BCMB faculty member Andrew Holland is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology. Here’s why he thinks you should be a member, too!
Professional societies like ASCB are a valuable resource for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty.
“The science of life, the life of science.” That’s the motto of The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), a professional organization founded in 1960 and headquartered in Bethesda, MD. There are many options for those who want to join a professional society, and ASCB membership is a great investment if your research is related to cell biology. Besides famously hosting one of the largest annual meetings in the United States, ASCB has many programs in place for science advocacy, education, and professional development. Many BCMB faculty are members of ASCB, including MBG professor Andrew Holland. “I believe in the work they’re doing,” says Holland, speaking admirably of ASCB’s policy and professional development efforts. “For ASCB it is all about their members and they will do anything they can to build a strong and successful community of cell biologists. In these times of diminishing funding it is more important than ever to have a strong voice advocating for basic research. ASCB is that voice and they work tirelessly on our behalf. I believe we all need to show our support.”
Could you be a freelance science writer? Read on to find out.
Many BCMB students have taken the elective course, taught by Jeremy Nathans, called Great Experiments in Biology. Year after year, students enjoy the class and recommend it to their peers. Why do we like it so well? Other than an appreciation and understanding for the great scientists who came before us, I think that we enjoy the class because Dr. Nathans focuses on the personal stories of the scientists: how they got interested in science, why they studied what they studied, how they reacted and felt and progressed along their path to these fantastic discoveries. In my experience, I always remember the science better when I understand the motivation behind the discovery; I loved discussing science with visiting lecturers and BCMB faculty not just for the academic part of the conversation, but also finding out the background and circuitous path they followed to get where they are today.
If you are finding yourself nodding and agreeing and connecting with what I just described, you might be interested in a career in science writing and communication. Here, I’ve “interviewed” myself; I hope this can stimulate some questions and discussion about our roles as scientists in the world of media and communication.
I like to observe the world and know how it works. The thing that always fired me up was how incredible it is that mothers and daughters and fathers and sons could look and act so alike. This is where my fascination with genetics began.
Seth Zonies completed his graduate work in the lab of Geraldine Seydoux in 2011. Before he was a BCMB student, Seth worked at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the NIH in Bethesda, studying the development of hearing in zebrafish. Even before graduate school Seth was thinking about his future:
How many mentors in academic science are well-versed in the career path one takes to be a science policy analyst? Scientific consultant? Sales and marketing? Unless the mentor has undertaken a side venture of their own, chances are that their experience outside academia is limited. This can be a frustrating situation for both the mentor and their trainee who wishes to explore these non-academic career paths. Bruce Alberts, editor of Science, and Jim Austin, editor of Science Careers think that they have developed a tool to help both mentors and trainees who find themselves in this situation.