CSSP Board Chair on 2018 Spring Leadership Development Workshop

The CSSP 2018 Spring Leadership Workshop was filled with a lot of great sessions, touching on topics our members are telling us they want to hear, along with the standards we all look forward to at each meeting.

CSSP Members may access many of the presentations below at: https://sciencepresidents.org/cssp-spring-leadership-workshop5-8-2018/2018-meeting-presentations/.

Saturday afternoon began with a conversation on the State of the Union of Science. The discussion was launched by newly appointed Chair of the National Science Board, Dr. Diane Souvaine who opened with a talk about the state of science research in the U.S. This was followed by a session on Fake News, viewed from both the perspective of its intersection at science and policy, and its underlying science, by Erica Goldman, Director of Policy Engagement with COMPASS and David Lazer, Distinguished Professor at the College of Social Sciences & Humanities at Northeastern University. The ideas shared were a perfect lead in for Darcy Gentleman, Principal, DJG Communications, LLC to offer ways in which scientists can engage with Congressional audiences when talking about science and the need for its continued funding.

By then everyone was ready to enjoy our lovely opening reception and the chance for some network time before heading out for the evening.

Committee meetings started the day on Sunday, a time when our attendees brainstorm around best ways to present a united directive to Congressional audiences in support of science. The committees also made suggestions for sessions at future CSSP Conferences, many of which are added to upcoming agendas. CSSP works hard to seek out the speakers who will talk with our members about what they want to learn. Please feel free to send us your ideas throughout the year.

This was followed by a session on The Future of Science Leadership and the mutual benefits of affiliations between universities and scientific societies. We thank everyone for their thought provoking ideas and look forward to sharing progress that comes from those suggestions. This short session was led by two of our Alumni membersDeborah A. Bronk, President and CEO, Bigelow Laboratories for Ocean Sciences and current chair of CSSP and Patricia Simmons, NSF Fellow, National Science Teachers Association and past-chair of CSSP.

Sticking with a theme of the future we were fortunate to have Faizan Javed, Manager of Data Science with Career Builder talk with us about how Artificial Intelligence is being used for Human Capital Management. He was followed by Adam Lovinger with Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy sharing his experience as a strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment where he conducts diagnostic analyses highlighting emerging strategic problems and opportunities confronting the Department of Defense.

Our Sunday afternoon would not have been complete without the Frontiers of Science sessions where we are treated to speakers working on ground-breaking research. Our first speaker, Liangbing Hu, Assistant Professor of Materials Science, Clark School of Engineering, UMD College Park, amazed us with how he is working with Wood Nanotechnologies toward Sustainability. Next we heard from Gregg Beckham, a Senior Engineer with NREL, who, with incredible energy and excitement, let us know what is being done about Recycling in Nature, Disappearing Plastics, Sustainable Acrylonitrile. Our final Frontiers of Science speaker, YuHuang Wang, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UMD, shared his work on Meta-Cooling Textiles – fabrics able to respond to an individuals’ unique body temperature, with a surprising immediacy.

All these sessions left us with a great deal to discuss at our Sunday dinner held at the Logan Tavern, a quick walk from both the workshop and hotel locations.

Monday morning kicked off with the Session on Society Best Practices, beginning with a continuing conversation around Sexual Harassment, Ethics Polices and Codes of Conduct. Erika Shugart, CEO for American Society for Cell Biology, was joined by Billy M. Williams, Vice President for Ethics, Diversity and Inclusion at American Geophysical Union, and Susan Weller, Director of the University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History and a member of ESA, presenting on behalf of C. David Gammell, Executive Director of ESA, to share the implications and lessons around these issues that have been learned along the way, as well as how change to these policies needs to be a continual and ongoing process.

And what a perfect segue to our next speaker – Jeffrey Tenenbaum, a non-profit attorney with Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss, who gave our attendees the chance to Ask the Association Attorney anything they wanted to know about Association Law. The questions came fast and continually, with Mr. Tenenbaum sharing his expertise and experience. No doubt each member went home with some new and valuable information to share with their Society.

As Presidents and Board members with their home societies, it’s important for each participant to increase their understanding and ability to Getting and Building Strong Leadership for their Organization. John Downing, Director of Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Duluth, and LaTrease Garrison, Executive Vice President of Education with the American Chemical Society, did a wonderful job presenting lessons learned from both CSSP and ACS in how to do just that. Again, great information was shared that our attendees will be able to translate to their home organization.

Before our final session, when our Committee reports are shared, we held a panel discussion with Layne Scherer, Program Officer – Board on Higher Education and Workforce at NASEM, Peter McPherson, President, APLU, and Wayne Johnson, Council Member Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, to discuss suggestions on working to foster and strengthen the conversations between industry and university messaging related to research. Coming from three different, though overlapping perspectives, the conversation was both informative and lively with great questions from our participants. Committee reports finished the day before most people headed home.

Our Board members, always looking for ways in which to share Society Best Practices, had the opportunity to hear from a speaker who exposed them to an enlightening question and answer framework that led to an important way of rethinking our own value proposition. We hope to bring him back to teach this valuable tool at the December Leadership Workshop. In addition to that session we are planning a great December event and hope to see you, your President-Elect and Past President in attendance from December 1 – 4, 2018.

Please reach out to us if you would like CSSP to send a request to your home institution to ask that they support your travel to the Conference.

With warm regards,

Deborah A. Bronk, CSSP Chair