Monday, June 17, 2013

Why join a scientific society?

Posted by Erik Svensson

As some of you already know, I am involved in the council of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). When I got a request to join the ESEB council a few years ago, I was extremely flattered and could of course not say no: it is a mark of scientific recognition and that one's research is appreciated among colleagues. I bet most others who get this request would feel the same, and it certainly looks good on your CV and will help to get a job.

Recently, we had an internal vote in ESEB about potential new council members to recruit to the Council, and I happened to see at least one name on the list of potential new council members associated with the EXEB-lab (actually one of my former students). However, his/her name had a mark close to it: "Not an ESEB-member". This means that an outstanding chance to become elected to a very  flattering position in the evolutionary biology community was missed by this person - just because he/she did not pay the membership fee!

This tragic story should, if anything, hopefully convince all of you who read this to join one or several scientific societies in evolutionary biology immediately. Apart from an act of solidarity and showing your support for our scientific field it can actually be a boost to your career!

So, I urge all of you who read this: Join some scientific societies today! If you are a student, you will actually get a discount and have a chance to apply for scholarships, receive travel grants and prizes etc. If you are a postdoc or senior scientist, you will benefit from possibly becoming nominated to flattering scientific positions, such as the ESEB Council.

So go ahead, join ESEB, The Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) and the American Socitety for Naturalists (ASN). You will only benefit from this and have little to loose.

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