Dear Fellow Microscopists,
Compared to some NESM members, I’m a bit of a newcomer. The 2010 Fall Meeting at Carl Zeiss SMT was my first glimpse of the NESM family — a cozy group of brilliant scientists with a shared passion for very tiny things. At the time, I didn’t realize
that the society was still feeling the effects of the economic recession and that membership had hit a record low. As I settled into my position as Corresponding Secretary, I became aware of the difficulties facing the society. With a concerted effort, the NESM Board of Directors worked diligently to make strategic improvements. Since then, the President’s Letter has served as an opportunity to reassure members that the society was recovering. This letter is a bit different. With nearly 200 active members, NESM is no longer recovering but is in a state of steady growth. I would like to reflect this transition by focusing my final President’s Letter on the future of NESM.
For the first time in recent history, NESM will hold a themed meeting entitled “Development of Microscopy Tools and Techniques.” We hope that this special Fall Symposium will bring developers of microscopy tools together with researchers interested in applying microscopy solutions to their biological or materials questions. For this year’s Fall Symposium at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, MA, NESM aims to draw a diverse audience in an effort to highlight and discuss the interface between technology development and application.
We have assembled a panel of five speakers representing leaders in fields ranging from synthetic neurobiology to electrical and mechanical engineering. The meeting will showcase the extraordinary personnel and microscopy resources in the New England region as well as display the importance of disseminating scientific discoveries. Speakers from MIT, the Wyss Institute, and the Broad Institute will discuss groundbreaking tools that are being developed in the heart of Boston. The keynote speaker will be Ben Krasnow, Google X engineer and science hobbyist renowned for his YouTube channel “Applied Science.” Mr. Krasnow will be speaking about his home-built scanning electron microscope and will touch on his use of social media to share the scientific process with the general public. For more information about our Fall Symposium, please see the attached meeting schedule or visit our website at nesmicroscopy.org
Aside from planning the next year of meetings, the Board of Directors has identified several initiatives to help us better serve our growing society. We are actively mining the resources provided by our parent societies, MSA and MAS, to help bolster the content of our meetings by recruiting tour speakers and funding support. In the coming year, we hope to unveil a new program to increase the visibility of our Corporate Members and to help them provide information to members in search of the right microscopy tool or technique for their research. Along with these and other initiatives, NESM continues to add new and useful features to our website in an effort to simplify your interaction with the society.
As I wrap up my last month as President, I can’t help but marvel at how far we’ve come. The cozy family I joined in 2010 is now five times larger but just as close knit and friendly. Our journey has seen challenges, growth, and change for the better, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help steer NESM towards a bright and promising future. I wish the Board of Directors and the upcoming President, Dr. Jennifer Ross, success, and I look forward to another stellar year of meetings as I transition to my new role as Immediate Past President.