The 2012 Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Science Symposium, held in association with the 19th meeting of the GBIF Governing Board, will take place at Lillehammer University College in Norway on the 19th September and is open to the public. The theme of this year’s symposium will be “GBIF at work – biodiversity data at the service of science and society.” The symposium will feature eight presentations, including a keynote by Nathan Swenson, winner of the 2012 Ebbe Nielsen Prize, as well as a panel discussion on GBIF as data infrastructure to inform science and society.