Dear ASPS members,
It seems like only yesterday I wrote to you in my new role of the Society’s President, and now it is time to wrap 2017 and reflect on events and achievements. Indeed, time flies.
For me the last 12 months have been extremely busy and rather hectic and I can bet that most of you will probably say the same. What worries me the most is that, in a constant chase of deadlines, we often do not have to time to enjoy what we are doing. The joy of getting some exciting result or having a grant funded or a paper accepted is usually short-lived and is soon replaced by a pressing need to meet yet another deadline. Do you have the same feeling?
To change this worrisome pattern I have decided to break the tradition of spending Sunday morning editing student’s papers (isn’t this our usual routine these days?) and spend a few minutes reflecting on what the Society has achieved in 2017.
The Combio meeting in Adelaide was a great success. Many thanks to all ASPS members involved in making it happening and, specifically, to Matt Gilliham and Rachel Burton who took a major workload in organizing this event. We are also looking forward towards equally successful Sydney meeting in 2018.
Many thanks to all of you who have managed to find a time in a busy schedule and attend AGM meeting at Combio. Those who can’t make it or did not attend the conference for one or another reason, can find a brief snapshot of major events and achievements in my report on ASPS website. Right now I want to briefly inform you on some progress made after the meeting, to implement new initiatives approved by the Society.
One of the central topics during the ASPS executive meeting in Adelaide was an issue of a gender equality in plant science. In order to bridge the existing gap, we have decided to introduce a new award that will be given to an early or mid-career female researcher in recognition of outstanding research conducted subsequent to her PhD. This award is named after Jan Anderson – a pre-eminent scientist and a foundation member of this Society. Now I am very pleased to inform you that this award has been formally launched, and the application for the inaugural 2018 Anderson Award is opened from Dec 1, with submission deadline being Feb 28, 2018. For more details and submission guidelines please visit ASPS website. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to three of the sponsors of this award: CSIRO Agriculture and Food, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis. We are looking for your nominations and thrilled to celebrate excellence in research by our leading Society female members.
Talking about awards, the decision has been also made to introduce several discipline-specific awards given to ECR on a bi-annual basis. We are working on this right now and hope to finalize the rules in early 2018. I will keep you posted on progress.
I thank you all for your contribution to the Society and also for the front line work as a researcher you are doing to promote the image of Australian plant science. I wish you all the best for the new 2018 and hope you can soon get a well-deserved rest and enjoy a break.