The FEMS Council met on 9-10th September in Trogir (Croatia) with wonderful hosting performed by the Croatian Microbiological Society. It was the first hybrid Council meeting in the history of FEMS, with 40 delegates attending. The Council sessions were chaired by the FEMS President, Hilary Lappin-Scott. Many important items for FEMS and Microbiology were discussed by the council with several important outcomes:
We are pleased to announce the election of two new talented Directors to the FEMS Board. We welcome to our team Christopher Thomas as Finance Director and Jana Jass as our new Grants Director, from 1 January 2023.
Christopher Thomas has a long career in microbiology and society finance, as former Treasurer of the Microbiology Society (UK and Ireland).
Jana Jass has worked with FEMS closely as an Editor-in-Chief of FEMS Microbes and as Sector Editor of Physiology, Biochemistry and Genetics in FEMS Microbiology Letters. She also has extensive experience in Swedish research councils as a formal reviewer of proposals.
The FEMS Council has every faith in these new appointments and we cannot wait to begin working with our new Directors.
Of course, we cannot elect new Directors without waving goodbye to our previous Board members. We are so grateful to Colin Harwood (Treasurer until 31 December 2022) and Jozef Anné (Grants Director until 31 December 2022) for all their service, commitment, and hard work. We shall miss the wisdom they brought to the FEMS Board. We send our heartfelt thanks and wish them the very best with their commitments and life after FEMS.
The Council discussed proposed changes to FEMS Articles of Association which will be reflected in this ongoing piece of work and presented to Council next year. The Council also heard from the European Academy of Microbiology (EAM). Jörg Vogel, EAM president, and Jay Hinton, EAM Executive Board Member, presented their work on the future direction of the EAM, and led a discussion on how FEMS and its Member Societies can support its growth over the coming years. Paul Cos (Director of Policy and Business) led the presentation of the new FEMS Policy & Business Networks and how Delegates can take part.
Delegates presented ideas for the 50th Anniversary celebrations of FEMS which will take place in 2024. The 300th anniversary of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s death will take place in 2023 and the FEMS Council put forward ideas for how to contribute to this unique celebration of the Father of Microbiology.
Finally, after many lengthy hours of important discussion, each evening the Council engaged in several social events. On Friday evening, all attendees took a boat trip from the FEMS Council meeting venue (Hotel Medena, Trogir) to the central island of the historical Croatian town of Trogir, followed by a tour of its ancient sites.
Saturday evening ended with dinner at the Mediterranean Institute of Life Sciences (MedILS), where the FEMS Summer School for Postdocs 2022 was also taking place.
The council members met with these talented postdocs, and opened up into break-out groups to have constructive discussions about how best to help and support young scientists with their careers in microbiology.