American Society For Nutrition

ASN Independent Meeting

ASN Independent Meeting

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice
As announced to the ASN membership in February 2014, ASN will convene an independent Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting for three years beginning in 2018. A message from leaders of the Scientific Conferences Oversight Committee and the Scientific Sessions Program Subcommittee followed.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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 through science.   

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. 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:     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:    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. A more competitive abstract process has been oft-requested, as has the inclusion of more high-profile, unopposed plenary sessions. 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:     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:     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:     Where will abstracts be published during the pilot period?
A:    Advances in Nutrition is currently being evaluated as the target journal for the online publication of abstracts.

Q:     How can I provide feedback and/or assist in the transition?
A:     There are several ways you can get involved:
  • Get involved with your Research Interest Section and/or Scientific Council, groups that are instrumental with program planning.  Make sure to attend your Council business meeting at EB 2014, where the standalone meeting will be addressed:
    o    Nutritional Sciences Council: Sat. 7:00 AM - San Diego Hilton Bayfront, Sapphire 400
    o    Medical Nutrition Council: Mon. 12:45 PM - San Diego Convention Center, 33A
    o    Global Nutrition Council: Mon. 6:45 PM - San Diego Hilton Bayfront,  Indigo C 
  • You can also attend a listening session at ASN's Scientific Sessions at EB 2014 on Sunday, April 27 at 5:00 pm in San Diego Convention Center 33A.
  • Email us at info@nutrition.org with your comments and questions. We look forward to hearing from you!
Last updated April 8, 2014; Originally published February 11, 2014