SymBioSE history: Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 is about first 3 SymBioSEs. Take a look at some old photos in out picasa albums (see links below).

SymBioSE 1997

First SymBioSE in Berlin, 1997

SymBioSEs in Germany and Portugal (1997-1998)

SymBioSE is an initiative of the German Biology Student Association, with the aim of bringing European biology students closer together by creating a network of contacts. The first symposium was held during nine days in August 1997 in Berlin, and 120 students from 12 countries were present. SymBioSE'97 was very well organized and there were a lot of activities.

After the success of Berlin '97, the second symposium was held in Portugal. Between the 4th and the 12th of August 1998 over 100 biology students camped in the National Park of Arrabida, close to Lisbon. The combination of e.g. lectures on species abundances and aquatic ecology, workshops on the European otter and aromatic plants, excursions on speleology, dolphin observation, diving, visiting Lisbon and discussions about molecular techniques and the European Association of Biology Students made it a packed and diverse symposium. Participants remember the beach, Scottish dancing, Italian vodka drinking and much more made this second meeting a big success. In Portugal it was decided that Belgium and the Netherlands would organize SymBioSE '99.

SymBioSE Netherlands 1999

“Just before leaving for Amsterdam, the weather forecast was incredibly brilliant: sunshine from dawn until dusk, a hardly bearable heat wave had entered Europe. Then, on our way to Amsterdam, at Hengelo (the Dutch-German border crossing) we were surprised by a strange climate: drizzling rain, wind (of course, as we were approaching the North Sea), cold. When we arrived at the university campus of Amsterdam, a smiling crew of Dutch students welcomed us. We were led to a field right behind the university buildings. In less than two minutes, our feet were completely soaked (thanks to traditional German foot wear!). Nevertheless we started to build up our tents, accompanied by enthusiastic Portuguese chants and laughter.

During the following week, we had agreed to adopt this attitude, as the weather wouldn't change. We learned how to clap our hands to nearly every song being played, had great fun participating in traditional witch hunting with Sangria (thank you Spain!). But apart from the so-called funny side of this symposium, the usual country meetings were held every evening. The most important point of this year was probably the future of SymBioSE, especially the co-operation with EBSF.”

SymBioSE 1999

SymBioSE 1999 in Netherlands