New Partners and New Ventures for ASCB in Science Education Reform

newpartnersIn a 2012 Science editorial, Bruce Alberts, a former ASCB president who was then the journal's editor, urged professional societies to team up in leading innovation in science education. ASCB took that charge seriously. In an editorial that appears in the latest issue of CBE—Life Sciences Education (LSE) ,  Adam Fagen, the Executive Director of the Genetics Society of America (GSA), and I announce an important editorial partnership to strengthen ASCB's science education journal, which has been called the flagship of data-driven, science education reform.

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Happy Gastrulation Day, Everyone!

The Italian poet, Giovanni Pascoli, once said that inside all adults, there is a child, il fanciullino, who is responsible for putting each of us in contact with the world through imagination and sensitivity. My fanciullino was on steroids when I recently met at a school with second graders to talk about biology! There is nothing so satisfying as explaining biology to children. They have that uncanny curiosity that can light a fire under any adult's lukewarm curiosity.

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The Researcher Who Never Was: Sequestration Blues-Part Two

I woke up in New Orleans on March 1, the first day of the so-called sequestration. Like most Americans who found themselves outside the Washington Beltway on "S-Day," I woke up to no news and few visible differences. Yet I could feel great political and economic wheels grinding away at the base of American research science. S-Day forced me to think about the future for the most vulnerable in science, students and early-career researchers.

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The Researcher Who Never Was: Sequestration Blues-Part One

So it happened. I woke up on March 1 in a hotel room in New Orleans, and everything was eerily quiet. Outside, it was the usual silent rush hour of barges, slowly being pushed up the Mississippi River. Inside, there was only the occasional slammed door down the hallway, probably an unfortunate hotel guest who needed to catch an early flight. Despite the arrival of the draconian automatic government spending cuts known as sequestration, the rotation of the earth had not come to a grinding halt.

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The Challenge and the Power of Diversity

When I made my decision a few months ago to join ASCB as its new Executive Director, I was particularly impressed by the Society's long tradition of breaking glass ceilings. From its earliest days, ASCB struggled to promote diversity in the life sciences. The modern embodiment of that commitment is our very active and influential Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC). There are no doubts that issues about minorities, race, and diversity are among the most polarizing topics in American society that are too often swept under the rug for fear of giving offense or in the desire to avoid controversy. This is why I am so glad that at ASCB we can tackle these complex issues, and work to find solutions to ensure the best workforce possible in cell biology. This is an ambitious, challenging, and broad goal, and one too important to be brushed aside.

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