The Microbiology Society Roadshow in Dublin

Posted on January 22, 2020   by Miruna Iancu

On 23 October last year, Professor Judith Armitage, President of the Microbiology Society visited Trinity College Dublin as part of the President's Roadshow programme of events. Third year undergraduate Miruna Iancu attended the roadshow. Here, Miruna discusses the event.

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The Microbiology Society Roadshow in Dublin was an event designed to encourage networking and provide opportunities to its members and local communities to get involved and learn more about the Society’s goals and activities. Undergraduates, PhD students, postgraduates and professors all gathered in the Moyne Institute for the roadshow which stimulated conversations between people of all backgrounds in microbiology and science.

The event began with the Chair of Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin, Professor Charles Dorman, welcoming us and introducing us to the Chief Executive of the Microbiology Society, Peter Cotgreave. Peter spoke a little on his start in science studying zoology and gave a talk titled ‘Why the Microbiology Society Matters’. He touched on the Society’s work and resources and how to be a part of the Microbiology Society.

Next, President of the Microbiology Society, Professor Judith Armitage, gave a rousing account of her experiences doing a PhD as a woman in the 1970s, explaining how she overcame stigmas to build a successful career. Professor Armitage discussed how a work–life balance can be kept in equilibrium within the field of science through hard work and passion. “Never forget a weird result!” she told those assembled in the Moyne Institute. Professor Armitage explained how strange findings can often be the missing piece of the puzzle down the line.

A networking session with lovely refreshments of tea, coffee and pastries followed the roadshow talks. Here we were able to ask questions, engage in conversations and speak to the Microbiology Society team about pretty much anything. The Society created such an inclusive atmosphere where there were no boundaries on who you could speak to and everyone was seen as an equal. This really reflects in the Society’s work; the Early Career Microbiologists' (ECM) Forum allows early career members to have a say in decisions made and to influence the Society’s work.

The event enlightened its audience with many brilliant opportunities that the Society has to offer, such as the position of Society Champions, the ECM Forum, publishing for the community either in their journals or on the blog, as well the grants available to support members. The roadshow event was an incredibly engaging, informative and inclusive meeting, accessible and open to anyone who is interested in science and microbiology.