Speaker: And that concludes this EBI press conference to congratulate Ewan Birney on being elected to the Royal Society. We just have time for one or two questions. Ah okay...the first question goes to…Ewan Birney.
Ewan: Hi Ewan. Just wanted to say that this is all great and I've found your work to be really interesting. Can I just ask whether you've looked at the opportunity of widening this effort by joining other Royal Societies as well? This would allow for a much better comparative analysis of the scope and impact of Royal Society members? The Royal Statistical Society may be a good choice to begin with, or maybe the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
Ewan: Thanks Ewan, that's a really good question. It is something that I'm considering and I think there is a lot to gain from such a comparative approach. But to do this properly I think it needs to be part of a much larger effort. So I'm hopeful of trying to join every Royal Society and then see what can be learned from a cross-societal analysis of such memberships. Furthermore I'm hopeful that Her Majesty could be persuaded to start a new Royal Society for the Promotion of Questions by People Named Ewan at Academic Conferences…something that is very near and dear to my heart.
Speaker: Okay, I think we have time for just one more question. Oh, Ewan…again.
Ewan: Just to follow up Ewan, given the advanced age of many Royal Society members, have you thought about trying to assess what fraction of the Royal Society is functional?
Ewan: That's a fantastic question Ewan, very perceptive of you. This is something else that I have a strong interest in. I am currently involved in some preliminary discussions with various people to form a new pan-European working group that will investigate how much of the Royal Society is functional. This effort will hopefully be called ENCODEMBLIXIR…or something snappy like that.
Jesting aside, congratulations Ewan this is great news!