COST-Action GEMINI and EPICONCEPT: what we learned after 8 years?
Scientific societies have a major role in facilitating and disseminating scientific discoveries. Here, we are all members of societies related to reproductive biology, such as AETE (European Association of Embryo Transfer), SRF (Society for Reproduction and Fertility) or ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology). However, many of you may be unfamiliar with COST Actions. These are atypical, EU-funded temporary societies, that can have a huge impact upon the lives and careers of their members. The objective of the present paper was to capture the influence that one specific COST Action, EPICONCEPT, and to a lesser extent also the earlier COST Action GEMINI, has had on European scientists involved in animal reproduction and embryo transfer. We discuss the intrinsic value of belonging to EPICONCEPT, we focus on how EPICONCEPT advanced the careers of the scientists involved and the lessons learned. We conclude that such specific short-lived societies as granted by COST can be the basis of permanent collaborative ties and networking within Europe. Moreover, EPICONCEPT has been a very useful tool to raise awareness about epigenetics among animal scientists and breeders.
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