Mission in Korea between the 7 and 12 of April - Dr. Pascal Boireau
Mission in Korea between the 7 and 12 of April/ P Boireau
The World Congress of Parasitology, which takes place every 4 years, is a major event in the discipline. It must cover all the research and development themes of parasitology and give a state of the art in 2018. South Korea was chosen in 2014 to meet this challenge. My visit was programmed within the framework of active support to different parasitology societies in Europe, Asia, and the Maghreb to promote the involvement and participation of different scientists in ICOPA. South Korea is an Asian country apart. After a long visit to other Asian countries which China I can say Korea is obviously the most easily accessible country for a European citizen by its global organization, the ease to move, the professional commitment, the Economic dynamism out of the ordinary. Harmony or syncretism between Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity explains why South Korean society has a multicultural approach which translates into a very warm human relationship, a serene and calm atmosphere. South Korea is one of the safest country over-the-world.
This short glance of a few days in South Korea calls for longer stays to discover more in-depth the richness of this great country located in the extreme of Asia for the European scientist that I am. I invite all colleagues joining ICOPA in August to take this opportunity to visit many facets of South Korea culture that we already see between Seoul and Daegu. Seoul is an atypical Asian capital. It keeps the gigantism of the big cities of Asia but the neighborhoods Village (Hanok) survive with the skyscrapers and contain treasures (mini bar, coffee with multiple styles, handicrafts, workshops of artists....). The Metro really makes it easier to travel through the city and is easy to use. The same is the express line connecting the Incheon International Airport to the Central railway station in Seoul, which provides access to the KTX fast train. I was smiling when I saw the motto of the Korean railway system: "smart, speed, smile". I will add "safety" thinking about how many transport companies in the world should be inspired by this slogan. Cultural activity is as one would expect strongly concentrated on Seoul but Daegu, where ICOPA is actively organized, conceals interesting historical and traditional aspects that are to be discovered. Daegu has been the capital of the medicinal plant market for centuries. Its main shopping street contains numerous shops specializing in herbal and mineral extracts. It is possible to stroll between the shops teeming with different extracts of mushrooms, various stalks, dried leaves, minerals.... and, of course, we make the transition with the Korean cooking which is certainly one of the most fragrant in the world. We will easily pass from these various soups to barbecues prepared in front of us, to these dozens of small dishes that are a veritable firework and that we peck with delight. It's a full-fledged experience.
ICOPA will be organized in the large DAEGU infrastructure with a capacity of several thousand congressmen. The organizers of ICOPA have reserved with a possibility of flexibility twenty rooms allowing to accommodate in parallel up to 6-8 sessions what appears sufficient. There is in addition to the large amphitheater for organizing the reception/closing sessions and the plenary conferences, two types of room: capacity < 100 and capacity of 200.
The challenge now will be to properly affect the size of the rooms according to the theme of the session to allow each scientist to have a seat. It is important to ICOPA 2018. ICOPA's scientific program concerns all elements of parasitology; only the ectoparasites are underrepresented justifying the addition of a session on "new mosquitoes control technologies". The challenge now is to mobilize scientists from all over the world involved in parasitology. Various networks have been contacted in China with the promise of 20 scientists to join ICOPA at the mid of April; we continue to push actively in various universities in China. The International Conference on Trichinellosis will now organize its business meeting in ICOPA as well as a European research project team (EJP one Health) to make its working meeting during the Congress. The Maghreb parasitology societies were contacted individually. The European board of Parasitology was also joined to allow for a presentation during the annual congress of 2-4 may next.
At the end of my stay in Korea from Seoul to Daegu I am very confident in the strict and precise organization of ICOPA 2018. Organization is well advanced and on track. The last challenge remains the inscriptions of scientists to join ICOPA. For this ICOPA board as a whole must be involved as well as session presidents who must actively complete their session. Daegu is a very good place to receive ICOPA 2018, all my best wishes for organizers for a huge success next August.
P Boireau Head of Animal Health ANSES Coordinator DIM1HEALTH Vice President Scientific Committee High Council for Biotechnology Vice President World Federation of Parasitology.