I hope your winter break provided an opportunity to recharge and prepare for the semester ahead. Spring is always a busy time, and this year is no exception. The Dean’s Office kicked off 2020 with a half-day retreat focusing on the future of biology education and research. It was a great opportunity to draw on the collective experience and wisdom of our associate deans, department heads, and post-doc, graduate and undergraduate representatives as we think about where we are and where we want to go as a College.
One thing that emerged as a theme is the need to prepare our students to communicate effectively. Strong communication skills have always been important, but as science itself becomes more collaborative and complex, it’s absolutely essential. At the same time, funding agencies are ramping up expectations that scientists demonstrate the value of their research to the public through broader impacts.
CBS has a well-established reputation for excellence in research and education. We have the opportunity to assume leadership in outreach and public engagement as well. As a College, we’ve launched and nurtured a number of initiatives around outreach, public engagement, and science communication in recent years. Now, we are bringing those efforts together through the Impact Exchange. You’ll be hearing more about this new initiative over the course of the semester. Stay tuned!
In other news, on March 21 the new CBS Conservatory & Botanical Collection will open to the public with an grand opening celebration. I hope you will all be there to celebrate the occasion. The new facility features rare plants from some of the most remote corners of the globe including New Caledonia, Socotra and southern Chile.
We also continue with our Petri Dish series as well as our annual SciSpark and a new event on Earth Day in collaboration with the Bell Museum called Probable/Possible, a series of short talks by CBS faculty that offer a forward-looking take on developments in the biological sciences. Staff and students are invited to attend any and all of these events free of charge (promo code CBS). It’s a fun way to learn a little about the exciting research happening right here on campus.