Other: 2019 Mid-year Council Meeting Recap

Contributed by kjm34 on Feb 12, 2019 - 08:26 PM

This past weekend, the SSE Council met in Washington, DC for our semi-annual meeting. We welcomed our new leaders Ruth Shaw (President-Elect), Aneil Agrawal (North American Vice President), Sally Chang (GSAC Chair-Elect), Stacey Smith (Councilor), and Suzanne Edmands (Councilor).

We reported, discussed, and voted on a variety of existing and upcoming initiatives, all outlined below. We heard from each of our committees, as well as from our Business Office about our finances and membership statistics, and from our journal publisher Wiley about the healthy progress of our journals Evolution and Evolution Letters in terms of reach, readership, and impact. We hope you’ll take a moment to look through this summary and follow the links to learn more about areas where SSE is having an impact.

Topics we covered at the meeting included:

  • Ensuring a safe, inclusive environment for everyone through the work of the tri-society Code of Ethics Committee and by increasing visibility and engagement with our Safe Evolution Code of Conduct for the annual meeting

  • Improving availability of graduate research funding by working with our business office and IT manager to improve the application process for the Graduate Research Excellence Grants for early and advanced PhD students

  • Continuing to provide a home for top evolution research in our journals Evolution and Evolution Letters

  • Improving representation of all under-represented groups among our membership and leadership by implementing an anonymous demographic survey at Evolution 2019, implemented by the SSE Diversity Committee and analyzing demographics of past and current leadership

  • Engaging with legislation that affects evolution research through a variety of public policy initiatives

  • Increasing visibility of and participation in our many education and outreach activities, including:

  • Improving international participation in SSE and engagement with evolutionary biology through our existing International Committee programs and grants, including:

  • Engaging with our members and greater community with a Story Collider event at Evolution 2019 hosted by the SSE Diversity Committee

  • Encouraging and supporting new student members at Evolution 2019 through a “Flying Solo” event hosted by the SSE Graduate Student Advisory Council and first-time-presenter swag

  • Creating a new Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize researchers who have made outstanding contributions through their research, mentoring, and/or outreach activities

  • Giving a voice to the evolution community’s diverse members and experiences through the creation of an SSE Community Blog, run by our new Blog Editor Fellow Sasha Mushegian, who is receiving pitches at

  • Expanding our ability to responsibly manage Society funds with the potential addition of a Treasurer position

  • Ensuring SSE activities align with member priorities by communicating with our members and community on multiple platforms, compiling society finance information to be shared with our members, and implementing a member survey (stay tuned for this later in 2019)

We thank you all for the opportunity to serve you. We welcome any thoughts, inputs, and feedback you have for us. Please feel free to reach out via email (, Twitter (;@sse_evolution), or Facebook (;@SSE.evolution).

Back to top