SYNTHESYS MEETING 30 November –1 December 2006 by bigmekahlo

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									Nov-Dec 2006


SYNTHESYS MEETING 30 November –1 December 2006
Network Activity C – Fourth Annual Meeting
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
Present
     Simon Owens, RBGK (NA C Leader - Chair)
     Gemma Robinson, NHM (SYNTHESYS Admin - Secretary)
     Monika Akerlund, NRM
     Josefina Barreiro, MNCN
     Thierry Bourgoin, MNHN
     Rob Huxley, NHM (NA C Deputy)
     Dominika Mierzwa, MIZPAN
     Elin Ohlsson, NRM
     Ernst Vitek, NHMW
     Hans Walter Lack, BGBM
     Peter Wilkie, RBGE


Contents

ACTIONS ......................................................................................................... 2
ITEM 1     WELCOME BY SCOTTISH HOSTS ............................................. 3
ITEM 2     WELCOME BY NA C LEADER & REVIEW OF YEAR 3 ............... 3
ITEM 3     MINUTES OF THE PARIS MEETING ........................................... 3
ITEM 4     TRAINING COURSES .................................................................. 4
ITEM 5     NA B – NEW LINKS WITH NA C .................................................. 5
ITEM 6     EUROPEAN DISASTER PLAN ..................................................... 6
ITEM 7     REVIEW OF ASSESSMENTS ...................................................... 6
ITEM 8     BROADENING THE USER BASE CONFERENCE ...................... 7
ITEM 9      NEXT 18 MONTH PLAN .............................................................. 8
ITEM 10 ANY OTHER BUSINESS ............................................................... 9
ITEM 11 SUMMARY & MEETING CLOSE ................................................... 9




                                                                                                                 1
 Nov-Dec 2006



ACTIONS
ACTION POINT 1: ALL NA C MEMBERS TO SEND SO & RH DETAILS OF CURATORIAL MEASURES (HOW WELL
 YOU PUT A SPECIMEN AWAY, HOW QUICKLY CAN YOU FIND A SPECIMEN WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME) WITHIN
 THEIR INSTITUTIONS.

ACTION POINT 2: GR TO LOOK INTO THE POSSIBILITY OF ADDING A QUESTION TO THE TAF USER EVALUATION
                                                                        ST
 FORM ASKING HOW ACCESSIBLE THE APPLICANT FOUND THE COLLECTION. BY 31 MARCH 2007.

ACTION POINT 3: EO TO SEND GR THE WEBSITE ADDRESS WHEN IT IS READY. GR TO CREATE A LINK FROM THE
 SYNTHESYS SITE.
                                                                         TH
ACTION POINT 4: EO TO SEND OUT STOCKHOLM TRAINING COURSE INVITES. BY 8 DECEMBER 2006.

ACTION POINT 5: TEACHERS TO SUPPLY EO WITH THEIR ‘TEACHING POINTS’ (WHAT THE STUDENT WILL LEARN
                                                  TH
 FROM THEIR SESSION AND SOME GENERAL TEXT). BY 16 FEB 2007

ACTION POINT 6: SO AND MA/EO TO DECIDE HOW MANY HANDBOOKS TO PUBLISH AND OF WHAT QUALITY. BY
    ST
 31 JAN 2007

ACTION POINT 7: NA C STEERING GROUP TO DECIDE WHETHER THE TRAINING COURSES SHOULD BE FILMED
                                  ST
 AND PLACED ON THE INTERNET. BY 31 JAN 2007

                                                                    TH
ACTION POINT 8: EO TO ARRANGE TEACHERS MEETING IN STOCKHOLM. BY 28 FEBRUARY 2007
                                                                   TH
ACTION POINT 9: ALL NA C MEMBER TO SEND JB THEIR CVS (EMAIL: . BY 28 FEBRUARY 2007
                                                           TH
ACTION POINT 10: GR TO SEND DETAILKS OF BUDGET TO JB. BY 28 FEBRUARY 2007
                                                                                       TH
ACTION POINT 11: NA C MEMBERS TO REVIEW THE TDCI QUESTIONS AND FEEDBACK TO TB. BY 30 M ARCH
 2007.
                                                                                  TH
ACTION POINT 12: SO TO REQUEST POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT DATES FROM INSTITUTIONS. BY 28 FEB 2007.
                                                         ST
ACTION POINT 13: GR TO CREATE ASSESSMENT TIMETABLE. BY 31 MARCH 2007.

