International Society of Biomechanics
Gold sponsor


Dear ISB members,

2020. A year like no other.

What has this year meant for you? Have you been able to continue your life, your dreams, your daily activities and your biomechanics research and teaching more or less as usual? If so, I am so, so happy. I am so happy because that is what I, and most of us, wish for most of all – a return to normality. We wish to be able to go to work, we wish for our children to be able to go to school, we wish to meet friends and loved ones as we always have and those of us who celebrate Christmas wish to be able to celebrate and be together with them.

But, for most of us, that’s not 2020. Much of what we are used to has been disheveled. Most of us know of people who have been sick from Covid-19, maybe you have had it yourself, in the worst case someone you know and love may even have left this world due to the pandemic. I feel so sad about this and send my condolences to any of you whom this may concern.

The year has of course been a challenge for ISB too and I have discovered what an important role ISB has, especially in 2020, the year which makes all previously challenging years look like positive little stimulating reminders to keep everyone on their toes. Conferences and symposia, both national and international have been postponed, cancelled or held completely digitally. Just think of that: we have become so used to digitally that we hardly react anymore. But let us also reflect upon aspects within which we have also progressed due to the pandemic: an ambitious drive for more knowledge has seldom been more necessary than now, we are finding new paths for ensuring quality in teaching and research – we are doing the normal in non-normal ways and finally we have become acutely aware that alone is not strong. When this is over let us reflect over what we have learnt and implement it by becoming better scientists and teachers but most importantly better people within a better society in future.

In September 2019 I was in China to give a keynote lecture. As is often the case, the congress had an evening program and I was sitting at a table with a glass of beer, a bit uncomfortable because I didn’t know any of the others sitting there. I started talking with the guy across the table from me and we found that we had many common interests and talked for a long time about sports, sports equipment, biomechanics, doping, competition rules, science, Olympic Games and much more. It was great fun and stimulating. A few weeks later, once home again, he called me and said that the international federation he works for acutely needed an independent biomechanics expert to help them with their sport rules. This has since turned into an exciting, important and quickly growing collaboration and research project for which external funding has been achieved quickly and we are aiming to engage many young researchers. All because of that first glass of beer (or two) in China.

The potential of digital meetings has not been missed. Many of us even meet socially on digital platforms and I am convinced we will continue to use these platforms in future to an extent we would not have imagined prior to 2020. But they can not replace the unplanned, chance meetings at international conferences or on international research visits which we are all forced to abstain from at present. Chance meetings and a social glass of beer.

isb2021 logoWho would have thought that even ISB 2021 in Stockholm, the major event on the ISB calender, will be held digitally? We still all optimistically hope that as many of us as possible can actually travel to Stockholm. We need to meet, we need to laugh together, we need to exchange our science together, we need to make new exciting acquaintances in science and life. Let us all hope, that if everybody takes their responsibilities we will be able to do this again soon.

I am looking optimistically ahead. We are all putting in amazing efforts together to keep a strong society with a strong feeling of belonging. As soon as the situation permits, we will be ready to take off from the starting blocks again and get back into a normal life with the excitement and stimulation that we are all yearning for.

Let us reflect upon what 2020 has taught us. Each and every one of us, but also ISB, will come out of this stronger.

Finally, please remember that registration for ISB2021 is open and the deadline for abstract submission is the 31st January 2021:

Best Seasonal Wishes!

Take care,

Toni Arndt (ISB President)

Stockholm 10th December 2020