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Journal Article

Biggest challenges in bioinformatics

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Fuller, J., Khoueiry, P., Dinkel, H., Forslund, K., Stamatakis, A., Barry, J., et al. (2013). Biggest challenges in bioinformatics. EMBO Reports, 14(4), 302-304. doi:10.1038/embor.2013.34.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-E289-F
Abstract
The third Heidelberg Unseminars in Bioinformatics (HUB) was held on 18th October 2012, at Heidelberg University, Germany. HUB brought together around 40 bioinformaticians from academia and industry to discuss the ‘Biggest Challenges in Bioinformatics’ in a ‘World Café’ style event. The Heidelberg Unseminars in Bioinformatics (HUB) are participant‐driven meetings. As Wikipedia notes (as of 18th January 2013), “the term ‘unconference’ [unseminar] has been applied, or self‐applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as high fees, sponsored presentations, and top‐down organization”. At HUB, we have experimented with several formats to encourage participation in the meetings. For the third HUB, the organizers chose to discuss the ‘Biggest Challenges in Bioinformatics’. We adopted a format called the ‘World Café’, with participants engaging in a series of short (approximately 20 min) conversations in groups of between four and five. After each round of conversation, the table host remained in place and the other participants visited another table with a specific topic of their choice. The table host then summarized the previous discussion to the new participants who added their ideas to the conversation. After a series of these conversations, the ideas were reported to the whole group in short form. We decided to take the idea one step further and share our deliberations with the wider scientific community through this article, which was written collaboratively at http://www.hub‐hub.de. This article therefore summarizes some of the main discussions around the biggest challenges in bioinformatics. The summaries are not intended to be comprehensive reviews of the state‐of‐the‐art, but rather to reflect the discussions that took place at the meeting. As such, there are probably conflicting views on some areas, particularly relating to the question ‘what is a species’?