SCATA Members Newsletter January 2020

Dear SCATA Member

Apologies for the lack of a newsletter in December, always a busy month and I've just managed to fit this one in before the end of January.

I hope you had a good festive break. If you're doing Janu-dry, only three days to go. I can recommend a variety of low-alcohol beers, I've sampled them extensively this month.

Looking ahead to 2020, the programme for our ASM in Belfast is taking shape and the first draft should be on the web site by the end of this week.

There will be two Free Paper sessions, one on each day - please encourage your tech-enabled trainees to submit abstracts.

STA Speaker Exchange, Austin, Texas

SCATA was represented this year by Jakob Mathiszig-Lee, a London-based trainee. Judging by the ensuing Twitterfest, Jakob really enjoyed the event and I look forward to his report in due course.

Links with ESCTAIC

SCATA members "of a certain age" may recall that to celebrate SCATA's 20th anniversary, there was a joint meeting at the RCoA in London in 2007 with our European sister society, ESCTAIC. Sadly, in the intervening years, the link between SCATA and ESCTAIC has not been maintained. However, before the festive break I contacted the current ESCTAIC chairman, Teodora Nicolescu with a proposal to re-establish links and perhaps create a speaker exchange agreement, similar to the one with the STA. I got the impression that ESCTAIC are interested in such an agreement - their bi-annual meeting takes place in Timisoara, Romania in September. We may not be able to get an agreement in place in time for September, but any SCATA member that would like to attend the ESCTAIC meeting, please get in touch as I'm sure Andrew Norton and I can work out some kind of subsidy toward travel and potentially accommodation. I'm also hopeful that ESCTAIC will be able to send a guest speaker to our ASM in Belfast in June.

As a footnote, ESCTAIC also support a session at the ESA meeting which I believe is in Barcelona in May. Any SCATA members attending the ESA that would like to take on an ambassadorial role, I'd be delighted to hear from you.

Open Standards Working Group Meeting, AAGBI 17-Feb 2020

There are a few places remaining. Unfortunately this meeting doesn't have CPD approval, SCATA members may struggle to get funding to attend, but if you are interested, please let me know. The draft programme is here

#gashack 2020

The RCoA have been in touch recently and are making positive-sounding comments about the possibility of holding another #gashack event in October this year. The format will be the same as the 2017 event, although I would like to organise a series of "pop-up" talks from enthusiastic (and mainly "younger") SCATA members about specific apps, coding or projects they are involved in. If you have a pet subject, think of how you could best summarise it in ten minutes. Are you into Python, javascript, G or R ? If so, why ? We could also run a mini course on "Beginners Guide to Programming", assuming there is an appetite for it. I know that the Code4Health initiatve ran similar courses that were well attended.

Kind Regards


Dr Grant Forrest

SCATA Chairman

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