2020: A year to remember, or a year to forget? Because of the pandemic, we slowed down - stayed home - took more walks – tried new recipes – read more books. We applauded frontline workers and the people who make everyday things work every day. We witnessed scientists all over the world collaborating to develop a safe and effective vaccine in record time. We learned to wash our hands (while singing Happy Birthday), watch our distance in public spaces, and wear our masks. We learned that teaching kids at home was really hard. We learned that we could survive without going to the movies, out to dinner, or to far-off places. And we learned to be grateful for the small stuff.
During the past year, I’ve been struck by the heartfelt support of members for other ARCS members – sending notes to those who lost a loved one, calling those who broke a hip or were recovering from surgery, inviting over those who needed a bit of help with using Zoom. These are examples of what makes being a member of ARCS NCC so very special – we care about one another! We canceled events and moved all meetings to Zoom. We worried that we would lose our connections to scholars and to one another. Instead, we are finding new virtual ways to celebrate scholars, to re-imagine field trips as evening science salons, and most importantly, to maintain our focus on fundraising to support young scientists. One of our members, Kendra Kramlich, captured it perfectly: “Today we need to support science as if our lives depended on it – because today they do.”
Looking ahead, we will make virtual university site visits in February. We are planning a virtual Symposium on April 26 with Dr. Jennifer Doudna, recent Nobel laureate, as our keynote speaker; mark your calendars. We hope to have the Scholar Awards Celebration in November in person; stay tuned! We are committed to allocating more than $1 million to scholars for the third consecutive academic year.
Let's stay connected as we remain apart. Please be well, stay safe, and take good care! We have important work to do.