Mary Berbee’s MSA outgoing presidential note

Mary Berbee has a lovely tribute to the spirit of the Fungal Genetics community in her last President’s column for the MSA newsletter Inoculum. She mentions the great joy she got in the insight from people like Bob Metzenberg and their engagement with the community. I would also equally mention David Perkins as someone who saw the success of the community as being the same as his own success and worked hard to help others use Neurospora in their own work.

I quote her parting thanks which I think speak well for what we can all aspire for in being participants in the scientific endeavor. So remember – ask questions ! – curious and insightful thoughts benefit us all.

Thanks to everyone who:
Asks questions in meetings, especially if the questions help make us all participants in shared and exciting scientific discovery.

Puts their sequences in GenBank, their strains in
culture collections and sends all of the above to
colleagues on demand whenever possible; and
writeslettersin support of these and other kinds of
science infrastructure. Once lost, the damage to
these resources cannot be undone.

Submits a timely, kind and incisive review of a
paper or grant that highlights the importance in the
work and encourages more and better of the same.

Helps a student or colleague do the best research of
their lives, by sharing ideas and encouraging creativity.
Makes our discipline an exciting home by writing
important papers for a broad audience.

Applies care, thought and enthusiasm in the many
volunteer roles that make our journal, our meetings
and our society work as well as they do.

I hope we continue to honor those who are working hard for the good of their respective scientific communities, even before they reach retirement and beyond. So thanks to Mary and the MSA leadership as well those of other societies which keep the field moving forward. I know I don’t take it for granted the work that these volunteers do.