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Past Event. Speakers' slides and audio are now available online. See below for links.

Susan Stafford Susan Stafford

American Institute of Biological Sciences 2012 President Susan Stafford, the AIBS Board of Directors, and AIBS staff, invited organizations to join us in an exploration of topics challenging biological organizations today. They discussed issues in journal publication; scholarly society membership; and building collaborations - globally and locally -- to strengthen policy, education, and public appreciation efforts. The meeting theme continued to build on recent efforts and the 2011 theme.

Save the date The AIBS Council Meeting took place:

December 5th, from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM (lunch and reception included)
*Capital Hilton
South American Room
1001 16th Street NW, Washington DC

Who attended?

Officers of AIBS member organizations, particularly those in one of the following positions: President, President Elect, Past President, AIBS Council Representative, and Executive Director. Organizations could of sent more than one representative.

To join/renew your organization's AIBS membership, click here.

Was there a charge?

There was no charge to attend. Registration was free.

What is the role of the AIBS Council of Representatives?

AIBS informs decision-making and catalyzes action that strengthens the biological field and profession. The AIBS Council of Representatives, which includes appointees from AIBS Member Societies and Organizations, serves an important role in connecting AIBS and its member organizations to leadership initiatives that advance the field.

The AIBS Council of Representatives is both an advisory and leadership body. The Council informs the Institute's efforts through communicating about issues and opportunities to grow the field and profession that are beyond the purview of one organization alone; and advises the AIBS Board of Directors to ensure timeliness and relevance of the Institute's activities.

The relationship between AIBS and the Council serves to strengthen both the Institute and its member organizations. AIBS strives to provide relevant information, expertise, and/or resources that will empower its member organizations to grow and thrive. These resources are shared digitally, in person at the annual Council meeting, and through print/online publications such as BioScience and in timely, topical reports.

Event Agenda

9:00-9:15 Welcome message from 2012 AIBS President, Susan Stafford

Recording of Susan Stafford's welcome message

Cara Kauffman

9:15-10:00 The Changing World of Journal Publications

Cara Kaufman, Kaufman Wills Fusting & Company, Publishing Consultants
David Crotty, Senior Editor, Oxford University Press

The world of journal publication is changing dramatically and this is greatly affecting our communities scholarly/professional associations. Learn more about these changes through a discussion with consultants and publishers who can provide insight into the change, what to expect, and how to respond as an organization leader.

Cara Kaufman's Slides (.ppt) Presentation did not occur. Slides are still provided
David Crotty's Slides (.ppt)
Recording of David Crotty's Presentation

Recommended Reading

The Finch Report is available here.

Mary Byers

10:15-11:15 Membership Topics in Scholarly and Professional Associations

Mary Byers, professional association consultant and author Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations
Sheri Potter, Business and Program Development, AIBS; co-author of AIBS report Biology in the 21st Century: Results of a 2010 survey of biology professionals and students.

Back by popular demand, consultant Mary Byers, author of Race for Relevance, will speak about issues that affect membership in professional associations. Coupled with AIBS Manager Sheri Potter, the two will examine data from the AIBS survey of biology professional and students and how that data informs membership recruitment and retention strategies for biology professional organizations.

Mary Byers and Sheri Potter's Slides (.ppt)
Recording of Mary Byers and Sheri Potter's Presentation

Recommended Reading

Organization survey: AIBS surveyed biology organizations, predominately scholarly societies, to identify common points of interest among scholarly organizations. Read the report.

Individual professional survey: AIBS surveyed over 4,000 individual biologists and biology students to better understand the community, common concerns, and to help improve the work of all scholarly societies. Read the report.

Cross generational conversation: AIBS hosted a cross generational conversation to discuss a range of professional issues that impact scholarly societies. Read the event summary.

Last years Council meeting: view presentations and slides, including Ed Hackett's presentation on history of societies here.

In progress: AIBS' next investigation is under way now! We are mapping the organizations that advance the field to better understand the roles of these organizations and capacity of the community. To ensure your organizations information is included in the report, and that it has been verified by an appropriate representative, click here.

Debra Natenshon

11:20-12:15 Outcomes Management for Strategic Planning

Debra Natenshon, Center for What Works

How do you know that your organizations work is having an impact? Learn more about current trends in measuring and reporting the success of your organizations efforts to your members and potential funders -- and why that matters.

Debra Natenshon's Slides (.pdf)
Recording of Debra Natenshon's Presentation

Additional Resources:

Visit The Center for What Works website.


12:15-1:00 Lunch provided


Mark Downs

1:00-1:45 Topics in Biology Leadership

Mark Downs, Chief Executive, Society of Biology
Richard O'Grady, Executive Director, American Institute of Biological Sciences

Executive Director of the UK-based Society of Biology, and AIBS Executive Director Richard O'Grady explore topics in biology leadership nationally and internationally. How do the communities of organizations and professionals differ? How are they alike. How does this information affect the way we recruit and service individual members, create benefits, and build our science in a global context.

Mark Downs' Slides (.pptx)
Recording of Mark Downs' Presentation

Marta Bonifert

1:45-2:30 Special Event: Awarding of the 2012 AIBS President's Citation Award

Marta Szigeti Bonifert, Executive Director, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe

Marta Szigeti Bonifert, Executive Director, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe is tasked with building large scale cooperative programs between policymakers, the public, NGO's and business to address environmental issues across the EU. She was selected by 2012 President Susan Stafford for her exemplary work building these collaborations to advance science through complex and politicized environments. In accepting her award, Marta will share lessons learned that will impact how we as a community consider the opportunities and risks in developing collaborations to advance our own science on a national and international stage.

Marta Szigeti Bonifert's Slides (.ppt)
Recording of Marta Szigeti Bonifert's Presentation

2:30-3:15 Success through Collaboration

Robert Gropp, AIBS Director of Public Policy
Susan Musante, AIBS Manager of Education
Sheri Potter, Business and Program Development, AIBS; co-author of AIBS report Biology in the 21st Century: Results of a 2010 survey of biology professionals and students.

Rob Gropp, Susan Musante, and Sheri Potter lead a discussion of the communities efforts in collaboration: successes and challenges in building collaborations to advance public policy, education, and public understanding of science.

Rob Gropp, Susan Musante, and Sheri Potter's Presentation (website)
Recording of Rob Gropp, Susan Musante, and Sheri Potter's Presentation

3:30-4:30 Discussion Groups

Concurrent small discussion groups invite meeting attendees to explore the meetings topics in greater depth with consultants and other attendees facing similar challenges and opportunities.

Each attendee will enjoy 20 minutes of focused dialog at three discussion groups of their choosing:

  • Scholarly society roles: membership services and bottom-line outcomes - How do we balance our two roles as professional organizations and scholarly societies? How do we keep our organizations vital? How do we know if we are succeeding?
  • Journal publishing: challenges and opportunities - How to strengthen journal viability in an electronic world?
  • Collaboration among organizations - What lessons from the Regional Environmental Center are transferable? What are the differences?
  • Topics in Biology Leadership - What issues and topics are shaping the field today? Where are the field's edges? What are the greatest challenges for leadership in the field?

4:30-5:30 Reception

Beverages and hors d'oeuvres provided!


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