Thank you to Claire Harris for preparing the update from the President.
If you haven’t seen the email from Rod Lamberts (9 July) you may have missed that Rod has decided to step down as President, due to health reasons.
This was not a decision I made lightly. I had some large and shiny plans for the ASC back in November last year and was enjoying the opening phases of enacting these with the ASC Executive and National Council. But having weighed up what’s possible for me, and what’s fair and practical for the ASC, the only reasonable path was for me to stand aside and let someone else take the lead.
This has been a reluctant decision, and speaking on behalf of the Executive members, and I’m sure the rest of the membership, we all feel for Rod in his situation. We wish him the best and the Executive is glad to report that Rod will stay on the Executive and attend meetings when he can.
After discussions within the Executive and National Council (the representatives from our branch committees) I have agreed to take on the role of Acting President until the AGM. This will be a joint effort really, with Will Grant, Vice President and others in the Executive sharing the load.
As I said in my email to the list recently, this is an exciting time for the ASC. We are ramping up to the 2014 conference and will shortly be calling for expressions of interest to run sessions at the conference (keep an eye on the ASC website and Scope newsletter for updates). This event is a key pillar of the ASC associations objectives and will deliver a range of benefits, primarily to members, but also wider communities interested in science and the communication of its impacts on society.
We are also, with Will’s leadership, exploring what the future of ASC looks like with regards to professionalisation. So far, members have told us that becoming a professionalised association is something they would value. This is an important discussion and so we, on the Executive, invite your further thoughts.
I am also pleased to see that we have many enthusiastic writers working with our new Scope editor, Victoria Leitch, to bring new content to you all. This group effort has been specifically supported to encourage and harness the talent and passion of our members who want to contribute to ASC and help deliver as best we can as a volunteer association. This is a great opportunity for the writers – providing them with a tool to meet others, generate stories, build their profile and have their work delivered straight into the inbox of Scope subscribers. For all those who have been in touch to offer your time and enthusiasm, I thank you and look forward to enjoyable and rewarding projects ahead.
Another important recruitment is the general manager position – a vision shaped and implemented by the 2012 and 2013 Executives. We have received applications for this new role, which ultimately is aimed to deliver greater strategic partnerships, funding and the key projects.
I feel privileged to take on the role of president and look forward to meeting more of you over coming months. As always, your reflections on the ASC and how it is supporting or could better support its members are always welcome; either to me or your local branch reps.