In a couple of weeks I will attend the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO) 2011, in Buffalo, NY.
“In July, hundreds of international scientists from dozens of biomedical fields will meet at the University at Buffalo seeking a common language with which to energize cross-disciplinary research.“ From ICBO News: For the Sake of Research and Patient Care, Scientists Must Find Common Language
And yes, it will be a great opportunity for me to see the Niagara Falls again. This time from the American side. Last time I saw it was in 1999 from the Canadian side when I attended the W3C conference in Toronto. The WWW8 conference where I was absolutely thrilled by the power of the simple and elegant model of RDF triples. At the WWW8 I also heard Tim Berners-Lee talk about the Semantic Web for the first time.
The coming weeks I hope to able to do a re-cap of a couple of ontology related papers and articles, and also read and digest some new ones listed for the events I have signed up for:
- Representing Adverse Events (full day workshop)
- Improving Structured EHR Data (half day tutorial)
- OBI: A Shared Ontology for Representing Biomedical Studies and Resources (half day tutorial)
I will use one or two forthcoming blog posts to write up my insights and reflections coming to my mind while reading.
Here's a quote I think well captures my motivation to learn more about ontologies and getting my ICBO2011 attendance approved by my managers. It's taken from this great article More than Words: Biomedical Ontologies with references to the work of several of the international scientists who will get together at the ICBO2011.
“… true ontologies are more than just controlled terms. They capture, in a logical, systematic way, what scientists regard as the basic truths about a topic. Like equations in physics or axioms in mathematics, they can even be the basis for computational models. When connected to databases, scientific papers, and software applications, ontologies ‘help cope with the ever-growing, chaotic accumulation of text and facts" in biomedical and translational research.“