Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Scientific Societies: 'Should I Bother?'

Writing in The Scientist, Steven Wiley examines the merits of renewing his annual society memberships. Wiley writes that every year it comes time to pay society dues, he asks himself "should I bother?" In the past, he says, membership benefits were often tangible ― they arrived in the mail in the form of print journals and invitations to submit abstracts for annual meetings ― whereas now, many society publications are freely accessible online. Wiley also suggests that the very people who could potentially gain the most from society networking opportunities also represent the population on the most rapid decline in societies ― young scientists — are a rare commodity therein. Wiley writes that this is likely because "scientific societies generally cater to the status quo, not to the new and emerging elements of a field." His suggestion? "If a society were helping me deal with the rapidly increasing rate of innovation and discovery in biology, then it would give me a great reason to bother remaining a member," he says. Whether societies embrace his advice or not, it appears they've managed to maintain his membership based on more of a "sense of tradition than need."

The Scan

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.