International Joint Synthesis Centre Meeting PDF Print E-mail

Held at the Centre for Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity (CESAB) 9-11 October 2013


Synthesis Centres as a global phenomenon...


A new global community of practice has been established and has launched a new, shared, web site. The first meeting of biological science synthesis centres from around the world was held in France from 9 to 11 October 2013 at the home of CESAB, the Centre for the Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity. The meeting, spearheaded by the trans-continental team of ACEAS (the Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis) and CESAB, brought together leaders of Synthesis Centres from four continents: Europe (including the UK), Asia, North America and Australia. These innovative additions to the tools of science have grown from small beginnings in the mid-1990s as the community has recognised their value alongside the explosion of data intensive science.


Among the benefits of Centres has been the provision of supported space and time to enable scientists (and diverse individuals involved in natural system management) to gather and analyse existing data to solve big science questions. This has fostered new networks between diverse researchers and enhanced communities of practice. The Centre approaches differ according to discipline, objectives, and requirements  related to their source of funding and location. The meeting allowed Centre Directors and coordinators to discuss their experiences, the nature of the support they provide, the outcomes that are of most value to their communities and funding agencies, while exploring the activities that could be shared and the benefits of continuing the conversation.


An invitation was issued to meet again in Leipzig, Germany, in 2015 at sDiv – the Synthesis Centre for Biodiversity Sciences – sDiv ( In the meantime, several papers are planned, a collaborative presence on the internet will be established and the conversation will continue.


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Synthesis Centres as a global phenomenon


Back left to right: Prof Luguang Jiang (CERN), Prof. Dawn Field (EOS), Dr Bruno Fady (CESAB-FRB), Dr Allen Rodrigo (NESCent), Prof. Richard Price (Kiriganai Rearch Pty Ltd), Dr Lou Gross (NIMBioS).

Front left to right: A/Prof Alison Specht (ACEAS-TERN), Prof. Jill Baron (John Wesley Powell Center), Dr Pamela Bishop (NIMBioS), Dr John Parker (Arizona State Uni), Prof. Andrew Campbell (Charles Darwin Uni, TERN), Dr Marten Winter (sDiv), Ms Magali Grana (CESAB), Dr Eric Garner (CESAB-FRB) and Dr Frank Davis (NCEAS).

Absent from photo: Dr Huixia Zhao (CERN), Dr Siddeswara Guru (ACEAS-TERN), Dr Elisabeth Paymal (FRB) and Dr Suzanne Long (TERN).


You can download the meeting report here.