The past 20 years has seen such enormous change in stem cell science, some of which has changed our view of biology. When ISSCR began, induced pluripotency was unheard of and technologies such as RNAseq, single cell profiling, CRISPR-based gene editing, and rapid whole genome sequencing had not arrived.
Having attended the very first meeting of the ISSCR, the Society is like an extended family, and I feel a little like my science has grown along with the Society. The memory of each meeting includes a scientific wonder, memories of amazing speeches and social events in some far-flung location with colleagues and friends. It is those social interactions, that really only occur with a face-to-face meeting, that many of us long for. It is in discussion around common fascination that ideas can occur and partnerships form. Being able to bring my team, including students and postdocs, to be involved in such events has also been great fun.
We are immersed in planning our first hybrid events in 2022 and look forwarded to celebrating the ISSCR’s 20th anniversary at our annual meeting next year in San Francisco, USA. Developing exceptional scientific programming has been a hallmark of the ISSCR, and designing meetings that blend a virtual and an in-person experience is an example of that commitment to create opportunities for creativity and connection to flourish in our community. Your membership helps ensure we can continue to provide this support and offer multiple ways to experience scientific programming, support the field through science policy efforts, and provide factual information to the public.
We are eager and hope to begin meeting in person again in 2022, so that we can gather and share what has been inspiring our work and celebrate the enormous contributions of our scientific community worldwide.