The President's budget, by slashing science investments, will consequently hinder evidence-based policy making
From its beginnings, modern science has been international. Global collaboration enhances biomedical science, and clinical trials and genetic research today rely on international cooperation.
Given the enormous uncertainty and the long trek from discovery to commercial payback, relying on the private sector to carry the lion’s share of funding for basic research would bring discovery to a grinding halt
Thursday, 22 December 2016 10:16

My First Year at the Wheel: Reflections on ASM

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Perhaps with more enthusiasm than originality, I feel compelled at the end of the year to look back on what has happened in my life.  The compulsion is even stronger this December, since the end of the calendar year coincides with my first year at the helm of ASM as its CEO. 
Microbiologists will soon be able to take advantage of a new publishing track that ASM is launching. Coming in the new year to all microbiology labs of the world and to ASM’s 50,000 members, it is my pleasure to announce mSphereDirect!
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:44

World AIDS Day 2016

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World AIDS Day 2016 gives us an opportunity to reflect on what progress has been made, and on what work still must be done
Friday, 18 November 2016 09:52

Advancing Antibiotic Discovery

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The value of sharing information    
Tuesday, 08 November 2016 10:55

ABRCMS 2016: Promoting Diversity in Science

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As I get ready to attend this year's ABRCMS meeting, I reflect on the issues involved in promoting diversity
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 11:43

Kavli Microbiome Challenge

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The Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge is currently underway and will be open until December 2nd
Monday, 03 October 2016 10:44

ASM Member Yoshinori Ohsumi Wins Nobel Prize

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Today is a special day for ASM: yet again another of our members has been awarded the Nobel Prize!
In part 1, I reflected on the historical change of the new ASM governance--here I would like to highlight some key issues that I see facing ASM and its new governance structure
Change does not come easily to most organizations, let alone to one with more than a century of history. In the recent vote on governance, ASM members embraced change, realizing that ASM must become more modern and more nimble in its decisionmaking
“Promoting Responsible Scientific Research” is the title of a new report just released by the American Academy of Microbiology, a component of ASM. It grew out of an Academy colloquium held last October to tackle an issue that is unfortunately becoming well known both inside and outside scientific circles—the lack of rigor in science. I am delighted that the Academy and ASM are taking on this difficult issue and am grateful to all the participants, the Academy steering committee, and especially to Dr. Arturo Casadevall of Johns Hopkins University, who chaired the colloquium.   
Monday, 13 June 2016 22:28

Migratory Microbiologists Boston Bound

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We could never hope to outnumber them. There are, after all, trillions of microbes around (and in) us, but this week at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) those who study microbes, dedicated microbial scientists, will gather in the thousands to present, argue, and ponder our favorite subject: the microbial sciences. I could not be more excited to be ASM CEO for the very first ASM Microbe meeting.  Thus far, we have over 10,000 registrants and I am imagining poster tubes by the thousands being stowed in overhead bins of every flight bound for Logan Airport. I can visualize the crowds converging…
Last week, I sketched out the increasing danger and a few of the responses to the spiraling problem of microbial resistance to our outdated and shrinking array of effective antibiotics. The new reports from the Pew Charitable Trust and the Wellcome Trust contributed to the alarm bells I am already hearing. 
The age of antibiotics is not even a century old, yet it is in serious jeopardy. Imagine returning to the time when the simplest wound or minimal surgery could quickly become a matter of life or death. This how humans lived—and died—until the mid-20th century, when biologists and physicians opened the path of discovery to effective antimicrobial drugs. 
It is always a special moment—a signal that something major is about to happen—when the science advisor to the President of the United States calls 100+scientific leaders to the White House for an announcement. For ASM leadership, the announcement on Friday, May 13, of a new national initiative to accelerate discoveries in microbiome research was particularly exciting. ASM was front-and-center for the event because we are front-and-center in this exploding research area.
In my previous two blog posts I examined what in my view is hindering the vitality of scientific societies, all triggered by a sharp conversation over sharp Stilton cheese with a good friend-inquisitor of mine. In this third and last post of the Stilton story, I want to examine why scientific societies like ASM are still relevant and so important and what they need to become in the near future to advance their missions.
In my previous blog post, I examined how a conversation over Stilton cheese and great wine made me think of the role of scientific societies in today’s time and age, and the external pressure points that I see afflicting the vitality of scientific associations.  
"Stefano, you seem like a smart person. Can I ask you why you decided to take a job with a scientific society?" I had just helped myself to a slice of a very sharp Stilton cheese, after a wonderful dinner supported by wonderful wine. All of a sudden the Stilton seemed even sharper. The question came from a very dear board member with whom I had worked in the past and who was someone whose opinion I treasured. I felt compelled not to fall back on defensive self-justification but instead to understand what was behind her rather chilling statement. Perhaps…
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