Dr. Bellido's President Report - June 11, 2020
Date: June 11, 2020
Earlier today a message was sent out to all members announcing that the ASBMR Council has decided to transition our 2020 Annual Meeting to a completely virtual event, taking place September 11-15. This decision was not made lightly, but with the safety, health and well-being of our meeting attendees as our top priority. We are confident that a virtual event will allow us to provide the same caliber of content and knowledge exchange as our in-person meetings – only with more dynamic and more interactive digital presentations.
We also recognize that many of our members and attendees have been financially impacted by COVID-19. To help during these extraordinary circumstances, I am also pleased to share that the ASBMR Council decided that registration for the 2020 Annual Meeting will be free for all ASBMR members.
After extending the 2020 Abstract Submission deadline, we received nearly 1,000 abstracts which is comparable to our 2019 regular submission total. Sixty one percent of this year’s abstracts were submitted by our young investigators—10% higher than last year. We also had a large number of submissions from outside of North America. With this strong participation, we are excited and confident that the 2020 Annual Meeting will have the top-quality research, presentations and sessions for which our program is known. More details regarding the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting will be shared over the coming weeks and registration will open in July. We have compiled a FAQ page on the ASBMR website.
In a statement to the membership last week, I noted that as an organization, we “have an opportunity and obligation to listen to each other and lift our collective voice against social injustice and racism.”
As a first step, ASBMR hosted a virtual listening session on June 4th to provide members with the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings on the horrific loss of life of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and began to discuss actions that we can take as a community. Over 40 members from around the world participated for an hour of emotional and powerful conversation. A recording of the listening session is available here.
Also last week, the ASBMR Council unanimously voted to upgrade the ASBMR Diversity Subcommittee to a full standing committee. Discussion of this change started in February 2020 with the Council recognizing the importance of the subcommittee’s initiatives to our mission and strategic plan and the need for these goals to be driven by a full standing committee. The charges and members of the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee have been posted to the ASBMR website.
ASBMR is committed to placing a deliberate focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), beginning with the following areas of focus:
- Development of a Diversity and Inclusion Statement of Principles
- Incorporation of DEI goals into our current Strategic Plan
- Commitment to diverse representation within all ASBMR volunteer opportunities and award programs
- Engagement on DEI topics through conversations and educational offerings
TI encourage each of you to play an active role in our efforts to help address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Engage in the conversation, reach out to your colleagues, listen and educate yourself. The ASBMR DEI Committee has compiled a list of suggested anti-racism resources.
Each of us has agency to act and to help bring about a more inclusive scientific community. Let us do so today.