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Building Resilient Scientific Societies and Organizations

Building Resilient Scientific Societies and Organizations

Location: Online
Presented by: AIBS


Date: June 24, 2020
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 PM Eastern (this program will be recorded)

Robert Gropp, Executive Director, AIBS

Gale Allen, Executive Director, American Society for Gravitational and Space Research
Andrea Case, Executive Vice President, Society for the Study of Evolution
Austin Mast, Treasurer, American Society of Plant Taxonomists
Barbara Thiers, President, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC)

Who can attend: AIBS Council Representatives, Elected Leadership, or Staff of AIBS and NSCA member organizations.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused significant economic and operational disruptions for scientific societies and science-serving organizations. Some of the effects of the pandemic will be relatively short-lived, but other impacts will influence the sustainability and operations of scientific societies for years to come.

While some organizations may withstand economic losses from meeting cancellations, they may not weather the effects of reduced revenue from journal subscriptions or member dues. Other organizations are struggling to retain engagement from volunteer leadership and to ensure that future leaders are prepared to guide organizations through increasingly tumultuous times. Some professional communities are trying to understand how to retain global engagement during a period of restricted travel. These are but a few of the significant issues facing scientific society leaders.

A common challenge for all organizations is a lack of good information and best practices for how to navigate catastrophic disruptions.

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) invites representatives of its member societies and organizations to join colleagues in a series of virtual Council Meetings with presentations and facilitated discussions that will empower the leadership of biology serving organizations to guide their societies through this chaotic period.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying factors that lead to resiliency
  • Meeting planning in an era of uncertainty
  • Financial planning and reserve management
  • Membership engagement
  • Leadership development and recruitment
  • Operating virtually
  • Cultivating and supporting organizational leadership
  • Risk mitigation through collaboration
  • Finding the silver linings

These discussions are an opportunity for leaders of scientific societies and organizations to share concerns, identify best practices, and exchange resources. These programs will also help AIBS better serve and advocate for our members.

The program will be recorded and made available to AIBS Council Representatives who are unable to participate in the live program.

Future programs will be announced in the coming weeks. Discussions and recommendations from these programs will help inform the agenda for the December 9-10, 2020 AIBS Council Meeting, Strengthening the Bioeconomy.

Panelist's Biography

Austin Mast

Austin Mast is Professor of Biological Science at Florida State University, Director of FSU's Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium, and Associate Director of FSU's Institute for Digital Information and Scientific Communication. He serves as Treasurer for both the Citizen Science Association and the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, as Past President of the Society of Herbarium Curators, and as Executive Committee member for iDigBio--NSF's National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections. He co-teaches an annual course on Strategic Planning for Herbaria for the professional community and teaches Field Botany and Plants & Society for undergraduates. Austin is a co-founder of the annual Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio) Event, a four-day citizen science data-creation campaign for biodiversity research collections.

Barbara Thiers

Barbara Thiers is Vice President and Patricia K. Holmgren Director of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium of The New York Botanical Garden. She has recently served as Vice President for the Natural Science Collections Alliance and as President of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. She is incoming President of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. Barbara serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Biodiversity Collections Network and for iDigBio. She is also the editor of Index Herbariorum, the online index to collections of plants and fungi worldwide

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