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SCI members develop new initiatives for 2010 and beyond

members' forum

More than 50 SCI members attended the Members’ Forum held on Wednesday 25 November 2009, and many more guests made their way to Belgrave Square that evening for the Lampitt Awards Dinner which recognised contributions made to the Society by Dr John Farmer and Dr Peter Hambleton, both members serving on Advisory Committees to SCI’s Board, to the Society over a number of years

The Membership Advisory Committee (MAC) held its third successful Members’ Forum chaired by Dr Jack Melling, Chairman of SCI’s Board of Trustees. The day kicked off with a series of short presentations made by SCI’s executive and the MAC, all of which were followed by a question and answer session.

The event also provided an excellent opportunity for the MAC to feedback on what they had been doing since last year’s Members’ Forum. Amongst their list of accomplishments, key initiatives included a review of the way that SCI’s Technical and Regional Interest Groups function to serve the wider SCI Membership.

This review was further explained through presentations on the ‘Future of Interest Groups’ made by Alan Baylis & Alan Heaton, both members of the MAC. They looked at the benefits of an active group to the membership, and presented their findings on the necessary requirements for creating an active Interest Group.

SCI’s Interest Groups act as the delivery channels for information and knowledge transfer to SCI’s members. The MAC’s work has included researching regional hotspots, mapping out the common links between Technical Interest Groups and reviewing how this fits with servicing SCI’s membership. Their findings led to initiatives such as the Agrifood collaboration which looks to integrate interests between seven of SCI’s Technical Groups.

The presentations on Interest Groups encouraged a lively debate from delegates in the question and answer session that followed, with many high-level suggestions about how to feed into regional industries, promote the good work of Groups by creating Champions and even re-position SCI within these Groups online.

Yet, undoubtedly the most valuable part of the day for SCI was the interactive, ‘think-tank’ breakout sessions.

Members were able to select the sessions they wanted to contribute to and participate in a group discussion about how to progress key topics brought to the attention of MAC and any questions raised from the presentations.

A short summary of this year’s break-out session topics can be found below:

  • How can SCI support women in science and industry?
    The group discussed the background to the issue of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET); the perception that science is a ‘man’s job’, the services that SCI could be offering women, as well as what SCI could be doing to increase female membership in the Society.

    Members will no doubt see many initiatives from this session carried out online and through our printed media, while bigger initiatives from the day will go into the strategic plan for 2010 and 2011.

  • What can SCI do for me and my career?
    This group looked at opportunities for mentoring, for promotion of individual members’ organisations and how to get employers to support the involvement of their employees in SCI initiatives by recognising recruitment and collaboration opportunities.

  • How can SCI support students and members starting-off in their careers?
    This session looked at how SCI could help to alert students to the many benefits SCI already has on offer to them, how to capitalise on the business aspects of the Society that would appeal to earlycareer members, and how to introduce students to the benefits of networking. Again, Members will notice many initiatives being championed through SCI’s online capabilities while the greater strategic proposals are planned out over 2010.

  • What can SCI do to celebrate chemistry in 2011 for the International Year of Chemistry?
    The group discussed the initiatives that SCI could take on to celebrate the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) in 2011. Numerous suggestions were received on how to promote SCI’s involvement in the IYC, particularly through regional channels, as well as the potential to collaborate with other organisations. The full report on these sessions will shortly be added to the Members’ Area of the website.

Would you be interested in getting involved in any of the initiatives you have read about here? If so, please email communications@soci.org

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