Goblet down under

29 April 2017 - By: Prof. Terri Attwood

Goblet down under

GOBLET Down Under

By Prof. Terri Atwood

If the penguins in Cape Town last year were hard to beat, the megabats (flying foxes) in Brisbane were spectacularly ‘other worldly’! With its beautiful botanical gardens – once the domain of food crops, planted by convicts to feed the prison colony, now home to a breath-taking assortment of ancient trees, rare botanic species and exotic creatures – Brisbane provided a stunning backdrop for GOBLET’s 2016 AGM.

The meeting was organised in the context of the annual conference of the Australian Bioinformatics And Computational Biology Society (ABACBS), providing a forum both for promoting links and cooperation amongst trainers and trainees across the world, and for reflecting on GOBLET’s progress since its inception. Hosted at the Queensland University of Technology, the AGM was preceded by two popular workshops: the first, a GOBLET-ABACBS workshop on best practices in bioinformatics training, targeting those interested or active in bioinformatics education and training (whether in full-time degree programmes or short specialised courses); the second, a GOBLET-ELIXIR Train-the-Trainer workshop, part of a series of workshops worldwide that explore the skills needed to be a good trainer, different learning styles and methods, training session design, how to write learning objectives and develop effective training materials, and how to collect feedback. The AGM was also followed by a fully subscribed ABACBS/GOBLET RNA-seq data analysis course, which was subsequently repeated at the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI), at the University of Melbourne.

Onwards and Upwards

Overall, the event was a great opportunity for networking and community engagement, and was attended in person and via video link by representatives from some of the most important bioinformatics and computational biology societies and networks across Europe, North America and Australia. Together, the assembled group participated in a number of energetic and fruitful discussions, honing GOBLET’s vision and mission, and shaping its priorities and objectives for the coming year. The election results for GOBLET’s officers were also announced; the new teams started organising themselves and already began planning the next AGM, to be held in Portugal later this year.

Goblet’s revised vision, mission and objectives for the coming year

Vision: to unite, inspire and equip bioinformatics trainers worldwide.
Mission: to cultivate the global bioinformatics trainer community, set standards and provide high-quality resources to support learning, education and training.

Objectives for 2017

1. For the training portal to become both a pull mechanism and a repository.
2. To develop branded materials (e.g, Train-the-Trainer/Teacher packages);
3. To offer training for trainers/teachers and end users.
4. To continue work developing training material and course standards.
5. To provide training resources (surveys, best-practice guidelines, ice-breakers,     technologies for classrooms, etc.).
6. To raise funds to be able to meet our objectives.
7. To offer a network/community forum.
8. To give further consideration to mechanisms for trainer recognition.

Goblet's 2016 election results

Committee Chairs
Pedro Fernandes – Learning, Education & Training Committee
Bruno Gaeta – Fund-raising Committee
Carlos Horro – Technical Committee
Ann Meyer – Outreach & PR Committee
Vicky Schneider – Standards Committee
Executive Board
Terri Attwood (re-elected) – Chair
Michelle Brazas (re-elected) – Secretary
Celia van Gelder – Treasurer
Annette McGrath – Member





Category: Cross disciplinary
Teresa Attwood

Prof. Terri Attwood

Terri Attwood is Professor of Bioinformatics at Manchester University. Her interests in protein sequence analysis led to the development of various databases (e.g., PRINTS, InterPro) and software tools like Utopia Documents, which uses semantic technologies to integrate research data with scientific articles. She has written several bioinformatics text-books and reference works. She currently Chairs the GOBLET Foundation, and leads the development of ELIXIR's Training e-Support System, TeSS.