We’re excited to see you all in Chicago in March. This year, our meeting has a theme, “Pay It Forward,” which we explain here. Over the past few months, we have enjoyed many conversations where we have explored what this theme means to our invited speakers and how to incorporate it into the meeting. We hope you will enjoy these new aspects of the meeting, and we look forward to experiencing them with you.
New PI Spotlight: We have invited four early career faculty members to share their work with our community as plenary speakers. Our goal is to lift up scientists at multiple career stages because we believe we can all draw inspiration from being part of the long multi-generational project that is scientific discovery. We can look to the current and previous generations for guidance and wisdom, lessons learned, and scientific change as we grow and become leaders. We can also look to the next generation for their aspirations and new ideas as they experience and respond to the rapidly changing world. We hope that hearing fantastic science from these multiple perspectives will inspire us all to engage deeply and imagine widely.
Invitation for speakers to share their thoughts on the theme: We have invited the plenary speakers to share what the theme means to them in their talks. If the speakers choose to take up our invitation, they can create different ways of sharing their thoughts: a story, a piece of advice, or a reflection. Studies of science communication and teaching show that sharing something about ourselves increases our connection to our audience and improves how we learn from one another. We hope this invitation creates space for us to share a little more about ourselves as individuals and scientists. After all, science is done by us, and we are each complex humans with unique lives and experiences that shape us.
A collaborative and playful session to get to know the community: We have invited Raquell Holmes of Improvscience and Tânia Reis of the University of Colorado to create a plenary session where we can get to know one another in new ways. Raquell and Tania have shared: “In any setting, everyone plays a part in creating a welcoming, creative, and caring environment. By showing up and trying something new—together as scientists—we will discover in-the-moment ways to foster belonging and develop new relationships that last well beyond Dros23.” We can’t wait!
A fly community vision board: At this year’s meeting we’ll collectively create a vision board to illuminate our aspirations for science and ourselves as scientists. Stop by the ballroom foyer at any time to contribute! We’ll have art supplies and prompts for writing and drawing, and instructions for making origami flies. Your colleagues will be on hand to hang out and help. You’ll be invited to place your work on a set of boards that will stay in place throughout the meeting. We hope that together we will create a place where we can all pause, reflect, and enjoy learning about one another in a new way.
We will also offer ways to engage with the speakers, session chairs, and a community service project. We hope that these new ways to interact will bring fresh perspectives and creative energy and will show the generosity that the fly community is known for.
See you in Chicago!
Chair, University of Calgary
University of Pennsylvania
Jennifer Jemc Mierisch
Loyola University Chicago