European life scientists to have new congress and lobby group

The new European Life Sciences Organization (ELSO) is starting with great hopes but a shoestring budget and few members.

Robert Walgate
Aug 30, 2000

LONDON, August 29 (Science Analysed). "Join up!" is the call by the first interdisciplinary European scientific society to have direct membership and independent policy-making. The European Life Sciences Organization, ELSO, which aims to create a broad, interdisciplinary European community — and to lobby on Brussels — in the molecular life sciences is to be launched at what is promised to be a major scientific congress this week in Geneva, Switzerland, 2–6 September. There is no congress in Europe "that catches the excitement of what's going on" in molecular life sciences, says ELSO's President-in-waiting Kai Simons, a Finnish molecular biologist working at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. Simons, who was the inspiration of ELSO and is to be its first President, described its subject areas as "all those areas of trying to understand function in cells and tissues on a molecular level, such as molecular cell biology...

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