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 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
Q: Where will ASN conduct its
Annual Meeting from 2018-2020?
A: 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.
Q: 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
Q: Will registration rates
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
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
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
Q: How can I provide feedback and/or
assist in the transition?
A: Keep sending your
comments/concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Last updated August 29, 2014; Originally published February 11,