ACTION POINT 14: ANY INSTITUTIONS WITH QUERIES ON THEIR ASSESSMENT REPORTS TO SEND THEM TO SO.
 ONGOING

ACTION POINT 15: ALL PARTNERS TO SEND RH DETAILS OF INTERESTING WAYS IN WHICH THEIR COLLECTIONS
                       TH
 HAVE BEEN USED. BY 16 FEB 2007

ACTION POINT 16: ALL PARTNERS TO SEND RH DETAILS OF WHO THEY SHOULD BE INVITED TO SPEAK AND
                                       TH
 WHO SHOULS BE INVITED TO ATTEND. BY 16 FEB 2007

ACTION POINT 17: RH & SO TO COLLATE DISCUSSION INFORMATION INTO A DRAFT PLAN AND OBJECTIVES FOR
                                                  TH
 THE MEETINGS. CIRCULATE AMONGST PARTNERS BY 26 JAN 2007

ACTION POINT 18: SO TO CHECK WITH OLIVIER RETOUT IF M AY/JUNE IS SUITABLE TO HOST MEETING AT
              ST
 RBINS. BY 31 JAN 2007
                                                                                            ST
ACTION POINT 19: SO TO CONTACT LEO KRIEGSMAN AT NATURALIS TO DISCUSS NA B LINKS. BY 31 JAN
 2007

ACTION POINT 20: RH TO CONTACT CIRCULATE 18 MONTH DRAFT PLAN TO ALL PARTNERS FOR COMMENT . BY
    ST                                  TH
 31 JAN 2007 (COMMENTS REQUIRED BY 16 FEB 2007)

ACTION POINT 21: ALL PARTNERS TO SEND DETAILS OF TALKS GIVEN ON NA C TO GR. ONGOING




                                                                                       2
Nov-Dec 2006


ITEM 1          WELCOME BY SCOTTISH HOSTS

Steve Blackmore welcomed everyone to the meeting and praised the project, CETAF and the
great way in which SYNTHESYS has enabled collaboration between European Institutions.

ITEM 2          WELCOME BY NA C LEADER & REVIEW OF YEAR 3

Simon Owens welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked RBGE for hosting the meeting
and thanked Rebecca Yahr and Peter Wilkie for their help with the organisation.

Monika Akerlund sent her apologies as she is unwell. SO explained that as a result the
training items on the agenda would be bought forward.
                                                        th
SO gave his presentation from the NSG meeting (10 Nov 2006) – that highlights NA C
progress during Year 3. Copy on the Secure SYNTHESYS website and additional notes
below:
     Training courses (Obj 2) – questionnaire. Ernst Vitek commented that we should
       include US & Australia.
     Published set of standards (Obj. 1) is still in progress. Much larger task than initially
       anticipated.
     Collaboration with external organisations involved in science in the media. This
       should link in with the broadening the User Base meeting.
       NOVATIS – media connection – have database of scientists that journalists can use
       to ask an expert and vice versa. There is also an EU version of this.
     The European task force (Obj 2) will probably all come from within NA C. All have
       different opinions, need to get group together and agree on their opinions. It is too
       soon to do this. Need to complete the additional assessments and the standards
       document first. Move due date.
     NA C have been too optimistic and set too narrow deadlines for work. As a result
       deliverables are being completed late. SO will improve planning and give reasonable
       time allocations for the remainder of the project. NA C will meet all deadlines in the
       future.

Rob Huxley informed the group that there has been a large amount of interest in NA C.
Researchers in the US and China are aware of the project and interested in the outcomes,
and potential of use of both the assessment questionnaire and the Training courses.

ITEM 3          MINUTES OF THE PARIS MEETING

Discussed if the minutes were a fair representation of the meeting and whether all the action
points have been completed.

SO noted that the Actions points are incorrectly numbered. All updates and corrections to the
Action Points can be found in the revised minutes of the meeting (copy on the secure
                                                   rd
website). With regard to Action Point 2 of the 3 Annual Meeting there are two resulting
actions:

ACTION POINT 1: All NA C members to send SO & RH details of curatorial measures (how
well you put a specimen away, how quickly can you find a specimen within a
reasonable time) within their institutions.

The group debated the importance of how quickly a specimen can be located and suggested
a question should be included on the assessment form. As the assessment form has already
been used in several institutions and other questions address this issue, it was decided not to
add it to the form. Could consider getting the data from the Access side of the project.

ACTION POINT 2: GR to look into the possibility of adding a question to the TAF User
                                                                                   st
evaluation form asking how accessible the applicant found the collection. By 31
March 2007.



