Q&A with Client Experience Client, Microscopy Society of America.
What is the Microscopy Society of America?
MSA: The Microscopy Society of America (MSA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of techniques and applications of microscopy and microanalysis in all relevant scientific disciplines. The Microscopy Society of America will provide leadership for the discovery and dissemination of information about microscopy and microanalysis, especially in relation to the following multidisciplinary areas:
- Latest Developments in Instrumentation
- Emerging Trends in Characterization
- Discovering the Big World of Micro through Education and Outreach
- Uncovering the Inner Secrets of Life and Biological Sciences
- Exploring the Physical and Materials Sciences
- Resources for NanoScience and NanoTechnology
What makes MSA unique?
MSA: Although MSA’s name implies that it is a U.S.-based organization, it also has a strong international member and community base. MSA’s shining star (among its other initiatives and accomplishments) is its annual conference, the Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting (M&M). M&M is a huge event that invites microscopists of all fields globally to connect, network, share their research and discoveries, and learn from each other. MSA also prides itself on its incredibly active Student Council, which is dedicated to bridging the pipeline between students of microscopy and the industry- and academia-at-large. Where other societies in this industry often specialize on a specific field of study or range of techniques, MSA encourages and works to include as broad a range of microscopy and microanalysis fields as possible.
What types of members does MSA have and what do they do?
MSA: MSA’s members are primarily microscopists from various backgrounds. A demographic sampling of MSA members will give you people from:
- Academia, including students, educators, and researchers
- Industry, including commercially focused microscopists and sales experts of high-tech microscopes
- Government researchers and principal investigators
- Staff scientists and technologists
And since microscopy is used in several scientific fields, you can find members who specialize in:
- Biological sciences
- Material and Physical sciences
- Light and/or Electron microscopy
- And even artistic photography! Microscopy can be a very visual science, and many find beauty in the microscopic images (check out the MSA Mosaic or our Micrograph Awards for examples)!
For example, you might find a member of MSA that is a staff scientist studying failure analysis for space objects, like rockets or satellites (materials science), a graduate student studying microscopic life in U.S. lakes, or even a virologist who studies pathogens, & researches and develops vaccines!
How can I get involved with MSA?
MSA: It’s very easy to get involved with MSA! To become a member, you can apply online on the MSA website. Members gain access to one of the top scientific journals on microscopy, Microscopy and Microanalysis. The M&M Meeting, of course, is a great way to connect with your fellow members and the microscopy community as a whole. Members can join a Focused Interest Group (FIG) or the Technologists’ Forum to find others interested in their specialty within the microscopy field. Members also have various volunteer opportunities – all of the MSA Committees, student volunteer work at M&M, running for leadership positions on the MSA Council or MSA Student Council, to name a few!
Can you tell us about your M&M Conference in Portland, OR this July?
MSA: This year, the Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting (M&M 2022) will be held in Portland, Oregon! This will be our first M&M back in-person after two years of virtual Meetings. While our virtual conferences were a great success and well-attended, everyone is itching to be back in-person and get in contact with their peers. M&M is one of the largest microscopy-related conferences on the planet and hosts one of the largest and well-rounded Exhibition Halls in the field!
What other initiatives or programs does MSA offer?
MSA: In addition to the always-anticipated annual Meeting, MSA offers the following programs and initiatives, to name just a few:
- Project MICRO, a resource for teachers, especially K-12, to help provide educational opportunities to their students about microscopy
- The Certified Electron Microscopy Technologist certification program, which provides the only certification for technologists in biological transmission electron microscopy available in the Americas
- Student, Meeting, and Travel awards, geared towards providing funding & support to attend M&M or other microscopy-related meetings and connect with the community
- Scholarship opportunities that help support research projects for undergraduate students and postdoctoral researchers
What is next for MSA in 2022?
MSA: Other than M&M 2022, our Strategic Initiatives program will be making a comeback – put on hold due to COVID, this program provides support to bold and innovative new programs that advance the mission and goals of MSA. The goal of this program is to help increase or disseminate knowledge in the science and practice of microscopy, imaging, and compositional analysis, as well as instrumentation related to said activities.
About Microscopy Society of America
is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of techniques and applications of microscopy and microanalysis in all relevant scientific disciplines. The Microscopy Society of America will provide leadership for the discovery and dissemination of information about microscopy and microanalysis.
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