EuroTrip ’08 – Belgrade, Open Access

OK, I posted a lot of pictures of Belgrade and my Mom’s food so far, but the real business was on Tuesday, when I gave two talks about Open Access, PLoS, Science 2.0, the future of the scientific paper, Open Notebook Science and science blogging.
In the morning, I gave a talk in the gallery of the Museum of Contemporary Art in front of about 20 people, mostly specialist librarians. That session was recorded and, as soon as the podcast is available, I will link to it. There were many good questions asked at the end and the excitement was palpable.
Afterwards I gave an interview for Radio Beograd 202 which ran that same afternoon at 5pm as well as again next morning. I will get a CD of the recording and once I get home will turn it into a podcast and post it.
The next day I gave an interview for a popular show about Digital Culture on Radio Belgrade 2 which will run on Monday morning (I think) and will be available online as a podcast at some point in the future). On Tuesday I have to go to the Radio Belgrade 1 station to be on a very hip (they say “cult”) show in the morning – it is a call-in show, I understand, and will be interesting to do. At least by now, my ability to talk about all this in Serbian language has somewhat improved đŸ˜‰
In the afternoon, I went to the Pediatric Center of the Medical School at the University of Belgrade, where I gave the presentation again, with perhaps less talk about blogs and more emphasis on Open Access publishing, especially in the medical area. There were about 30 people in the amphitheater, including my Mom, her student Vuk, three of my childhood friends (from elementary school and even before) – one of whom is a professor of Psychiatry – and two high school friends: one is a biomedical researcher and the other, Dr.Vera Zdravkovic who organized the event, is a pediatric endocrinologist and also a professor in the med school.
Again, the interest and enthusiasm were huge, with many excellent questions afterwards – we kept talking in the hall for quite a while afterwards. Perhaps the most important immediate result is that local people who can and should help each other – the researchers/physicians and the medical librarians – got to meet each other and understand how they can help each other find, produce, organize and share information. I think that in Serbia librarians will be the key to the move towards modern use of online technology in scientific and medical research and publishing.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, both groups (librarians and researchers) got to meet Vedran, the guru of everything Open in Serbia who will be able to help them immensely with all aspects of opening their science to the world and managing the scientific and medical information.
The librarian of the Oncology Center, Ana Ivkovic, was at the afternoon talk. She runs a fantastic blog and she took some pictures from the event and posted them on Flickr.
The Director of the Pediatric Center is an amazing woman. I am not at all surprised that, under her leadership, her center is at the cutting edge of the use of technology in comparison to the rest of the Medical School. We had great discussion after the talk in her office and, afterwards, at lunch in the restaurant Frans. Frans is right next to the vet school and I spent many hours there during my vet-school years back in the 80s. It used to be a hole in the wall with a few tables inside and a few outside. Now it is an elite restaurant – and we joked that they made their first million off of me and my friends and all the beer we had there over the years.

The specialist librarians who organized the morning session:
Open Access on the screen in Serbia:
A flyer about my talk seen on a message board at med school:
Amphitheater at the Pediatric Center, a few minutes before the talk:
My Mom and her student Vuk:
Dr.Vera Zdravkovic and Vedran Vucic:
Dinner at Frans – getting the librarians and the physicians together. The Director of the Pediatric Center is on the right:
I can’t resist posting pictures of food (foodbloggers will kill me if I don’t), so here is Shopska salad, ajvar, Urnebes salad, hot peppers, chevapchici, cabernet, Coke and Turkish coffee:


2 responses to “EuroTrip ’08 – Belgrade, Open Access

  1. Catharine Zivkovic

    Note the ashtrays and smokes on the dinner table!!

  2. A couple of friends of mine here are pediatric endocrinologists, and the majority of the patients they see have type 2 diabetes, which is unfortunately increasingly common in children. I’d be interested to know the differences in the patient population that your friend sees in her practice in Belgrade.
    The food photos are great! Any chance we’ll see some recipes? I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to travel to Serbia and sample the genuine dishes, but it’s always fun to try making things at home.
    Have you visited your horse yet, Coturnix?