Celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the Webinar series on Bone, Muscle & Beyond, and following a 1 year evaluation in August last year (https://ectsoc.org/ects-webinar-series-on-bone-muscle-beyond-where-do-we-stand-by-bram-van-der-eerden/), it is a good time to reflect once more on this still young initiative. Hosting 10 webinars annually, we aim to provide a wide range of research topics provided by clinical and basic scientists, who are experts in their field. During the second year, we managed to attract more preregistrations and attendees compared to the first year. On average, over 120 colleagues preregistered and close to 60 connections were received. Reportedly, this number is an underestimation since behind each connection is more than one listener, making an average of 80-100 attendees more likely. Regarding the quality of the webinars and the research presented the evaluations remain very good, indicating the appreciation for the webinars and the speakers. Among the topics in the second year (Figure 1), we had Paget’s disease, osteohematology, zebrafish models, dairy products, energy metabolism, glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis, Omics approaches and cross-talk of bone with muscle, liver and nerves, which can all still be viewed on the ECTS E-learning platform website (https://ectsoc.org/education/e-learning/webinars/). We actually had a premiere in Budapest of granting two awards for the best 2018 clinical and basic webinar to Dr Emanuel Biver and Dr Leonor Cancela for their webinars on effects of dairy products on bone health and zebrafish as a skeletal research model, respectively.
Besides high quality research, webinar attendees have had the opportunity to learn additional skills such as which approach to take when faced with big datasets (presented by André van Wijnen) or how to make a science sketch, which is an ideal way of showing family and friends and other scientists what your research is about (presented by Martina Rauner). The discussions following the webinars were sometimes so active that the moderator from our action group could not process all the questions, which clearly indicates the involvement of the attendees and the timeliness of the research topics.
As action group we aim to favour collaborations among bone researchers but also to get inspired by researchers outside the bone field. Apart from keeping the standards very high, we aim to get a better view on the geographical distribution of the attendees and ways of increasing the response rate, so we can further improve the quality of the webinars. This format is well received in countries like Italy, UK, USA, and The Netherlands and we are working with other societies to engage with researchers in other countries all over the world. Our dynamic team has just finalized an attractive program of clinical and basic research webinars for 2020, which we hope you will enjoy together with your team members and anyone else that may be interested!
The ECTS webinar committee: Bram van der Eerden (E-learning co-chair), Hanna Taipaleenmaki, Thomas Funck-Brentano, Nadia Rucci, Nerea Alonso Lopez and Nuria Guañabens (Education committee chair).