IUBMB new Executive Council team was elected in the IUBMB General Assembly held in Seoul, S. Korea in June last year during the IUBMB Congress. The new team officially moved into actions since January 1, 2019. The first EC meeting was held in January this year in Miami in conjunction with the 2019 Miami Winter Symposium on “Evolving Concepts in HIV and Emerging Viral Infections”. Some of the EC members met for the first time in person and I am pleased to see that we were all very enthusiastic about our new duties and looked forward to serving our union together.
First I would like to thank our previous General Secretary Michael Walsh in starting the IUBMB Newsletter project and the current GS Jim Davie in continuing this fantastic endeavor. This newsletter is the 7th in its series. The readers will find that our newsletters contain rich information about the activities associated with IUBMB and its regional federations. In my message here, I only outline a few of the activities and some thoughts about the roles of IUBMB could play for the society.
With the strong support of our President-elect, Professor Alexandra Newton, we initiated a new social media program. You can now follow us in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on many exciting events in the IUBMB community. We hope these social media outreach platforms will attract young scientists and general public to know more about the importance and contributions of molecular bioscience to the society.
An interesting development is that we collaborate with a graduate student, Briana Bibel from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, to use her communication tools to promote biochemistry and molecular biology. We invited her as an IUBMB Student Ambassador and we look forward to a successful new experiment. Please follow the developments on IUBMB website and give her a thumb up!
During the Miami EC meeting, we held an extensive meeting with Wiley publisher, our IUBMB journals principal publisher. Julia Kostova, Executive Editor from Wiley, later provided us with the 2018 Publisher’s report for the IUBMB journals. I am pleased to say that our journals preformed well in many key metrics of success, including circulation, readership, citation, time to publication, article output, and marketing uptake. I appreciate all the great efforts of our Editors-in-Chief, editors, editorial advisory boards to make our journals successful. Certainly there are always room to improve and we will work hard to make our journals better. Moreover the Open Access policy is looming over the publication domain and we need to find ways to work with our publishers so we can provide scientists ample room to develop. I encourage our members to submit your excellent papers to our journals. Any suggestions or comments from you are all very welcome.
An important mission of IUBMB is to support various conferences and meetings to disseminate scientific advancements in our field among us. Our next triennial IUBMB Congress will be held in Lisbon, Portugal in collaboration with FEBS in 2021. The planning is underway with the close supervision from IUBMB and FEBS.
There are two major conferences in FAOBMB region this year. The FAOBMB Conference will be held in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia with the theme of “Biomolecules: N9etworks and Systems”. For celebrating Malaysian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB) to becoming an Adhering Body Member of IUBMB, IUBMB provided additional funding support for this conference in addition to the usual support for YSP Fellowships. Similarly there will be a special education conference to be held in Manila, Philippines supported by IUBMB. We hope such education conferences will bring together new ideas on BMB teaching and research in order to keep young talents interested in our disciplines
IUBMB Focused Meetings were installed in 2017 to replace the IUBMB Conferences, which have become attractive programs for many BMB societies around the world to apply. The success of the Focused Meetings is reflected in the huge increase of applications (14) for the three slots for 2020, a very competitive program. We also provide additional funding support if the organizers agree to work with the Special Issue Editor to prepare a Special Issue on the topics of the Focused Meeting for a suitable IUBMB journal. In fact, several special issues are under preparations. We believe this way we can attract excellent articles and also promote IUBMB journals at the same time.
There are a number of issues to be noted. In IUBMB , there are a few organization units (committees, boards, etc.) which have been set up many years ago and have become dormant in the past decade. For example, we have a Committee on Biotechnology which may be a useful platform to tackle entrepreneur training for young scientists. Perhaps we can draw supports from pharmas and biotech companies to work with IUBMB in such a direction? There are other similar dormant activities could be rejuvenated.
Finally, whereas we believe there are many benefits of becoming an Adhering Body of IUBMB, various situations hinder this from happening for some countries. Most obviously is the financial situation of the member societies, perhaps due to the decreasing number of members in their societies or the lack of funding support from their government. An example of an awkward situation happened when the ENABLE 2019 was held in the Netherlands this year. IUBMB could not contribute to this event because the Netherlands is no longer an Adhering Member of IUBMB. I hope we will find some ways to invite some of lost members back to IUBMB family.
Andrew H.J. Wang, PhD