From the President

Issue: Oceans

05 February 2019 article


I will not deny that taking on the role of President is daunting. I do not believe in changing things for the sake of change and making a mark. Over the past few years the Microbiology Society has, through the hard work and vision of past Presidents, the Council and Committees, backed up by an exceptionally dynamic Chief Executive and officers, transformed into a really vibrant Society that is making a difference to both the research environment of our members, and the understanding of microbiology in the wider community. Rather than change the things that are already working very successfully, I will try to develop a few new avenues that might make UK microbiology even stronger.

This year I will be working with the member engagement team on a series of roadshow to be held across the UK and Ireland. We want to listen to the broad community of microbiologists, members and non-members, and discover what we can do to help bring microbiologists together in your area, strengthening communities and links between neighbouring institutions. We hope each roadshow event will bring together both ‘card-carrying’ microbiologists and researchers that are using microbes, but who might not identify as microbiologists. Through discussion, we hope to identify mechanisms by which we might help you develop a local, active community of microbiologists and facilitate exciting new collaborations. I hope to see many of you there.

I am really looking forward to attending the Society's Annual Conference 2019 (#Microbio19) in Belfast in April. It will be fantastic to talk to members and hear from the Prize Lecture winners, Hot Topic speakers and presenters in the sessions, and view the submitted posters that will be on display across the venue. The Teaching Microbiology in Higher Education Symposium will be taking place the day before Conference too, for those of you who have teaching responsibilities and wish to attend. The Early Career Microbiologists' Forum Summer Conference will also be hosted in Ireland, at Trinity College Dublin in June. Later in the year, the 2019 Focused Meeting series will run between June and October, with events taking place in Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow, Newcastle and Oxford.

To celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2020, we are launching a wide-ranging programme of events and activities to showcase why microbiology matters and to demonstrate the impact of microbiologists past, present and future.

We launched the programme in November with Why Microbiology Matters, a call to the community to nominate a discovery, event or activity that best highlights how microbiology answers big questions by giving us knowledge of very small things. If you have not already done so, please join in and make your nomination via our website. After making your nomination, you can also share your idea on Twitter using the hashtags #MicrobioSoc75th and #WhyMicroMatters.

Other events and activities which will form part of our anniversary year, will include a project on microbiology and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which you can read about on pages 38 and 39, celebrations of microbiology in art and literature and a showcase of our Fleming Prize winners. We will release more information about the programme and how you can get involved over the coming months.

Collaborating in science is key and we want to support the microbiology community, to help build connections and support the range of careers of the membership. Do log in to the member area of the website, Mi Society, where you can find member-only information and resources. Add your details to the Members' Directory and search for others in your field or related fields to find fellow microbiologists. Take advantage of the networking opportunities at Annual Conference too. If you need some advice about how to network, read the article on page 35 compiled by the professional development team. Follow the Microbiology Society on Twitter to keep up to date, and you can find out about my activities as President via my Twitter account too @Armitage_Judy. (And can I encourage those microbiologists who do not think Twitter is for them to give it a go. I did and the world of microbiology I was missing is a revelation!)

Judith Armitage

[email protected]