We asked, you delivered
Over the summer, we asked you, the members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, to help us create an annual meeting experience at Discover BMB 2023 that includes opportunities not just to learn the latest research but also to sharpen skills, identify new strategies to implement in classrooms and labs, expand science outreach efforts and support a more diverse, equitable, accessible and inclusive scientific workforce.
While research talks are a perennial staple, scientific conferences are also perfect venues for professional development. ASBMB members agree, and from the workshop submissions we received, we’ve created a meeting that showcases the many facets of being a scientist. Workshops at our meeting in Seattle will span a range of topics — something for nearly everyone.
As we offer a sneak peek of the workshops on tap for #DiscoverBMB, be on the lookout for one more big ask, specifically about the first workshop listed. In our call for proposals, we highlighted DEAI as a priority topic area. A strong scientific workforce benefits from all voices participating, and in that spirit, Neena Grover has asked us to help her identify additional leaders engaged in anti-racist classroom practices to be part of her session.
Diversity, equity, access and inclusion
- Anti-racist classroom practices, led by Neena Grover, Colorado College. The goal of this workshop is to provide actionable strategies to create a more inclusive and equitable classroom space that enables all students to be successful. In support of this goal, Grover hopes to engage additional faculty to share anti-racist practices they have incorporated into their classrooms. If you plan to attend #DiscoverBMB and you use anti-racist practices in your classroom, please contact us at email@example.com so we can connect you. And if you’re not already engaged in these practices but want to learn, be sure to add this workshop to your meeting schedule.
- Incorporating anti-racism, social justice and equity themes into biochemistry courses, led by Rou-Jia Sung, Carleton College. If you’re looking to move from inclusive practices to inclusive course content, join Sung and her colleagues for this workshop. Attendees will explore strategies and activities to integrate the historical, racial and social impacts of biochemistry into the scientific concepts being taught. You’ll walk away with an individual action plan and a network of support to implement that plan.
- Developing scientific writing courses for different stages of STEM training, led by Karin Musier–Forsyth, Ohio State University. In this workshop, Musier–Forsythe and colleagues will explain how they’ve built scientific writing courses for both undergraduate and graduate training. The bulk of the session will include examples from these courses. Whether you’re looking to build a similar course at your institution or seeking strategies to improve your own scientific writing, this workshop has you covered.
- Building science communication training into your classrooms, training programs and large-scale grants, led by Melissa Rowland–Goldsmith, Chapman University. The ASBMB’s own science communication course, the Art of Science Communication, will be the focus as you learn from facilitators how this online course can be adapted for classrooms, research training and grant-funded research centers to help scientists improve their ability to disseminate research to general audiences. We hope educators and program directors will consider using this ASBMB resource to enhance their training efforts.
- Outreach for all ages: How to build an outreach program targeted to an appropriate audience, led by Michael Wolyniak, Hampden–Sydney College. Are you unsure where to start when engaging in science outreach? Workshop participants will learn how to identify whom you want to reach with your outreach efforts and how to design an activity that meets your audience’s needs.
- Building partnerships to bridge STEM outreach to the real world, led by Shyretha Brown, Building Bridges Inc., and Christina Swords, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Brown, Swords and others will share tools and strategies to establish and sustain strategic community partnerships, with an emphasis on connecting your outreach activities to inspiring and empowering future scientists. This workshop will include a hands-on outreach demonstration to inspire you to take your science from the lab out into the real world.
- Capturing student attention by escaping traditional pedagogy, led by Antonio Mele, University of Central Florida. Active learning is the name of the game in this workshop, where you’ll find out how to use escape rooms to facilitate deeper learning. Attendees will try an example escape room, so stop by if you’re in the mood for some game-based learning.
- Basics of the iCN3D program: A user-friendly tool for biomolecular modeling, led by Kristen Procko, University of Texas at Austin. If you want to learn how to increase student understanding of structure–function relationships, look no further. Procko and colleagues will show attendees how to use this freely available resource in hands-on demonstrations. Be sure to bring your laptop.
- Using open-source molecular docking and visualization tools to explore protein–ligand interaction in the undergraduate classroom, led by Roderico Acevedo, Westfield State University. Building from the Biochemistry Authentic Science Inquiry Laboratory, or BASIL, curriculum, Acevedo and colleagues will host another computer-intensive workshop, in which attendees will explore several tools, such as SwissDock and PyMOL, to predict protein–ligand binding and visualize results. If you’re interested in integrating biomolecular modeling into your instruction, whether at the introductory or advanced level, don’t miss this session.
- Enzyme function initiative genomic enzymology tools web resource, led by John Gerlt, University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. In this workshop, attendees will walk through four freely available tools to explore sequence–function space in protein and enzyme families. Whether you’re looking to use these resources in the lab or the classroom, this workshop will get you started.
- Building professional relationships, led by Erica Gobrogge, Van Andel Institute. Consider this workshop if you’re hoping to expand your network for the purpose of landing a job or establishing a collaboration. You’ll receive tools and strategies to identify your networking goals and effectively initiate and maintain relationships.
- Seconds to impress, led by Kimberly Beatty, Oregon Health and Science University. Learn how to make your CV stand out in a competitive job market. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how hiring managers review CVs and walk away with strategies to identify how best to communicate your skills and qualifications. Whether you’re on the job market now or planning to look for a job soon, don’t miss this opportunity to give yourself a competitive edge.
- National Science Foundation — funding opportunities for research and broader impacts, led by Manju Hingorani, NSF Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Division. Looking to learn more about funding opportunities at the NSF? Join Hingorani and other MCB program directors for an insider’s perspective on the review process. You’ll have a chance to talk to them about your research ideas.
(Workshop names and descriptions may be modified and updated before the 2023 meeting.)
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This is an edited excerpt from “Life and Research: A Survival Guide for Early-Career Biomedical Scientists,” a book that started as a tweet, according to its authors.