The Society's scientific affairs shall be conducted through the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS), which advises the BOD on scientific matters coming before the COMS and from other groups within the Society. 

Functions. The COMS serves six main functions:

  • Is the “creative mind” of the Society that generates and deliberates on microbial sciences - related ideas, issues, and programs. The COMS has its radar screen set to scan the horizon to detect and anticipate trends in the science
  • Informs and advise s the BOD on scientific opportunities and threats , suggesting policies, actions , and programs that need to be taken or initiated to advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with the BOD and seeks BOD approval for resources for scientific programmatic activities deemed a priority by the COMS
  • Works in partnership with BOD , CEO , and staff to explore feasibility and implementation of programs
  • Identifies and makes recommendations to the BOD for discontinuation of scientific programs deemed no longer essential for the future of microbial sciences
  • Considers petitions to charter Branches and Divisions/SIGs at the programmatic level, and submit s to the BOD for fiduciary review and approval

Six broadly defined characteristics of an exceptional COMS to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Is broadly representative of the microbial sciences and the various components of the Society in all its scientific, ethnic, gender, cultural, and geographical components
  • Is composed of elected members who are recognized for their scientific and professional achievements and are leaders in their profession
  • Is visionary regarding the future of microbial sciences and speaks authoritatively
  • Is focused on the long-term horizon of the science, professional practice, and educational affairs
  • Works in partnership with the BOD, CEO, and staff to ensure that ASM allocates attention and resources to anticipate opportunities which will grow and advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with committees and staff to ensure the feasibility and implementation of proposed programs

Committees of the COMS will be generated and populated by processes identified in policies and procedures established by the COMS itself. The COMS shall adopt, and may amend from time to time, policies and procedures in the scientific interest of the Society, provided that such policies and procedures shall not be inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, or Policy and Procedures Manual of the Society. The COMS shall publish and make generally available to the membership any such policies and procedures in effect at any time. 

For more information about the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) please see the Policy and Procedure Manual