Home Programme » Special Sessions

FEBS Special Sessions

Alongside the core research-focused scientific programme of the Congress, FEBS committees and working groups are organizing sessions of wide general interest to molecular life scientists – on education, research and career skills, 'science and society', and gender issues. All interested participants are welcome. Schedule details for all sessions are on the Congress programme page.


This year's education topic at the Congress is the teaching of bioethics, which will be covered by a FEBS Special Session of talks and discussion followed by a Workshop. Organized by the FEBS Education Committee.

FEBS Special Session on Education – Bioethics education in molecular life sciences (Mon July 9; 15:30–17:30)
The field of bioethics explores the ethical issues arising due to advances in research and encompasses social, judicial and environmental aspects affecting human beings. The aim of this session is firstly to discuss the significance of “bioethical education” in molecular life sciences. The principles of bioethics, guidelines on conducting biomedical research, bioethics teaching experiences, and institutional policy to implement bioethical principles in graduate education will be presented and discussed by experts in the field. Faculty, postdocs and PhD students from all areas of molecular life sciences will find this session worthwhile to attend.
Chairs: Gül Güner Akdoğan, Turkey; Tomas Zima, Czech Republic

• Why teaching of bioethics matters, Chris Willmott, Leicester, United Kingdom
• Introduction of bioethics into molecular life science education: a timely requirement or just a personal opinion?, Rolf Heumann, Bochum, Germany
• Institutional policy to implement bioethics principles in graduate education, Hakan S. Orer, Istanbul, Turkey
• Discussion

FEBS Education Workshop – Developing bioethics case studies (Mon July 9; 17:30–18:30; with coffee)
Case studies in a variety of styles are established ways to get students engaged with the ethical consequences of developments in molecular biology. Building on from the talks of the bioethics education session, this workshop will offer some advice and training on developing case studies for use with molecular life science students.
Chairs: Chris Willmott, Leicester, UK; John Bryant, Exeter, UK

Research and Career Skills

A FEBS Special Session on Research and Career Skills and an associated Workshop will focus on key skills beyond the lab bench: writing and publishing scientific articles, and networking. Co-organized by the FEBS Publications Committee, FEBS Education Committee, and FEBS Network Working Group.

FEBS Special Session on Research and Career Skills – How to improve the value and impact of your scientific papers (Wed July 11; 15:30–17:30)
Chairs: Ferhan Sağın, Turkey; László Fésüs, Hungary

• Choosing a strong research question and producing an excellent paper: what I wish I knew years earlier, Seamus Martin, Dublin, Ireland
• Trends and ethical issues in open access publishing, László Fésüs, Debrecen, Hungary 
• How to increase the reach and impact of your paper, Violeta Ribarska, Oxford, United Kingdom
• Discussion 

FEBS Research and Careers Skills Workshop  Networking (Wed July 11; 17:30–18:30)
This workshop will look at the value of networking for scientists and a range of networking approaches for different aims, such as finding a collaborator or seeking a new academic position. Participants will take part in small-group discussions facilitated by FEBS-associated scientists and staff, and one aim will be to generate and share a set of tips to take away and put into practice. The session will end with a short speed networking game, and there will also be a chance to ask questions about the FEBS Network platform. Drinks will be served at the start and end of the session.

Science and Society

FEBS Special Session on Science & Society – Healthy microbiome, healthy host? (Tue July 10; 15:30–17:30)
Whilst we have known about our fellow bacterial travellers for many years, it has only been in recent years we have realised the effect that bacteria can have on their host. In this session we will explore the surprising links between the microbiome and the host. We’ll also consider the wider societal impact of diet, probiotics and antibiotics on the microbiome and thus the host. This leads us to the question of should factors that change the microbiome be regulated as drugs.
Chairs: Emmanouil Fragkoulis, Greece; Mark Roberts, UK

•  Introductory remarks by Mark Roberts
• The oral microbiome: stability, variation and benefits, Mike Curtis, London, United Kingdom
• Microbiome and Allergy, one aspect of a complex network, Domingo Barber Hernández, Madrid, Spain
• Modulation of the gut microbiota by probiotics and prebiotics, Koen Venema, Venlo, The Netherlands
• Discussion

Gender Issues in Science

FEBS Special Session on Gender Issues in Science (Tue July 10; 15:30 – 17:30)
Women and men should have the same opportunities across all science disciplines. Different careers are possible – e.g. academia, industry – but we have always to address gender issues if we want to ensure diversity to support the quality of research and innovation. A culture of collaboration implies the inclusion of both men and women solving problems facing society. The session will present and discuss how we can avoid discrimination and significantly contribute to the progress of science.
Chair: Cecilia Arraiano, Portugal

• The importance of advancing development and use of methods of sex/gender analysis , Elizabeth Pollitzer, London, UK
• Closing the gap: providing equal opportunities in scientific careers, Isabelle Vernos, Barcelona, Spain
• Women in Science challenges: Intentional yes and graceful no? My experience in how to take charge of a scientific career and family-life, Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale, Oslo, Norway 

FEBS has twin commitments to high-quality publications and the promotion of molecular biosciences. As a charitable academic organization,
FEBS uses income from the journals to fund its diverse activities, including support for the FEBS Congress.