A couple of weeks ago, I attended the 11th International Conference of Systems Biology in Edinburgh, Scotland (ICSB 2010, from 10 to 15 October, including tutorials and workshops). If I was any good at this “blogging” thing, I would have written this post about… oh, I don’t know… a couple of weeks ago? Even though I have kind of lost momentum here, I still think this is important enough to write something about, so here is the abridged version of this entry.
The view from the window of the apartment we rented for the conference. Not bad, right?

ICSB is considered by many to be the preeminent conference in the field of Systems Biology. With the conference being held in the UK this year, it was a great opportunity for British scientists to attend it.

And attend they did. The conference was a great success: there were almost 1300 participants (a record), one third of which were from the UK, and the rest arriving from all over the world, from more than 50 countries.
The conference was not without its problems. The posters sessions were a bit crowded, there was no free lunch (as Pedro Mendes pointed out!) and the EICC conference centre seemed to have underestimated the number of laptops and smartphones used by delegates in such conferences. Nevertheless, and despite these issues, everyone seemed to agree that the conference was extremely successful and enjoyable. The talks, the posters, and the science presented were very interesting and stimulating. It was exhilarating to follow the presentations during the parallel sessions, but also to discuss with all the systems biologists gathered in Edinburgh, both in a scientific and on a personal level. And of course, it was a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends!
For me, there were a few additional reasons that I particularly enjoyed this conference. First, this was practically my final act as a member of the MCISB, and I wanted to make sure it would be a memorable one! Second, I had the opportunity to attend COMBINE 2010 (for which I already posted an update). COMBINE directly preceded the ICSB conference and, like every year, it was a very interesting and valuable meeting.
Third, this was my first experience with participating in live-blogging a conference, and it proved to be a surprisingly gratifying revelation! Following the example of some great bloggers (certainly better than me!) that we met in Edinburgh, I did my best to contribute to the effort, and you can see the results by visiting the ICSB 2010 FriendFeed group and following much of the research presented at the conference.
ICSB 2011 is going to be held in Heidelberg, and I am already looking forward to it! Not only that, but it was also announced during the conference that ICSB 2012 is travelling to Toronto, and that there are thoughts about hosting ICSB 2013 in Asia.
Edinburgh has been great (as always!). See you all next year in Heidelberg.