Why another World Congress? That’s easy. Simply put, such a forum
is without equal when it comes to effective, worldwide information exchange.
The field of medical and scientific illustration and communications is
a vast one, encompassing wide-ranging skills and knowledge—skills
and knowledge that are constantly advancing in response to technological,
social, and ethical changes.
It is vitally important that medical and scientific illustrators and
communicators get together at least once every five years as a world group
to share new skills and knowledge. It is also a time to discuss and resolve
common problems particular to the profession and to develop friendships
and valuable networking relationships.
Please note that we have adapted the congress title to terminology more
commonly used in Australia. The term Medical and Scientific Imaging,
therefore, is still congruent to the original collective Biomedical
This quotation by Cees J. Hersbach details a simple history of how the
world congress locations were decided:
"For the 1994 First World Congress in Orlando, Florida, I was involved
in the Scientific Program Committee. The Chairman of this committee
was Mr. Stewart White.
The Conference chair was Mr. Ray Lund from John Hopkins University,
During the conference in Orlando the decision was made to hold a second
world conference in Europe. The EFSI (Chairman : Mr. Ole Roos) agreed
with this proposal.
In a meeting with the board of EFSI in London (at the St George Hospital)
we decided on three candidate Cities: Hamar (near Oslo) in Norway, Cambridge
in the United Kingdom, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam won out as it was the city which had the strongest local support,
that being from the University of Amsterdam. For this conference the
chairman of the Scientific Program Committee was Prof. R. Morton from
the University of Wales, Cardiff.
In Amsterdam, the idea was mooted that a Third World Congress be held,
and that it should take place in either Asia or Australia. This outcome
would ensure that the congress movement truly be recognized as a world
Cees J. Hersbach President of the 2nd World Congress
of Biomedical Communications 1999 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The following quotes reinforce the importance of staging periodic world
conferences which are accessible to all.
"The main reason that we organized the second world conference on biomedical
illustration was to bring together all organizations from around the
world to exchange the newest developments. In 1999 digital was reasonably
new and we expected dramatic changes in our profession. One of the sub
lines of the conference was: 'going into the digital age.'
The second reason was that all organizations wished to have a follow-up
from the first world conference, this time in Europe. Actually, it was
an inheritance from the organizers of the first world conference (Ray
Lund, et al). EFSI was one of the organizers of the second
world conference, together with the Dutch Organization NVMAC and the
University of Amsterdam.”
President EFSI (The Netherlands)
"The first two world congress meetings were important milestones
for me because of the new contacts I made which coincided with the evolution
of email and the web. In that time since 1994, electronic communication
has exploded and many of the contacts I made at those two meetings have
proven to be invaluable collaborators in my work such as the Images
from Science project and the Lennart Nilsson Award."
Rochester Institute of Technology (USA)
“The 2nd World Congress of Biomedical Communicators provided me
with a unique environment to develop real ongoing networking opportunities
with colleagues from around the world, as well as partake in an array
of invaluable academic presentations. Rarely do we have the opportunity
to discuss, develop and embrace emerging technologies and techniques
in the company of our overseas colleagues.”
Assistant Convener Third World Congress (Australia)
“The World Congress in Amsterdam was a great opportunity to embrace
new techniques and developments in the field of medical illustration
and to meet and integrate with friends and colleagues from around the
IMI AIMI RMIP (UK)
It has been six years since the last world congress meeting—many
feel the wait has been too long! The coming together of like minds and
the sharing of related skills on a huge scale is something that should
be celebrated on a much more regular basis, not something consigned to
the back-burner indefinitely—the benefits are too great.
This was brought to light at the Lennart Nilsson Meeting in 2003. The
diverse group of illustrators and communicators in attendance was incredible.
To witness so many talented people banding together and sharing ideas
was utterly inspiring, and it brought home the need for another world
congress. The time had come to resolve the problem of where and when the
next global conference should be held. It was time to turn this overdue
dream into reality.
Meeting with Peter Lowie, Cess Cerbach, and Angus Robertson for a beer
is always a dangerous thing and this meeting proved no exception…
the next thing I knew Australia was hosting the next World Congress on
Medical and Scientific Imaging!
Planners of the various World Congress meetings have always realized
that locale is also a secondary motivator for potential attendees, particularly
those who must travel long distances. A unanimous decision at the national
level (AIMBI) concerning a suitable site saw Cairns win out, a beautiful
city on the Queensland coast flanking The Great Barrier Reef.
Cairns is a world-renowned tourist destination for those wishing to indulge
in an idyllic, tropical get-away. Its unique blend of five-star accommodation,
exciting nightlife, and a cosmopolitan restaurant culture, set amidst
the natural wonders of tropical rainforests and coral reefs, make this
an altogether exhilarating locale. Our overseas guests should also note
that Australia is a very economical place to visit at the moment.
Australia is very excited about hosting the 3rd World Congress, and we
are planning a great program. Many enthralling academic papers have been
submitted for tutorial presentation. Here is just a sample:
- 3D Animation—a master-class in the specialized field of medical
and scientific animation. See: www.medical-animations.com.
- Photoshop for the artist—purists can no longer claim realistic
results remain the domain of traditional tools. See: www.medicalarts.com.au.
- Web Design
- Nonlinear video editing
- Professor John Pearn: “Images of Bioterrorism”
- “Trends in Medical and Scientific Imaging” including Implementing
Electronic Medical Records
The website for the 3rd World Congress has been up since July 2004. Please
visit it at www.discoverthepossibilities.com.au.
Site visits through November 2004 show that:
- We have had over 3,000 visits to the site (not hits!)
- The visitors are (in order of number of visits):
USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Japan,
Singapore, Canada, Italy, Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago (as well as
the unidentified visitors).
- Countless pages have been downloaded concerning various aspects of
the conference, i.e. general information, abstract and exhibition information.To
join the world of biomedical communicators, mark your calendars for
August 25-29, 2005, and visit the Website
for registration information.
After Cairns 2005, will it be necessary to mount another World Congress
on Biomedical Communications?
Of course! There will always be a need to facilitate information exchange
on a global basis. And nothing can achieve this goal more completely than
a world congress gathering. I am sure the success of the Cairns 2005 conference
will reinforce this fact.
About the Author
Julie Murray is convener of the Third World
Congress on Medical and Scientific Imaging (Biomedical Communications),
Aug. 25-29, 2005, Cairns, Australia.
E-mail address: email@example.com