Traditionally, a majority of the Japanese researchers and clinicians have been shying off the mainstream communication skills in science and technology. However, this seems fast becoming history. The Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) meeting, a grand annual event in cancer science and medicine, started this year with a new trend – compulsory communication in English!
The cancer week witnessing the annual congregations of the JCA and the Japan Society for Clinical Oncology began on October 27 this year in Nagoya. The twin meeting was attended by 5000 attendees comprising of cancer specialists, doctors, basic researchers and students. Reportedly, for the first time in the last 66 years’ history of the Japanese cancer meetings, it was made compulsory for the presenters to write their abstracts in English only and 12 dedicated International sessions (with English only presentations) were organized. Also, the aspects of World Cancer Declaration were presented for the want of advocacy and solidarity of the Japanese cancer community to the cause of global cancer prevention.
This new beginning has also made possible for International academics and doctors to participate and communicate through the platform of JCA. It was especially a great opportunity for me to have shaped, participated and chaired one of their international sessions. This was also a nice platform for Open Access advocacy and I was excited to note the growing interest of Japanese biosciences community towards OA journals in general and PLoS ONE in particular.
The next JCA meeting is planned in Tokyo in 2009. Let us hope it will be equally successful and rewarding.