20 Dec 2012
On Wednesday 28 November 2012, the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) held its annual Members' Forum, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Allen.
The aim of this event, as always, was to bring together the Members of the Society to draw out ideas and initiatives on all aspects of membership and the Society as a whole. Introduced in 2007, it is a cornerstone of SCI governance and one of the ways in which MAC reaches out to Members to draw out ideas and initiatives on all aspects of membership and the Society as a whole.
Chairman of MAC, Dr Leonard Copping, opened the event by providing an update to the outcomes of the 2011 Members’ Forum and sharing the programme. This was followed by a presentation by Dr Jack Melling, Chair of the Board of trustees, providing an update on recent board activity and shared the key strategic priorities for 2013-15.
Joanne Lyall, Executive Director for SCI 2010-13, shared her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities available to SCI. She also reminded members on how they can contribute to the future success of SCI. Joanne shared plans on how SCI were working with the Royal Society to deliver a joint programme to support improved research in the neglected sciences. John Brown, Honorary Treasurer of the Society, provided a presentation on SCI's finances for the coming year.
This was followed by an open discussion, during which Members had the opportunity to ask any questions or raise topics of their choice. This popular session produced a lively discussion, which this year centred on areas such as SCI's positioning and remit, the new Royal Society/SCI scheme and neglected science.
SCI Honorary President, Paul Booth, joined the Forum at lunch time; giving Members the opportunity to meet him. Members also had the opportunity to review posters, talk to the poster contributors and score their excellent posters, whilst enjoying their lunch.
The afternoon session included a choice of breakout sessions, functioning as think-tanks to obtain Members' views on key areas, as well as practical suggestions for making progress. This year's breakout sessions were as follows:
Recruitment and Retention of new members with emphasis on member benefits
The group discussed the current benefits package and what else could be added to this to encourage more people to become members and stay with SCI.
Communications and Outreach
This session was about how to deliver more effective communications with the range of existing communications tools. It also covered opportunities for SCI to engage with audiences outside its membership.
This group focused on exploring and identifying new opportunities for generating income.
Developing Hubs to Support Key Societal Aims
This session discussed whether Hubs were a good idea, and if what their remit should be and how they should operate. The group also explored what needed to be in place for Hubs to function effectively.
This was brought to a close by a feedback session and discussion on the outputs from the breakout sessions.
Paul Booth then presented the prizes to the poster completion winners. Many thanks to all participants. Congratulations to Alessandro Poma who won the first prize; to Polly Keen who won second prize and to joint third prize winners Charlotte Richards-Taylor and Callie Seaman. Thanks also to Wiley for sponsoring the prizes.
In recognition of her continued commitment to SCI, Mrs Diane Brown was awarded the Lampitt Medal. Dr Geoffrey Fowler introduced Diane Brown by sharing some of the many things that she has worked to achieve for SCI. Diane collected her Medal from Paul Booth and shared her thoughts on being an SCI Members, reminding members that they will get the most from their membership by joining in – not just joining!
The event was drawn to a close by Dr Len Copping and all Members were invited to an evening reception.