2004 World Congress: Emerging Biotechnology and Integrated Human Capital
It has been my pleasure and honor to serve as the President of the Society for In Vitro Biology for these past 2 years. The task of leading an organization during a time of membership decline, an increasing deficit budget, and a diverse Board struggling to determine the Society’s core competence has not been painless. But as I reflect upon the collaborative inter-society activities of the upcoming World Congress and review the list of those to be recognized, I understand fully that this journey was well worth the effort.
In a previous communication to the membership, I talked about successful scientific societies that can capitalize on the “experience economy” factor. The message was that as a Society we have to understand the value that any experience holds for members who are part of this organization. This year’s recognition of those members for Lifetime pioneering achievement, scientific excellence and service to the Society, recognition of junior scientists and students is a clear message to the membership and scientific community. The message that the SIVB is not just about a 60 years old organization that has provided “scientific interest and education programs to understand the use of cells, tissues, organs and tissue-engineered biological products.” The Society is really about the recognition and value of people who have endured and built the many parts and history of this scientific community. A community of scientists who will leave their mark, not only as inventors and developers of community health and medicine, but as national and international colleagues and friends.
The issues of declining membership and deficit budget can be addressed as any business enterprise that looks to salvage the value of its mission and vision. The “experience economy” factor can only be a Society capital investment when members serve, not only as volunteers, but also continue to recognize those who contribute to the history of In Vitro Biology.
Sandra L. Schneider, DrPH