In 1946, a group of just over one hundred microbiologists joined forces to promote the creation of a scientific society, initially designated as the Society of Spanish Microbiologists, formalized by signing the constitution act at the headquarters of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). ) on Calle de Serrano in Madrid, which later, in 1969, would become the current Spanish Society of Microbiology (SEM). Thus, in 2021 the 75th anniversary of the foundation of our society is commemorated.
For this reason, we plan to hold a series of commemorative events that, due to the state of the pandemic, will last for the following year, since some of the planned activities have had to be postponed to 2022. Such is the case of a Symposium, organized under the patronage of the Ramón Areces Foundation, which we have rescheduled for April 2022. A central and especially relevant act in our celebrations will be the exhibition that will take place at the National Museum of Natural Sciences of Madrid, between the months of September to December 2021, in which we have been working in recent months, and whose curator is our colleague Asunción de los Ríos. Said exhibition will continue in 2022, with celebrations throughout said year of traveling exhibitions in various Spanish cities and the possibility of organizing other informative activities, both in universities and in other research institutions, about the important role played by microorganisms. on our planet, for which we are totally open to the initiatives of our partners. Along with this event, another series of complementary activities will take place, such as a series of conferences and round tables on Microbiology topics, activities and workshops for children, culinary activities, etc…
Other planned activities are, on the one hand, the publication of a book, edited by our colleague Alfonso V. Carrascosa, on the History of Spanish Microbiology (volume II), which will be sponsored by the Ramón Areces Foundation, and which will complement the first volume, edited by Alfonso V. Carrascosa and María José Bágena, already published in 2019 by the Ramón Areces Foundation, which is always so well received and willing towards our initiatives. And on the other, the publication of the book Microscopic Stories II, promoted by the D+D group of the SEM, after the announcement and recent resolution of the II Short Story Scientific-Literary Contest. The publication of an informative book-catalogue of the exhibition is also planned, which will be paid for by the CSIC.
On the other hand, I would like to announce that on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the SEM, our company will also make profound changes in terms of its new image, through a new website and of a new logo, which we hope will be well received by our partners. We also intend to have a greater presence through social networks, which constitute the means of communication, especially for the youngest and an excellent way of dissemination with society in general, as has become clear during this period of pandemic.
Despite the fact that our forecast was that the next National Congress would have been a central act to commemorate in person the 75th anniversary of the creation of our society, unfortunately it has
It had to be precisely a small virus that conditioned the holding of said congress, initially planned at the University of Burgos. After the debates held in recent months by the members of the SEM Board of Directors, in a recent meeting we have decided that the XXVIII Congress of Microbiology of the SEM will be held virtually, during the first week of July 2021. It has been a difficult and highly debated decision, but the current circumstances, the uncertainty that exists and that will possibly extend over the next few months, and even the need to set an example for the public in terms of compliance with strict health regulations, have weighed heavily. in making this decision, which will mean that for the first time a national congress of our society will be held virtually.
In any case, our intention is that this congress constitutes a unique experience, of a very high scientific level and of maximum interest for the community of microbiological researchers. We are working on the development of an attractive program, with national and international experts in areas of general and transversal interest. In this sense, I would like to take the opportunity once again to ask all partners for their collaboration, contributing ideas and sending us their suggestions regarding themes and speakers, as well as other activities that could be included in the program of our next congress. The specialized groups will also have a fundamental role in the organization of the congress, through their presidents, who are part of the organizing committee and to whom the members of each group also urge them to send them their suggestions. In addition to symposiums and round tables, the organization of oral communication sessions is planned, in which we particularly encourage the participation of young microbiologists, which will include a variety of current topics related to the different specialized groups of the SEM, as well as communication sessions in e-poster format with a brief recorded exposition of the work carried out and the possibility of subsequent discussion of the works presented.
President of the Spanish Society of Microbiology