                                                                                             3
Nov-Dec 2006



ITEM 4           TRAINING COURSES

Elin Ohlsson has designed a web page and this will be linked to the SYNTHESYS website.
http://www.nrm.se/researchandcollections/synthesys/conservationcourse.4.1416bda210eb7cf
4e7880001108.html

ACTION POINT 3: EO to send GR the website address when it is ready. GR to create a link
                                st
from the SYNTHESYS site. By 31 Dec 2007. DONE

The Stockholm training course will take place on: 23-27 April 2007.

CETAF member’s will be invited to the first course as it will be a pilot course. The course is
aimed at middle management. There will be a max of 20 people on the course. No more than
two representatives from an institution.

If the course is oversubscribed a panel will decide who shall be accepted. The panel will
consist of Monika Akerlund, Elin Ohlsson, Rob Huxley and Hans Walter Lack.
                                                                                 th
ACTION POINT 4: EO to send out Stockholm training course invites. By 8                December
2006.

EO presented the draft schedule. Comments below:
    EV suggested that delegates would need to introduce themselves and explain why
       they are there and what they hope to achieve, and that this should take max 3hrs.
    Each presenter needs to compile a short piece on what will be included in the
       presentations. This could be used to publicise the course.

ACTION POINT 5: Teachers to supply EO with their ‘Teaching points’ (what the student
                                                           th
will learn from their session and some general text). By 16 Feb 2007

        Add sponsoring to management session.
        Produce a study book/training handbook. This could be made available on the
         internet, or could be printed -Stockholm Uni can supply 100 copies for 190€ for basic,
         250€ for fancy, 300€ for really fancy.
   
ACTION POINT 6: SO and MA/EO to decide how many handbooks to publish and of what
              st
quality. By 31 Jan 2007

        It would be possible to record the sessions and place them on the internet - the NRM
         photographer can do this. The group decided that there was a risk that the outcome
         would not be of a high enough quality and would restrict what the teachers can say.
         Steering group to consider.

ACTION POINT 7: NA C Steering group to decide whether the training courses should be
                                        st
filmed and placed on the internet. By 31 Jan 2007

        There would be practical sessions, for example training delegates on how to use the
         assessment form.
        It was agreed that all the teachers will meet in Stockholm prior to the meeting to
         finalise logistics.
                                                                          TH
ACTION POINT 8: EO TO ARRANGE TEACHERS MEETING IN STOCKHOLM. BY 28 FEBRUARY 2007

EO asked if NRM staff could attend the meeting? They would sit in and be observers rather
than part of the course.




                                                                                             4
Nov-Dec 2006

It was agreed that a maximum of 5 NRM staff could attend the course and they had to be
involved in the entire programme. If the group was too big, or if people were not always
present the group dynamic would be affected.
     All course materials to be bought in hosting country so that they can claim the costs
        and overhead.
     The invites should detail what is paid for by SYNTHESYS and what they must pay
     The invite should mention that there will be another course in Madrid in the autumn.
     Promote to CETAF only.

     DATES/TIMELINE for Stockholm Training Course:

Date            Activity (Responsible person)
 th
6 Dec 06        Finalise Teachers (SO)
   th
12 Jan07        Deadline for Applications (EO)
   th
15 Jan 07       Circulate applicant details to Panel to decide who is accepted (EO)
 nd
2 Feb 07        Decision on who is accepted
 th
5 Feb 07        Inform Delegates and ask what 3 key issues they wish to gain knowledge of.
   th
16 Feb 07       Teachers to supply list of main teaching points and inform EO of what course
                materials they need
th
9 March 07      Teachers meeting
  th
16 March 07     Course plan finalised
  rd
23 April 07     Meeting start

        Need evaluation form for direct feedback. EO to contact delegates approx 6 months
         after the course to ask if they have used their training and whether they have found it
         useful etc.
        Need to produce a letter for delegates to say that they have completed the course.
                                             -
The Madrid training course will take place: 1 5 October 2007.

Josephina Barreiro asked all NA C members to send CV’s to her, this would be used to help
get money from CSIC to part fund the training course.
                                                                          TH
ACTION POINT 9: ALL NA C MEMBER TO SEND JB THEIR CVS (EMAIL: . BY 28 FEBRUARY 2007

JB asked how much money was available for MNCN to run the training course
                                                                 TH
ACTION POINT 10: GR TO SEND DETAILKS OF BUDGET TO JB. BY 28 FEBRUARY 2007
                                            th
We will know before the SYNTHESYS 4 Annual Meeting how popular the first training
                                                                     st
course is. There is potential to request extra money from the NSG (31 Jan 2007,
Amsterdam) to do additional courses.


