, with biomedical research, legal, ethical and technical experts, which explored why data-sharing is so essential, what challenges and risks it poses, and what this means for researchers as well as for data-donating citizens and patients (more);
  • a great summer party at the Römerhof farm!

Explore the full programme