Would you like to make a difference in grassroots open bioinformatics?

About three years ago I nervously responded to a blog post from the OBF looking for board member applications from people who were interested in leading open science related initiatives. This went as well as I possibly could have hoped – both myself and the other applicant, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, officially joined the board in March of 2018 for a three-year term.

Over the last (nearly) three years, I’ve learned a lot and have participated in many OBF activities I can be proud of. We launched a new community-designed OBF logo (special thanks to Aleix Lafita-Masip and all the others who contributed!), I mentored the fabulous Deepashree Deshmukh, an Outreachy intern, to migrate the OBF website from its old mediawiki-based format onto a shiny new WordPress site, I joined the OBF GSoC org admin team alongside Sarthak Sehgal, and we launched an OBF newsletter. We’re still working on preparing an OBF Code of Conduct, which hopefully will be launched soon.

As I will step down from the board at the end of my term, I’d like to imagine that my replacement(s?) on the board will achieve even more significant impact. I’d also like to see the OBF leadership become more representative of bioinformatics as a whole, and all the different places and walks of life that bioinformaticians, open source coders, community managers, documentation writers, program managers, and other open science enthusiasts come from. 

As such, I am excited to announce that the OBF is seeking applications for new board members. If you would like to apply to join the leadership for an organisation that can make a difference in our community, that runs a fantastic yearly conference (BOSC), and has a budget to support fellowships and member projects – please do apply. I’d especially like to encourage applications from people outside who were born and/or live outside Europe or the United States – we haven’t had enough of your voices in the OBF leadership team to date and I’m certain you would add significant value to the team. I’m also very happy to answer informal queries at a personal level if it helps – feel free to ping me at yochannah [at] gmail dot com.

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