The Carnegie Institution Postdoctoral Association (CIPA) paired with the American Society of Plant Biology (ASPB) to organize a symposium for early career scientists on August 2nd, 2019, one day prior to the society’s annual meeting in San Jose, CA. The goal of this symposium was to bring together a small group of ASPB participants to talk about their research in the form of oral presentations and posters. The event was immensely successful in promoting science communication and transparency among participants. Additionally, it allowed participants to forge meaningful connections with each other before the start of the larger meeting.
The day started with two short-talk sessions from the attendees in the Plant Biology seminar room, followed by a lively discussion at lunch. Then, participants joined Carnegie postdoc and active CIPA member, Jiaying Zhu on a tour of Stanford University’s campus. Once the tour finished, participants attended a career panel to discuss and ask questions about different types of career opportunities available for plant biology researchers. The expert panel consisted of scientists working in academia, industry and in different fields of science communication and policy. The panelists also talked with participants in smaller groups to address more specific career questions. Rishi Masalia, director of bioinformatics at Leafworks, Inc., and one of the career panelists, described his excitement about attending the symposium as well as the quality of talks in his tweets.
The event concluded with a poster session and an evening reception in the Department of Global Ecology lobby. This session was well attended not only by symposium participants but by several other scientists from Carnegie Plant Biology as well.
After the event was over, CIPA conducted a survey for participant feedback. Participants unanimously highlighted that they greatly appreciative for the networking opportunity and the quality and breadth of the short talks. Moreover, they expressed interest in having this kind of symposium directly preceding ASPB in future years. We overall believe that this feedback emphasizes the success and impact of the symposium.
Contributed by Dr. Suryatapa Ghosh Jha