The past two years have been “eventful” to say the least. We have survived – and are still surviving a global pandemic that has tragically taken the lives of millions across the globe. During that time, we have kept the SIVB running and have had two very successful virtual meetings with great thanks to the meeting organizing committee who have kept engaged and kept speakers engaged to present fascinating new research. We have seen how many of our own members have been involved in projects that directly or indirectly led to tools and techniques for fighting the pandemic. With a brief pause, our members have mostly gotten back to their scientific pursuits for the benefit of society.
As I look back over the past two years, I have been amazed by the continued engagement of our members. The meeting statistics were fantastic. Our development committee was able to bring in record breaking contributions. We have launched a series of virtual seminars that have been fascinating to attend. Our members continue to be active in engaging in vigorous scientific pursuits and scientific discussion. Our societal engagement committee was launched and has been active in setting up new ways of communicating.
We have started to be more proactive in looking inward too. There is a continual initiative to help increase our diversity, equity and inclusion within our society. President Elect Addy Alt Holland and I participated in the American Institute of Biological Sciences’ workshop on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We can and should do better to bring in scientists from all different cultures and views. We need to better engage our students and postdocs to become the next generation of leaders not only in the SIVB, but in society as a whole.
This year, we are planning on a live meeting! I am so eager to be able to see you all without the framing of a computer monitor! We are also planning on having access to some on-line content. We have even extended that to include poster sessions to more assure student participation. I hope that these options allow for expanded access for those with difficulty to travel due to continual travel restrictions and cost considerations. At the same time, I am hopeful that as many as can do come to the live event to engage in the full, exciting scientific content and increased chances for engagement and networking. There is nothing that compares to a live event to find (or refresh) new colleagues, collaborators, opportunities, content providers and friends!
I have been supported by a great Board of Directors, our society members and our team from New Beginnings. I will continue to serve in my function as past president. As you know, we have recently had bi-annual elections and will welcome a new and equally exciting board in June. As past president, I will be reaching out to you all for the next round of elections. Please don’t wait for me to ask you all as to where you would like to serve. Proactively reach out to me to volunteer your name! We have so many amazing members, but few elected positions. Don’t wait to get on the ballot!
Thank you all for giving me the chance to serve as your president. The SIVB is a great society due to the great scientists who are active members. I look forward to being continually and consistently amazed by all that our members do!
Allan Wenck, PhD, JD
President, Society for In Vitro Biology