|December 24, 2015
CSM President Letter - December 2015
Dear CSM Members,
I hope that 2015 has been a good year for you. 2015 was another successful year for the Canadian Society of Microbiologists. We had an engaging and well attended annual scientific meeting at the University of Regina. The final report on the meeting can be found on the CSM-SCM website at http://www.csm-scm.org/english/conf_past.asp.
I extend a deep thank you to our outgoing President Dr. Charles Dozois for his commitment and sustained efforts in support of the CSM-SCM. I would be remiss if I did not also thank him for the hat he provided me during the "hat ceremony" during the 2015 Presidents Banquet; I wear it frequently during our CSM-SCM Executive Conference Calls.
I am enthusiastic about the upcoming year for the CSM-SCM and proud to be a member of the society. The CSM-SCM is your society and its success is due to your contributions and engagement. We have a strong diverse membership that includes undergraduate and graduate student members and academic, government and industry researchers ranging from post-doctoral to senior scientists. Due to our broad national membership, and the society's strong financial status we are well positioned to ensure that microbiology research is promoted and well recognized for its contributions to Canadian society. I look forward to working with you to ensure CSM-SCM continues to be a voice of microbiology research in Canada and provides valued services to its members. I hope to see you all at the 2016 annual scientific conference hosted at the University of Toronto, June 12-15.
On behalf of the CSM-SCM Executive I wish you happy holidays and a fantastic start to the new year!
Chris Yost, President
Canadian Society of Microbiologists
The following are highlights from the CSM-SCM Executive's current activities and news.
CSM Membership Changes and Nominations
A strength of the society is its focus on student education and professional development. A substantial portion of membership fees and annual conference funds are directed to student awards and for supporting student-organized events occurring throughout the year at universities across Canada (http://www.csm-scm.org/english/stu_report.asp). We can offer these advantages to students because of the continued support of members.
To facilitate the process of subscription to the CSM-SCM we will now offer 2 year memberships starting in January 2016. The CSM-SCM Executive hopes that by simplifying the membership process we can encourage greater consistency in our annual membership numbers. Renewing your membership early in 2016 helps us with our budget planning and allocation of resources to support activities such as student events. Helping us to advertise the CSM-SCM and recruit new members within your scientific networks will also help us to increase our support to students.
The CSM-SCM will be sending a call for nominations for the 2nd Vice President position in the new year and we encourage members to consider submitting a nomination for this posting. The society is built on the strength of its member engagement.
The recent change in the Federal government has provided encouraging new developments for science in Canada. Of particular note is the creation of a new Ministry of Science. A letter of welcoming was sent to Minster Duncan that was signed by past CSM-SCM presidents and current executive members. Minister Duncan recently sent a reply to the CSM-SCM. Both letters can be found on the CSM-SCM website as well as a letter that was sent to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Minster Bains.
Without a doubt the highlight of CSM-SCM activities is the annual scientific conference, and the CSM-SCM Executive is excited to promote CSM2016, which will be held at the University of Toronto from June 12-15, 2016. The LOC Co-Chairs Dr. Alex Ensminger and Dr. Trevor Moraes have provided the CSM-SCM Executive with a draft program that is ideally suited for capturing the broad interests of society members. The concurrent sessions have topics within each of the three main themes of the society, and they are assembling an impressive invitation list of presenting scientists. Confirmed speakers to date include: Dr. Grant Jensen (Caltech University), Dr. Ashlee Earl (Broad Institute), Dr. Jeffery Weiser (NYU), Dr. Kim Seed (Michigan), Dr. Sebastien Faucher (McGill) and Dr. Rosie Redfield (UBC).
A particular highlight to the conference is the opportunity for abstracts from conference registrants to be selected for the oral sessions. The LOC have designed a program that provides numerous opportunities for conference registrants to have their abstract selected for an oral presentation within the scheduled sessions. I encourage you to visit the CSM-SCM website to learn more as the program develops and also to follow the CSM twitter account and the conference twitter account @CanMicro2016 (#CanMicro2016) for updates.
The LOC has graciously accommodated 2 pre-conference workshops that will add extra value for conference attendees. Similar to CSM2015, there will be a workshop designed for those who are active in undergraduate microbiology education. The CSM Forum on Microbiology Education (CSM FOME) will bring together educators of varying levels of experience, all interested in improving microbiology education in Canada. This forum supports reform and improvement in microbiology undergraduate education in Canada, highlighting evidence-based teaching and learning strategies. Participants will share teaching methods that promote and foster a culture of scientific thinking. Please watch for further details that will be sent by the Forum co-chairs, Dr. Tanya Noel and Josie Libertucci.
The second pre-conference workshop will be a professional development workshop that will appeal to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. The afternoon Professional Development workshop will provide students and postdoctoral fellows with a wide-range of microbiology career perspectives from representative academic, industry, politics, journalism, and government sectors. Presentations and an expert panel will address a wide range of topics, which will help students better plan for a microbiology career involving elements of teaching, research, or science communication. Please watch for further details that will be provided by the workshop organizers, Dr. Nana Lee, Dr. Josh Neufeld, and Dr. Teri De Kievit.
With the offering of these workshops I am excited that the CSM-SCM is developing new approaches to increase our impacts in educating and mentoring the future leaders of microbiological sciences in Canada.
Stay tuned for further updates and we look forward to seeing you in Toronto in 2016!