ITEM 5           NA B – NEW LINKS WITH NA C

Thierry Bourgoin explained that NA B2 have developed a tool; the Taxonomic Data
Conformity Indicator. It is up and running, tested and working well. MNHN staff are developing
a better interface so that the results are displayed in a more useful format. The tool is
multilingual.

There are 70 questions a present. This needs to be reduced as not all are entirely relevant,
and it is too long. There needs to be a max of 30 questions. TB requested that people from
NA C feedback on what questions were most relevant. Once the questions have been
decided they will be translated.

ACTION POINT 11: NA C MEMBERS TO REVIEW THE TDCI QUESTIONS AND FEEDBACK TO TB. BY
  TH
30 MARCH 2007.




                                                                                              5
Nov-Dec 2006

One of the tasks of NA C is to relate the assessment information to the strengths of collection
data from NA B. There is no data yet. NA B has been restructured and will hopefully supply
initial data next year.


ITEM 6          EUROPEAN DISASTER PLAN

So requested that the group do a brain dump of what disasters may impact institutions. Most
major disasters also affect buildings and collections. Some of the results:
     Flood
     Fire
     Conflict
     Earthquake
     Pests
     Airplane crash
     Decision by body to dispose of material

What do we mean by disaster?
The group agreed there were three sorts:
   1. Large scale, unexpected and requires immediate action to salvage/save collections.
       Can create a plan to mitigate (e.g. fire or flood)
   2. Large scale, unexpected, little can be done to salvage or mitigate against (e.g. plane
       to fall on Kew)
   3. Political problems - slow and have some warning, can create plan to mitigate (e.g.
       poor management or funding of collections, orphan collections)

The Disaster plan should include ways of saving information, so even if the physical item is
lost, data is still available.

The Disaster plan should be proactive (prevent disaster and take actions to minimise impact
of effect e.g. scans, duplicates in different countries) and reactive (e.g. drying wet herb
sheets).

EV commented that a common infrastructure to hold data (scans etc.) would be a good idea.

NA C will result in:
    A Model disaster plan that people can use to create their own plan.
    A recovery strategy amongst the partners (List of people who would be willing to go
       and help out the affected institution.
    Training for people in disaster management

NA C should contact Institutions that have undergone a disaster and ask them what they did
well and what went badly.

Business continuity should be considered in the disaster plan.

To be included in the next 18 month plan
    1. Look at what disaster plan models/info exist (from the last 3 years only)
    2. Survey institutions on what disaster plans they have in place. Not just Natural History
        museums, also art galleries etc.
    3. Survey institutions to see if they have had a disaster and how their plans worked.
    4. Establish MOU that Institutions will (if possible) send duplicates to help rebuild
        collections that are destroyed



ITEM 7          REVIEW OF ASSESSMENTS

RH gave a presentation on the Assessments. Copy on secure site, additional notes below:



                                                                                             6
Nov-Dec 2006

Institution   Probable length      Possible panel             Possible date      Comments
Munich        5 days               HWL, MG, CC or LL          November 07        3 sites
MfN           5 days               SO                         June 07            Inc. BGBM
RMCA          3 days               TB & DM/JS, CC or LL.      TBA                -
ZBGM          5 day                EV, TB or MG                                  Now combined with
                                                                                 Botanical Garden
Firenze,      4 days               CC, RH, EV                 Oct 07             Could link with other
FLorence                                                      (CETAF)            meetings
                                                                                                 TH
ACTION POINT 12: SO TO REQUEST POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT DATES FROM INSTITUTIONS. BY 28
FEB 2007.
                                                                 ST
ACTION POINT 13: GR TO CREATE ASSESSMENT TIMETABLE. BY 31 MARCH 2007.

EO asked if NRM could have more details on their assessment report. The NRM wanted
more information on how to improve problems that were highlighted in the report.
JB said that MNCN would also like further details.

SO explained that remedial information had not been included in the reports as one solution
does not work for all institutions. Also, the group did not want to be seen as being too
prescriptive.

EO explained that for staff not involved in NA C, the reports were not clear enough in
explaining how the results were obtained.

SO suggested that the institutions email questions to him. If the question can’t easily be
solved via email then a small group could return to discuss things in more detail, or the
‘European Task Force’ could assist once it has been set up.

