I am pleased to begin serving the Society for Industrial Microbiology (SIM) as President for 2011-2012. SIM has been in existence since 1949 and continues to be the premier society for industrial microbiology and biotechnology. Unlike some organizations which are about policy making and business dealing, SIM remains about presenting, publishing, and promoting quality science. This will continue to be SIM’s mission during and long after my term as president.
Announcing Society Name Change
There are a number of activities scheduled during my term. The society officially will be changing its name to the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. Adding “biotechnology” reflects the broad nature of the society – i.e. we are a lot more than just bacteria and fungi! We are also about the use of enzymes in the production of chiral intermediates and the cultivation of mammalian cells for the production of therapeutic proteins just to cite a couple of examples. The name change will be largely transparent to members but many administrative activities will be carried out to make this change official.
Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (JIMB)
Our publications committee is in the process of negotiating a contract renewal with Springer for publication of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (JIMB). JIMB is becoming one of the premier journals in the field. The impact factor jumped to 2.4 during the past year and a large number of subscribers across the world have that has access to this journal. Authors looking to publish papers in this field are realizing that our “Journal” provides a high degree of exposure.
SIM & Social Media
Social media has become a staple for how companies and organizations get their message out to the public and our society is no different. In addition to an overhauled website, we have established a blog to highlight scientific and news items of interest, a Twitter account so people can stay up to the minute on all things SIM including at meetings, a Facebook page, and finally a LinkedIn group with over 2400 members (and growing fast). We will continue to leverage these tools to expand our audience, increase our membership base, generate discussion and knowledge exchange, and gain valuable feedback on the Society’s events and services.
There are three meetings coming up during my term: Recent Advances in Fermentation Technology – RAFT IX (November 6-9, 2011; Marco Island, FL), 34th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (April 30-May 3, 2012; New Orleans, LA), and the 2012 Annual Meeting and Exhibition (August 12-16, 2012; Washington, DC). I look forward to your participation in these meetings. All SIM meetings are excellent venues for people from all scientific walks-of-life to exchange information, share ideas, network, and advance the application of microbes, mammalian cells, and enzymes for industrial processes. Feedback about our meetings continues to be overwhelmingly positive largely due to their high scientific quality and the fact that you do not need GPS to navigate the meeting hall or a search engine to find a paper or poster of interest.
On behalf of the Society, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Badal Saha for his contribution as President in 2010-2011 and for his continuing efforts as Past President for this coming year. I also would like to thank the outgoing board members Director Kevin Reynolds and Treasurer Val Benning for their service to the Society and welcome new board members Erick VanDamme (Director), Janet Westpheling (Treasurer), and Tom Jeffries (President-elect).
Like any other organization with revenues and expenses, SIM is not immune to economic downturns. However our society is financially prudent and has endured various financial and political climates over the past six decades. It speaks to the SIM product: presenting, publishing, and promoting quality science.
Neal C. Connors, PhD
SIM President, 2011-2012