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The Scientific Committee has been working hard on planning an innovative and cutting-edge programme for the ICS 2015 Montreal Annual Scientific Meeting. A new Elected Chair position has been filled by Nucelio Lemos (past Chair). This position was created to aid the Chair who is often overwhelmed with Annual Scientific Meeting. Cara Tannenbaum (current Scientific Chair) invited Dr, Lemos to pilot the new position assisting with mid-long term strategies, governance and communication with the Trustees. The position trial is progressing well. The Elected Chair position looks to be an important step forward to ensure the continuity and long term planning of the Scientific Committee, as well as to promote sustainable liaison with the Board of Trustees.
During the Annual Scientific Programme Meeting, which took place in May 2015, the Committee noted an increase in the average score of the abstracts submitted to the 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting. This suggesting an overall enhancement of the quality of the science to be presented in Montreal. All 750 abstracts were reviewed by three or more reviewers, with at least one reviewer being a member of the Scientific Committee. This rule was newly implemented for the 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, raising the quality of the review process.
Another innovation for the 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting is the e-Strip programme. Until now, after reviewing all the abstracts, the Scientific Committee members had abstract titles printed on paper strips. They were used to build the programme. Those physical strips were, therefore, only visible to committee holding them, hindering collaboration. The e-strip programme is an IT session building platform that allows all committee members to visualise in real time the entire abstract pool. Also visible to all are the sessions into which each abstract was assigned. The committee alfa tested the program this year and will beta test it for the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting. The e-Strip programme introduces electronic efficiency, and will potentially reduce the need for face-to-face annual meeting program organisation, simultaneously reducing costs and enhancing quality.
The Scientific Committee is also introducing a new “tracks” concept. This concept was first implemented in Rio de Janeiro, where the program grid was conceived on the basis of unifying areas of interest. State of the Art Lectures, Roundtables and Scientific Sessions were distributed throughout the programme sequentially according to thematic content. Based on positive feedback from Rio de Janeiro attendees, the Scientific and Education Committees have been working together to further improve this concept by integrating the workshops into the scientific program, reducing the total duration of the Annual Scientific Meeting to four days and creating a richer and more condensed programme.
The year 2015 will also herald the launch of e-posters for ICS. A hybrid format will be trialled at the Montreal 2015 meeting. During lunch breaks clinical discussion posters will be presented on the ePoster boards and basic science posters will be displayed on traditional paper poster boards. However, the highest scoring basic science abstracts will have dedicated e-poster sessions in parallel to the scientific sessions and will be displayed as part of the integrated basic science track. Networking and discussion will occur during these sessions, promoting conversation around methods and findings.
Finally, the Scientific Committee is now, under direction of the new interim Elected Chair, elaborating strategies to further increase the quality of the science of the Annual Meeting. Strategies include collaboration with the IT team on the improvement of software programs used to collect and manage submitted abstracts, revision of category and keyword systems, and re-evaluation of abstract submission rules.
ICS 2015 Programme
Article by Nucelio Lemos on behalf of the Scientific Committee