It’s been a busy time for me at ASCB, held this year in Philadelphia. As a long standing member of the Women in Cell Biology (WICB) committee, I have been part of a community of men and women interested in issues of career development for junior scientists in the life sciences. On Saturday, we held a workshop called “Leveraging your PhD in the real world” and yesterday we held our annual career discussion and mentoring roundtables. As usual, I hovered over the “scientific editing” and “scientific writing” roundtables, and am grateful to all the editors and writers who gave of their time to mentor young scientists. Then last night – sponsored by the Public Information Committee, there was a fascinating discussion moderated by Rex Chisholm and including Nobel laureates Eric Wieschaus and Marty Chalfie and future ASCB president Sandy Schmid about secrets to their success – discoveries they were most proud of, the importance of going to seminars and talking about “half-baked” (to quote Eric Wieschaus) ideas, and knowing when to stop. Tonight are the WICB junior and senior awards and the mentoring theater. Congratulations to junior awardee Magdalena Bezanilla and senior awardee (DMM editorial board member) Zena Werb!
ASCB is very welcoming of developmental biologists and there have been many prominent ones in attendance. It’s an international and inclusive organization, and I encourage you to consider joining the society and adding the ASCB meeting to your busy calendars.