November 2009

An Invigorated Minority Affairs Committee

Infused with new members and fresh ideas, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s minority affairs committee is embarking upon several ambitious initiatives aimed at fostering communication among constituents, building upon relationships with other organizations and enlivening its scientific programming.

In July, three new members joined the minority affairs team. Energized and ready to serve, the committee since then has met monthly via teleconference and has started redefining its objectives and strategy.

A Specific Mission with a Broad Impact

Since the committee was formed in 1971, minority groups have been defined on the basis of race and ethnicity. Today, the average age of the ASBMB membership is about 55, making students, postdocs and junior scientists a significant minority group for our society.

For the committee to spearhead initiatives and develop programming that will include all of ASBMB’s underrepresented groups, we need to hear from our constituents. We need to know who we represent and about their needs.

That’s why we have developed a registry for minority and young scientists, mentors and advocates.

We hope it will create a community that will help us develop and vet our agenda, and we hope it will serve as a rich resource of contacts for those orchestrating activities, such as meetings and workshops, at ASBMB and other arms of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Creating Opportunities by Facilitating Networking

There is no doubt that who knows you is more important than who you think you know and what you know. Invariably, finding people to plan and/or speak at our annual meetings requires that someone on the meetings committee know you or someone you know.

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