Dear Colleagues,
Latest News

Garda Lake from space
23 September 2006:
Get your Programme in PDF format before leaving for Riva del Garda!

The complete list of posters is now available online here.

Speakers and Poster presenters: check the Presentation Guidelines section in our Information page.

The registration desk at the Conference Centre opens on Thursday, 28 September, at 10:00.
SarÓ possibile registrarsi al Congresso a partire da giovedý 28 settembre alle ore 10.00, presso il Centro Congressi.

More news at our Information pages.
FISV 2006 will be the eighth annual meeting in the history of our Federation. We are therefore approaching a decade of life and we intend to continue to operate in the decades ahead, as we believe that plenty is still left for us to do. FISV was born thanks to the intuition, new among Italian biologists, that the segregation of scientists into traditional independent societies was a reason of weakness, both in scientific and social terms. Segregation slows the debate on many critical issues, such as the turnover of policy makers on the Italian research scene, the need for an interdisciplinary approach to scientific research, the establishment of fruitful interactions and collaborations between scientific institutions, in Italy and in the rest of the modern world. Because of their relatively small scale and restricted focus, the political impact of scientific societies, taken as separate entities, on the public opinion and on Italian politicians has been inevitably scarce. Ambitiously, FISV aims to provide a comprehensive answer to these issues.

In previous Congresses, we have demonstrated that scientists of very different origins, ranging from Environmental Biology to Neuroscience, from Plant Physiology to Pathology, can sit together and discuss themes of general and common interest; that the interactions among these scientists are fruitful; that the impact of the Federation at the social and political level is considerable and steadily growing. Those of you who have taken the trouble to visit our web site have read about the initiatives undertaken by FISV in support of scientists in this country: to debate, within our scientific community, issues pertaining to science funding and policy, as well as ways to promote the development of research in Italy and to reform the National Research Council (CNR). One of the main goals of FISV, explicitly declared in our Statute, is to become the organization of reference for life science researchers in Italy. Step by step, we are achieving this goal, even in the absence of any dedicated funding - in fact, our sole source of financial support is the yearly meeting, i.e., your participation in it.

Successful formats don't need major changes, so this year's Congress schedule remains largely unmodified: it includes three Main Lectures, to be given by widely acclaimed international scientists, as well as three Plenary Symposia that will deal with themes of general interest, pertaining to basic cellular and molecular mechanisms studied in a variegated set of model systems, spanning from plants to bacteria to a wide variety of animal organisms. Eight Parallel Symposia, twelve Minisymposia and the long list of Posters, together with the afternoon Sessions organized independently by the Scientific Societies, will offer more specialized presentations and discussions. Before the official opening of the Congress, seven Special Interest Subgroup (SIS) meetings will take place, independently organized by selected groups of scientists. These meetings will deal with emerging topics in cell and molecular biology, systems biology and biotechnology. Finally, the two Round Tables will deal, as usual, with key and outstanding issues of our life as science professionals: the reform of public research funding in our country, and the new prospects for scientific publishing offered by Open Access journals, in a comparison with traditional scientific publishing.

Very importantly, the foremost goal of our Federation is to foster the growth of a competitive new generation of Italian scientists. We know that the majority of our Congress delegates are young scientists, some of whom will attend our meeting for the first or second time. For these young researchers, the Riva meeting may represent a new opportunity to establish professional ties outside their lab or institute. We known all too well that, after a season of "reasonable hopes" for the future, the prospect for our young scientists has slipped back to its previous, ungratifying status. All we can say to that is that our Federation will work very hard to try and provide our junior scientists with a brighter future in their scientific and professional development.

We look forward to hosting you in Riva del Garda in the Autumn.

Jacopo Meldolesi
President
Federazione Italiana Scienze della Vita