Synergy, Collaborations and Shifting Landscapes

Sandra L. Schneider, DrPh, SIVB President

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt

As a nation, Thanksgiving signifies the approach of the holiday season and a time to reflect on what we have and what is important in our lives. There are thoughts of those fighting and dying in foreign countries to defend against terrorism and secure global peace. On a personal level, there are reflective thoughts of family, friends and our own angst of meeting yet another December and January grant deadline in the face of budget cuts and dwindling scientific resources. Many of you have made decisions to continue as members of the Society with renewals and the votes are being counted that will determine the June 2004-2006 change in leadership.

The SIVB, as many other societies, is caught in the dilemma of trying to do more work to maintain membership and scientific visibility with fewer resources. What will be the commitment of the Society to continue and/or “re-define” the focus of emerging technologies within the scope of in vitro biology? Will the Society be able to determine a profitable focus to find support for the significant science priorities of tissue culture and in vitro technologies within the constraint of small science programs? Will the Societies’ new leaders and emerging leaders be able to attract new collaborations with industrial partners and national laboratories to continue the mission and goals of the Society?

The Fifth World Congress will be held May 22-26, 2004 in San Francisco, California at the San Francisco Hyatt Regency Embarcadero Center. Since the establishment of the World Congress in 1991, this has been an opportunity for scientists dedicated worldwide to the profession of tissue culture to meet, discuss and exchange collaborative technologies. The World Congress, in conjunction with the 11th International Invertebrate Cell and Tissue Culture Association, will be hosted by collaborating societies to include the: Society of In Vitro Biology, The Japanese Tissue Culture Association, Japanese Association for Animal Cell Technology, European Tissue Culture Society, Swiss Tissue Culture Association and Japanese Society of Plant Cell & Molecular Biology. As a Society with a 60 years history, the World Congress will be a time to recognize in vitro pioneers Walter Nelson-Rees, Thomas Grace and Trevor Thorpe. The Congress will also be a time for many emeritus scientists who have maintained an active role in the society to meet with colleagues and provide the synergy to empower the next generation of in vitro scientists.

To be successful in the future, we must determine and “re-find” the purpose of the Society to implement scientific collaborations and quality educational programs. Programs that will continue to promote and standardize the profession of in vitro biology/technology and clearly articulate the Society products that will continue to provide technological developments through our recognition and assets as industry experts.