Message from the Program Officer
I hope everyone is excited about the upcoming 2008 SICB meeting, as it should be one for the record books! We received 1002 abstracts, making it one of SICB's largest meetings ever. To cover all contributed and symposia submissions, there will be eleven concurrent oral presentation sessions each day plus 375 poster submissions that will be displayed in groups of 125 on each of the three full meeting days. All contributed oral and poster sessions were created at the Programming Meeting the first weekend of October. Please thank your divisional Program Officers for their hard work at this meeting.
There will be eight regular symposia covering a wide and wonderful range of topics. Each of these symposia has a full day of speakers planned and many have additional complimentary oral and poster sessions. For the first time, SICB will also have late-breaking symposia. Four were selected in September of this year for the 2008 meeting and these symposia are each a half day in length. I expect these presentations to be very interesting to the membership. I also predict that late-breaking symposia will be very popular in years to come!
Many interesting society-wide events will also occur at our January meeting. We all have come to expect excellent society-wide lectures, including the opening plenary (this year featuring Past-President Dr. Sally Woodin), the Bern lecture, and the Bartholomew Award lecture. We also all enjoy the welcoming social, coffee breaks and the end-of-meeting dessert social in honor of students and post-docs. In addition, this year we have two movie presentations to compliment the symposium, "Evolution versus creationism in the classroom." Dr. Randy Olsen will be present and showing/discussing his evolutionary-themed movie, "Flock of Dodos." There will be 5 free showings of it in the San Antonio Convention Center Theater - please check the meeting schedule for times. Please also look for the dodo (not Randy!) wandering around at the welcoming social. Dr. Richard Lutz will be discussing the issues he has faced in distributing his IMAX movie, "Volcanoes of the Deep" on the Friday evening of the conference. The movie has actually been banned in some areas for the evolutionary themes contained within. The IMAX theatre is less than a block from the conference hotel and discount tickets ($10) will be available at the SICB registration booth.
Finally, San Antonio is a wonderful city for an SICB meeting. Our hotel is on the city's riverwalk, the scenic destination in downtown that is surrounded by all types of restaurants and entertainment. Also make sure you wander around at street level - lots more ethnic eateries, craft galleries and we are only two blocks from The Alamo, the most visited monument in Texas. Due to renovations in our meeting hotel, the Marriott RiverCenter, our scientific sessions will be in the San Antonio Convention Center, an easy one block from the hotel. Like last year, this will allow us to have all 11 concurrent sessions in one location to facilitate moving between sessions. People were happy with this last year and I am hoping it will work well again. Registration and the exhibit hall for vendors, posters and coffee breaks will also be in the Convention Center. Society-wide lectures and some meetings will also occur in the Convention Center. The remainder will take place in the sister hotel for our meeting, the Marriott RiverWalk. To get from our hotel, the Marriott RiverCenter, to the Convention Center, you walk right through the Marriott RiverWalk.
The SICB Society Officers, the divisional Program Officers, the regular and late-braking symposia organizers, Burk & Associates, and I have worked hard to make your 2008 SICB meeting as productive and engaging as possible. We all look forward to seeing you in San Antonio at the start of the New Year!