Ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society!
Are you a metabolomics scientist? Would you like to represent the metabolomics community? Would you like to be involved in driving forward international developments in metabolic science, community interactions and information exchange? If so, read on….
The Metabolomics Society (www.metabolomicssociety.org), founded in 2004, is the international Society promoting the development, use and understanding of metabolomics worldwide. The Society is growing year by year, supported by hundreds of individual, as well as several corporate members. One of the primary activities of the Society is to organize the premier international conference in metabolomics, with alternating annual venues in North America, Europe and the greater Asia–Pacific region. However, the Society also offers members an increasing list of other benefits, such as travel awards and prizes, funding for meetings, access to conference presentation videos, webinars from leading researchers, posting of job or event adverts and more.
The Society is led by a Board of up to 14 Directors (http://www.metabolomicssociety.org/board/board-of-directors), consisting of leading metabolomics researchers from around the world, and including the three Officer positions of President, Treasurer and Secretary. The immediate past Officers remain as part of the Board for two further years, in a non-voting role, to ensure a smooth transition of knowledge and responsibilities. For operational efficiency, the Board devolves its daily activities across numerous committees and task groups. These include the Conference and Training Committee, the Website and Communications Committee, the Publications Committee, the Membership Committee, and the Nominations and Elections Committee. These committees typically consist of 3–4 board members. In contrast, Task Groups involve a few Board members, but also have non-Board participants to allow greater contributions from around the community. The number of Task Groups is growing and now includes new groups such as Data quality, Computational Mass Spectrometry and Model Organism Metabolomes. Details of the committees and task groups can be found on the Society website. The Board of Directors is entirely voluntary, but since January 2014 has been greatly aided by the services of the Society’s management company, A-S-K Associates. They provide administrative support, allowing Directors to focus on the scientific and professional issues facing the community.
Each Director commits to a term of 2 years, after which he/she has the option to stand for re-election for a second 2-year term. The process for election of new Directors is initiated around May/June each year. In 2015, one current Director will finish their second term and therefore provide spaces for one new Director to be elected. In addition, four Directors will finish their first term and may stand for re-election. For the new positions we are calling on the membership to nominate outstanding and energetic metabolomics researchers to join the Board. To maintain the growth of the Society, and build on the momentum generated in recent years, we need researchers who are both active in metabolomics sciences but also motivated to serve the community by developing the vision and activities of the Society still further. Nominees should be able to commit sufficient time to be actively involved in typically two of the Board’s tasks groups and committees, an average commitment of ~2 h per week.
The election process is overseen by the Nominations & Elections Committee, which coopts two non-board Members who observe the process for transparency. Any current Member of the Society can make a nomination (by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org); the nomination must be seconded by two other Members. Each nominee contributes a short biography and a statement of purpose, which will be published on the Society’s website. The membership then vote for their preferred nominees during July/August. The nominees with the highest number of votes are invited to become a Director and the newly elected Board members will begin their term of office on October 1st 2015.
So why not step forward and energize your community?