American Society For Nutrition

ASN Nutrition-Focused Meeting

ASN Nutrition-Focused Meeting

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice
As announced to the ASN membership in the February 18, 2014 e-newsletter, ASN will convene an independent Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting for three years beginning in 2018. A direct email to all members from the Scientific Conferences Oversight Committee Chair James Hill and the Scientific Sessions Program Subcommittee Chair Edward Saltzman provided more details on February 27. The summary of the Transition Team's visioning session can be read in its entirety here.

Vote for your preferred location for 2018-2020 annual meeting and what elements you rank highest. Department heads can submit their comments on the meeting here. Students can rank what is most important to them in a nutrition conference. Attendees can still provide input on why you decided to attend EB 2015 here.
Note: The crowd-sourcing platform we are using to collect this data asks you to select one choice from a pair - although you can say "I can't decide" if you are equally torn between the two. The software presents different pairs on a continuous loop- stop when you like. You can also submit your own suggestion (in the white box reading "Add your own idea here"). One of the greatest benefits offered by this survey instrument is total transparency. By clicking "View Results" in the upper right-hand area, you can see detailed data.

The below Frequently Asked Questions will be expanded when additional questions arise. Submit your questions to ASN at

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:    What will be different about an ASN independent Annual Meeting?
A:    Some things will not change: ASN will still offer symposia, professional development programming, oral sessions and poster presentations. We will continue to ensure that basic nutrition science is explored from every angle, while offering first-rate opportunities to students and early-career professionals.

However, the structure of our scientific program will shift somewhat in response to the feedback received from members. The inclusion of more high-profile, unopposed plenary sessions has been oft-requested. An independent ASN Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting may be organized more thematically (with tracks for basic, animal, translational, clinical and global) and may be shorter (the overwhelming majority of survey participants preferred a shorter meeting than EB, which lasts 5 days).

Q:     What steps are being taken to improve the quality of the science and abstracts presented as ASN's Scientific Sessions?
A:     ASN and its Research Interest Sections began evaluating abstracts within the past two years, and all abstracts submitted to ASN's 2014 Scientific Sessions were rated. This provided a baseline for establishing a more competitive abstract process. Staff are researching other methods that will ensure only the highest quality of science is presented at the independent meeting.

Q:     Where will abstracts be published during the pilot period?
A:     We are currently evaluating which ASN journal(s) will publish abstracts.

Q:     Where will ASN conduct its Annual Meeting from 2018-2020?
ASN's independent Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting could be convened in a number of different cities and regions. If you would like to recommend a specific host city or volunteer to serve on a local host committee, please email ASN.

Why is ASN experimenting with an independent Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting?
A:     ASN has brought together nutrition scientists for nearly 80 years (essentially since we were founded in 1928, with few interruptions; although our Annual Meeting has not always taken place at Experimental Biology). This pilot of an ASN independent meeting is in line with the ASN Strategic Map. Primary reasons to continue the evolution of ASN's function as a convening body include: to increase revenue to fund other strategic priorities; to conduct a meeting that better represents the vast and interdisciplinary nutrition science field; to better engage current and prospective members; and to bring more visibility to ASN as the authoritative global leader in nutrition through science.

Q:     Will registration rates increase?
A:     ASN is very aware of the challenging funding situations faced by scientists, and will do everything we can to keep the registration affordable. We also plan to offer more options to attendees, such as one-day registration.

Q:     Will current travel awards be affected in 2018 and on?
A:     Our goal is to increase the number of travel awards offered to support attendance the meeting. In addition, ASN will apply to maintain the awards offered via the FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) program.

Q:     What was the process followed to arrive at this decision?
A:     The Society's decision to pilot an independent meeting was not arrived at lightly. Over the past few years, our Board and select committees have carefully examined ASN's participation in EB: the many advantages, as well as the financial and operational challenges of participating in a collaborative convention where six Annual Meetings are held at one time. A recommendation was issued from the ASN Finance Committee, and a feasibility study was conducted by an external firm. ASN thanks the hundreds of investigators who thoughtfully weighed in on these deliberations via participation in electronic and telephone surveys over the past year. Download the survey results here, and request a copy of the feasibility study by emailing ASN. In December 2013, the ASN Board of Directors voted to approve ASN hosting an independent Annual Meeting for a three-year pilot period beginning in 2018.

Q:     Does this mean I can't attend EB during the years ASN isn't holding its Annual Meeting alongside?
A:     No. Anyone can attend EB, which will remain an important scientific conference.

Q:     Is this decision permanent?
A:     As a societal co-owner of the Experimental Biology trademark, ASN retains the right to return and host our Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology at any time.

Q:     Does this decision mean ASN is in breach of its contract with EB?
A:     No. ASN is working with all parties involved for a successful transition process, and will not incur any penalties as a result of our plans to hold an independent annual meeting.

Q:    How will holding an independent meeting affect global attendance?
A:    In ASN's new Annual Meeting, there will also be concerted efforts to expand global partnerships. More than one-third of abstracts submitted to ASN's Scientific Sessions currently come from outside of the U.S. and nearly one quarter of attendees reside outside the U.S. International attendees are a rapidly growing segment for ASN—in 2013, we saw a 25% increase in international participants. By establishing this meeting more strongly as an international conference, ASN can generate opportunities for the exchange of scientific and health-related information, help develop scientific and educational networks, advance nutrition-based solutions to global challenges, and uncover possible opportunities for collaborative nutrition research and funding support.

Q:     How can I provide feedback and/or assist in the transition?
A:     Keep sending your comments/concerns to We are carefully considering member feedback as we develop the ideal independent meeting for our members.

Q:    Who are the members who have been appointed to the Transition Team guiding the implementation?
A:    View the entire roster here, and suggest additional volunteers by emailing ASN.

Q:  Where can I read the meeting report issued by the Transition Team?
A:  A copy is available here.

Last updated March 31, 2015; Originally published February 11, 2014