ACTION POINT 14: ANY INSTITUTIONS WITH QUERIES ON THEIR ASSESSMENT REPORTS TO SEND
THEM TO SO. ONGOING

SO thanked everyone for helping with the assessments.

TB said that MNHN have already used the report to look at areas that need funding.


ITEM 8          BROADENING THE USER BASE CONFERENCE

RH gave a presentation. Copy on secure website, additional notes below.

The plans for this deliverable have been altered after discussions at the last annual meeting.

        Museum education programmes are too broad and are looked at by other groups.
         Therefore they are considered outside the scope.
        Collections connected websites - a method of using the museums knowledge.

What other users might want data from institutions/collections?
    Science & Tech
    Nature conservation
    Law/legal (authentication)
    Customs
    SMEs. Advertising collections – inviting them in to institutions.
    Amateur scientists plus people who want help with identifying species. It was agreed
       that sometimes it is difficult to give people the time for personal interactions; therefore
       it was beneficial to have images on the internet so that people can look themselves.

Media – how to spin a story. The key is to make it sound sexy!




                                                                                                 7
Nov-Dec 2006

ACTION POINT 15: ALL PARTNERS TO SEND RH DETAILS OF INTERESTING WAYS IN WHICH THEIR
                                 TH
COLLECTIONS HAVE BEEN USED. BY 16 FEB 2007

Who should be invited to the meeting:
    EIA - consultancy
    Designers
    Industries (Mining, Water, Energy, pharmaceuticals, Spices etc)
    Microscope – use to test resolution
    World bank

Rough agenda:
    Introductions– what great uses of collections there are
    Representatives from users of collections to say what they want. Steer talk – how
       they use collections, how it can be improved etc

Potential delegates:
     EU reps (Herve Pero?)
     MEPs
     Reps from major research councils
     ERC head/chair

ACTION POINT 16: ALL PARTNERS TO SEND RH DETAILS OF WHO THEY SHOULD BE INVITED TO
                                                TH
SPEAK AND WHO SHOULS BE INVITED TO ATTEND. BY 16 FEB 2007

It was agreed that there should be two meetings. One should focus on how we present our
collections to the user base (May/June 2007) and one should focus on industry (2008). The
later should connect with S2 and the results may assist the application.

The first meeting will take place in June if possible (Dec 2007 if not). 1-2 days and will be held
at RBINS, Brussels.

It was agreed that NA C Need to be very clear on what will be gained from these meetings.
There should be a set of questions/achievements and objectives for the meetings.

ACTION POINT 17: RH & SO TO COLLATE DISCUSSION INFORMATION INTO A DRAFT PLAN AND
                                                             TH
OBJECTIVES FOR THE MEETINGS. CIRCULATE AMONGST PARTNERS BY 26 JAN 2007

ACTION POINT 18: SO to check with Olivier Retout if May/June is suitable to host meeting
               st
at RBINS. By 31 Jan 2007


ITEM 9          NEXT 18 MONTH PLAN

RH showed the next 18month plan to everyone. Copy on the secure website, additional notes
below.

C1.5.3 will not be completed on time due to NA B delays.

ACTION POINT 19: SO TO CONTACT LEO KRIEGSMAN AT NATURALIS TO DISCUSS NA B LINKS. BY
  ST
31 JAN 2007

ACTION POINT 20: RH TO CONTACT CIRCULATE 18 MONTH DRAFT PLAN TO ALL PARTNERS FOR
               ST                                TH
COMMENT . BY 31 JAN 2007 (COMMENTS REQUIRED BY 16 FEB 2007)

Move the deadline for the Task force to M54.

Add assessments reports to the list of deliverables.




                                                                                                8
Nov-Dec 2006

ITEM 10         ANY OTHER BUSINESS
     th
10-16 Sept 2007– Optima. RH will present talk on NA C
February 2007 - Getschellent Systematics – RH will present talk on NA C
October 2007 - French Systematics society – NA C presentation (TB?)

Details of talks given on NA C are included in the list of publicity/dissemination that is an
Annex of the Annual report. Therefore it is essential to send GR details. If you give a talk and
mention NA C you must send GR the details.

ACTION POINT 21: ALL PARTNERS TO SEND DETAILS OF TALKS GIVEN ON NA C TO GR. ONGOING


ITEM 11         SUMMARY & MEETING CLOSE

SO thanked everyone for their attendance and hard work. Thanked RBGE and Peter Wilkie
for their help and his joviality.




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