The leaves are changing for many of us, and we’re starting to gear up for next year already here at Binning Singletons. This summer has been difficult for most of us, and the fall is bringing new challenges.

We learned a lot this summer. We held some Happy Hours and a Fireside Chat online and made some important connections, for Singletons and Mentors. This era of Stay Home and Stay Safe resulted in the cancellation of physical meetings, so we did not match individuals as we have in the past.

Summer Success Stories

The National Summer Undergraduate Research Project was amazing. Led by Dr. Michael DL Johnson, Dr. David Baltrus, and Dr. Jennifer Gardy. The program matched undergraduate BIPOC students we with researchers across the country, providing a platform for summer research experiences while maintaining physical distancing. There are fantastic seminars from mentors available online and the  students’ projects and presentations are available.

Likewise, Dr. Kishana Taylor and Dr. Ariangela Kozik organized a team and put together Black in Microbiology. Following the path blazed by #BlackInSTEM, the team put together a week of talks and discussions, with a different points of emphasis each day. The group’s great work was featured in the New York Times, and videos of the sessions are available on YouTube.

Meetings in an uncertain future

Conference organizers struggle with the problem of how to have a successful meeting during a pandemic. The timeline for mitigation of the spread of the virus is so uncertain. ASM Microbe is scheduled for June 2021 in Anaheim, CA, but the society is monitoring the situation closely. The American Society for Virology has already determined that their 2021 meeting will be held virtually. Binning Singletons is working with organizers and supporters to prepare for the eventual return of physical meetings. We also are looking to adapt to the new reality of more virtual and hybrid meetings.