Minutes:2018 Mar ConfCall

Dial-in information


Venue: To be held by conference call on March 16, 2018, 11.00am EDT (15:00 UTC, 16:00 CET, 8.00am PDT). Note that at the time of the meeting, the US will have switched already to DST, whereas Europe will not, so the time zone difference is an hour less than it would normally be.
Dial-in Information: +1-857-216-2939 PIN: 62534 http://www.uberconference.com/hlapp

  1. Old business
  2. New business
    1. Term expirations and Elections for the Board (electronic ballot)
      • Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, running for Board member at-large
      • Yo Yehudi, running for Board member at-large
    2. Fiscal sponsor – experiences, lessons, possibilities



  • Directors: Hilmar Lapp, Peter Cock, Heather Wiencko, Nomi Harris, Chris Field, Karen Cranston
  • Guests: Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Yo Yehudi

Meeting called to order at 11.03am EDT, 15:03 UTC.

Old business

  • Oct 2016 BoD meeting minutes

New business

Hilmar welcomed B and Y and asked them to introduce themselves.

  • Term expirations and Elections for the Board (electronic ballot)
  • Introduction – Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, running for Board member at-large
    • Many many different open-source/science projects (OpenSNP is only one)
    • Mozilla!
    • Would like to get the OBF name out there, be more 
  • Introduction – Yo Yehudi, running for Board member at-large
    • Intermine
    • Open Science – increase open source in open science
    • Also involved with Mozilla
    • SSI fellow this year
    • Outreachy – not just GSoC but WiS, increasing diversity
  • We have quorum for voting
    • 6/6 votes for Bastian and 6/6 votes for Yo!  Congrats to both!  
    • Action on Hilmar to add them to the Board mailing list etc.
  • Fiscal sponsor – experiences, lessons, possibilities
    • Our fiscal sponsor is SPI (https://spi-inc.org).
      • Dissolved our own incorporation and became an SPI associated project in 2012 (https://news.open-bio.org/2012/10/12/obf-now-spi-associated/).
      • Having a fiscal sponsor allows us to receive tax-exempt donations (501(c)3 in the US), without having to spend the effort of obtaining and maintaining our own 501(c)3 non-profit status.
      • One of the reasons we chose SPI over others was the good cultural fit (SPI is relatively hands-off) and tie-in with Debian-based bioinformatics community efforts (DebianMed). 
    • Encountered a number of pain points over the years
      • Financial reporting is behind and slow
      • Travel fellowships generally come from BOSC account – pretty quick
      • Other reimbursements from SPI generally take longer
      • Lack of financial reporting sometimes for extended periods of time, which makes it difficult to verify receipt of sponsorship commitments, for example.
      • Transferring some of our domain name assets to SPI did not go smoothly, many delays. Sysadmin side of SPI is too slow and unresponsive to be considered functional.
      • AWS billing on someone’s personal credit card (and reimbursing later) is a high risk for the individual.
    • There are more alternatives now than there were back in 2012. This might be a good time to consider their pros and cons.
    • SPI community includes associated projects that are similar to us, and hence should still be a good fit. The challenges seem to be precipitated by SPI not having paid staff, hence little to no accountability for meeting service level standards.

Any other business?

  • H3ABionet interaction – promotion of open science and open source across Africa

Hilmar moves to adjourn meeting at 11.51am EDT, 15:51 UTC. Peter seconds, approved by unanimous consent.