Biometry and the IBS—Strength through Diversity



Summary The International Biometric Society (IBS) brings together members from a diversity of cultural backgrounds, organized into geographically based Regions and National Groups, and covering a diverse range of interests, in terms of both methodological topics and application areas. We briefly reflect on how the historical development of our science, society, and international conferences reflects this diversity, with a focus on the history of the British and Irish Region of the IBS. Then, by considering the cultural/geographical diversity of the society, and the scientific diversity of the society and biometricians, we identify both some strengths of the society (diverse topics for meetings arranged across the world, application of biometrical methods to diverse application areas, management of the society by members from a diversity of backgrounds) and also some current challenges (electronic delivery of journals and other information, the diversity of application areas addressed by members of the society, improving links with the scientific societies of those who motivate our research). Finally, we illustrate the diversity of scientific problems that each of us face in our roles as biometricians.