Earlier this month, the Society moved into our new headquarters (HQ) at Charles Darwin House, London and as I write this blog post, I’m sat at my desk, looking out over the rooftops of Bloomsbury. By moving our headquarters to London, we can continue to grow and prosper in a location better suited to our needs as a Society. The move to Charles Darwin House also enables us to continue to collaborate with other Learned Societies within the sector, many of whom are already based here on the premises. By placing ourselves at the heart of the science communication and policy communities, we will be able to pass on these benefits to our Members and the applied microbiology community at large, in a way that is both real and relevant. Here in London there’s a unique feeling of being amongst it, being part of something, and I’m certain as a Society we will thrive from the energy and drive of the UKs capital city.
Now that we’ve settled in, we can progress our work promoting Microbiology and its application and relevance to the lives of our members and non-members. We will do this through policy work – we’re currently advertising for a new Policy Officer, who will assist us in remaining informed and responsive at this important time in the political landscape. We are also increasing our resources in communications – we have appointed a new Press and Media Officer and he’ll be starting with us next month and will provide much needed support to our communications team.
And I’m delighted by the diversity of our events calendar: we have the following meetings coming up, including our EMI lecture: “Waging peace: establishment and maintenance of stable alliances between animals and their microbial partners” Professor Margaret McFall-Ngai is a pioneer and international leader in the field of animal–microbe interactions and her research into the relationship between a host and its microbiome continues to challenge traditional microbiological notions. On the same day, our Early Career Scientists (ECS) have organised their annual research conference, which this year carries the theme: Bioethics. This is always such an inspiring day, and to witness some of the science presented by our early career researchers is often a humbling experience. The final event of the year for the Society is the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) meeting. We are particularly proud to have Professor Dame Sally Davies as our Keynote speaker for this event, which will explore the important theme of “Finding solutions to a threat on worldwide public health”.
As well as our meetings and events, the breadth of our own journals, Journal of Applied Microbiology (JAM) and Letters in Applied Microbiology (LAM), means they are an excellent place for members and non-members alike, to find and publish cutting-edge research in this diverse field. I’d also encourage you to take a look at our Open Access journal, Microbial Biotechnology which recently published a special issue: Microbial Biotechnology-2020 where luminaries in the field were invited to propose a roadmap of routes, obstacles and solutions for the planet’s Grand Challenges, through microbial biotechnology.
The next few months will be a busy and exciting time for us here at the Society office – but do come and chat with the SfAM team at our new HQ, you’ll be very welcome. And if you can’t come and visit, then I hope to see some of you soon at one of our upcoming events.