The Ottawa Life Sciences Council (OLSC) announced the details of their sixth annual National Conference and Exhibition earlier this week. Entitled "Into the Next Millennium: The Post-Genomics Era," the conference will include, in addition to your typical conference-like speaker sessions, a Biofair career exhibition organized in conjunction with the scientific human resources consulting firm Cortex HR.

The council anticipates over 80 speakers, 80 exhibitors, and 900 participants at the conference. Forum topics will include such cutting-edge discussions as "Ethics, Biotechnology, and Consumer Acceptance, "Biosensors and DNA Chips," and more. The conference will also include a poster session, with a long list of life science-based topics. Anyone interested in presenting a poster should submit an abstract before 1 October.

But perhaps of most interest to the readers of the Next Wave, the conference will also contain, for the first time ever, a job fair component. Organized in conjunction with Cortex HR, Biofair hopes to attract over 50 companies actively looking for people and over 2500 participants. Daniel Mamelak, managing director at Cortex HR, explained why they were excited about adding a job fair component to the conference: "The idea of partnering with another group like the OLSC is great for job seekers. Many job seekers attend scientific conferences with the hopes of networking with companies to further their job search, but in many conferences that networking is limited to the company officials that are looking for partnerships, collaborators, etc." Mamelak believes that the addition of a job fair component to a scientific conference such as the OLSC National Conference "adds another element and gives job seekers an opportunity to network at the scientific conference in a way they were unable to before."

The conference will be held 1 to 3 November at the Ottawa Congress Centre. More information, and an online application form, can be found at www.olsc.ca. Attendance at Biofair is free.