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WHAT'S NEW  ::  CSM & Microbiology

CSM & Microbiology

October 19, 2020
CSM President Letter Fall 2020

To begin, I hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during these unprecedented times! I am pleased to be writing my first letter as the President of the CSM. At the Annual Conference of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists held in Winnipeg in 2000, I presented my first ever scientific poster and 20 years later, it was a privilege and an honor to receive the President's hat from the outgoing President Dr. Janet Hill. I would like to begin with thanking Janet for her service to the Society as the President last year. We are grateful that Janet continues to provide her advice to the Executive committee as the Past President.

The year 2020 has been nothing like we have ever experienced before. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we were, for the first time in my memory, not able to meet for our Annual Conference which was supposed to be held at University of Guelph. However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Local Organizing Committee headed by Drs. Kari Dunfield and Cezar Khursigara who worked extremely hard with the planning and organization of the conference until we were affected by the pandemic. We all know organizing the Annual Conference of the CSM takes months and months of planning, and we all appreciate the hard work put in by the LOC in preparation for the conference. The University of Guelph LOC has kindly agreed to host the conference in 2021, with the tentative dates of June 20th-23rd. Details of this conference will be forthcoming.

Though we were not able to meet in-person this past summer for our Annual Conference, we were able to hold three major award lectures via a virtual platform. Congratulations to Dr. Lori Burrows (CSM Murray Award Winner), Dr. John Whitney (Thermo Fisher Award Winner), and Mr. Brendan Daisley (Armand-Frappier Outstanding Student Award ). Dr. Burrows has kindly donated her award to establish a new award; details of this award will be available on the CSM website shortly. We thank Dr. Burrows for her ongoing commitment to Canadian Microbiology and Microbiologists. Many thanks also to our Meeting Secretary, Dr. Christopher Yost for his hard work in organizing the Award Lectures to be delivered virtually on such short notice.

An additional bright spot this year has been the commitment of all the members to the Society. As of September 2020, we have 518 members (286 Regular, 154 Student, 53 Post-doc, 21 Emeritus, and 4 honorary). It is heartening to see that a large number of members (418) from 2019 renewed their membership in spite of the fact that we did not have an in-person meeting in 2020. Engagement of students and post-docs is critical for the health of our Society. As a student member of the society many years ago I was reminded by a former President of the Society that ours is the society of Microbiologists with the emphasis on the members. So please encourage your colleagues and members of your laboratory and Department to join the CSM. As a member of the CSM, you have access to number of benefits that are highlighted on the webpage http://www.csm-scm.org/english/mem_join.asp. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch. There are various upcoming opportunities to get engaged with the Society and shape the future of CSM. A call for nominations and volunteers to fill positions on the Executive and various committees of Council will be distributed in early December, so please consider getting involved with your CSM!

As I mentioned at the Annual General Meeting, CSM takes Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) very seriously and the Executive Committee is currently working to ensure that EDI is front and centre of CSM and we will be contacting you soon with more details.

Please feel free to contact us (info@csm-scm.org) with any suggestions and comments.

Stay safe and thank you.
Ayush Kumar, President
Canadian Society of Microbiologist

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