BOSC 2015 Panel – increasing diversity

Every year, BOSC includes a panel discussion that offers all attendees the chance to engage in conversation with the panelists and each other. Two months ago we announced the theme of the BOSC 2015 panel would be “Open Source, Open Door: increasing diversity in the bioinformatics open source community”. Our complete list of panellists is:

  • Panel chair Mónica Muñoz-Torres (@monimunozto) is the lead biocurator at Berkeley Bioinformatics Open-Source Projects (BBOP). She is part of the development teams for Web Apollo (a web-based annotation editor designed to support community-based curation of genomes) and the tools of the Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium. She co-leads the Community Curation group within the global initiative to sequence and annotate the genomes of 5,000 arthropods (i5K Initiative), and is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Biocuration (ISB). As a graduate student, Monica founded the first Southeastern Chapter of the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) at Clemson University; the chapter has since been actively involved in outreach activities to local high schools in an attempt to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. She is currently working on forming the first professional chapter of SACNAS in the San Francisco Bay area.
  • Holly Bik (@hollybik) is a Birmingham Fellow (assistant professor) in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her research uses high-throughput environmental sequencing approaches (rRNA surveys, metagenomics) to explore biodiversity and biogeographic patterns in microbial eukaryote assemblages, with an emphasis on nematodes in marine sediments. Through active collaborations with computer scientists and participation in software development projects, her long-term research aims to address existing bottlenecks encountered in –Omic analyses focused on microbial eukaryotes.
  • Michael R. Crusoe (@biocrusoe) is the lead for the k-h-mer project at C. Titus Brown’s Lab for Data Intensive Biology at the University of California, Davis in the School of Veterinary Medicine. A community-minded bioinformatics research software engineer and Software Carpentry instructor, he is also a member of the Debian Med software packaging team. Michael’s social justice background includes a prior seat on the board for the Phoenix, Arizona chapter of GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and he is proud to be a supporter of the Ada Initiative.
  • Aleksandra Pawlik (@aleksandrana) is a Training Lead at the Software Sustainability Institute at Manchester University, UK. She coordinates training activities and helps develop strategies and curricula for teaching computational lab skills to researchers across disciplines at all stages of their research career. She is a member of the Steering Committees for Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry Foundation, and supports the development of both initiatives. Currently, Aleksandra is collaborating on training with the ELIXIR project supporting the bioinformatics community. As a certified Software and Data Carpentry instructor Aleksandra has taught at a number of workshops, including Software Carpentry for Women in Science and Engineering, which she co-organised.
  • Jason Williams (@JasonWilliamsNY) is the Lead of the iPlant Collaborative’s Education, Outreach, Training (EOT) group, based at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he has worked for over 10 years. He is also a Lead Instructor of “The Science Institute” at Yeshiva University High School for Girls, and the Treasurer of the Software Carpentry Foundation. His background is in molecular biology and bioinformatics. Diversity is a focus of Jason’s work at the DNA Learning Center and with iPlant, where he works to target outreach along the entire spectrum of underrepresented and underserved groups ranging from minorities in urban communities to first-generation college students at rural institutions.

In addition the BOSC 2015 co-chairs Nomi Harris and Peter Cock will be on hand, along with other Open Bioinformatics Foundation (OBF) Board Members and BOSC organising committee members, to comment on what BOSC and the OBF are trying to do to improve diversity in the open source bioinformatics community, and listen to suggestions.

P.S. Today is the deadline for discounted early registration, and the deadline to submit a late breaking lightning talk or poster abstract. See BOSC 2015 for more details.

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