SMBE Announcement - What can we do to fight intolerance, racism, and discrimination, now and in the future?

Dear SMBE Members,

I am writing to you, on behalf of the entire SMBE Council, in response to the hateful acts of racism-fueled injustice and violence. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor serve as painful reminders of hate and violence towards the Black community. Recent events in the US have brought long-entrenched structures of systemic racism to the forefront and have inspired demands for long overdue changes to these systems. As an international society, we are particularly grateful for the demonstration of solidarity exhibited by people in cities and countries all over the world-- underscoring the fact that racism is pernicious and intolerable, not just in the US but globally.

In addition to bringing police brutality and racism into sharp focus, the unjust oppression of Black Americans highlights the intersectionality of violence with social justice, public health disparities, environmental justice, and economic equality, even more broadly.  The sizes of these problems are large, and our movements toward change must be even larger and swifter.  Many people and organizations are re-priortizing or elevating the question: what can we do to fight intolerance, racism, and discrimination, now and in the future?  In order to contribute to this collective goal, council members of SMBE have committed to enhance our efforts towards the following ongoing and new initiatives:

Ongoing Initiatives

  • diversifying the editorial boards of the society’s two flagship journals, Molecular Biology & Evolution and Genome Biology & Evolution, to achieve great representation of underrepresented groups
  • supporting the participation of underrepresented groups in the yearly meeting of the society via travel and carer awards

New Initiatives

  • partnering with other organizations and institutions in order to better recruit, serve, and retain a diverse SMBE membership that includes more members from underrepresented groups
  • forming a diversity and inclusivity committee that will focus on programming during yearly meetings and year-round to promote equity and inclusion for all members of the society
  • re-evaluating the criteria for faculty awards, currently focused on one-dimensional definitions of excellence, in order to expand the recognition of leaders in our field

Furthermore, we commit to not only sharing these goals publicly, but to reporting on progress towards meeting them each year at the annual meeting.  

Neither this statement, nor our future actions as a scientific society, can undo the undeserved brutality, oppression, and discrimination faced by Black Americans, or faced more broadly by racial and ethnic groups historically and today, worldwide. But SMBE exists within a broader society-- a global community of scientists-- and our future actions can be impactful. We are committed to reflecting on these recent events, recognizing systems of injustice globally, re-evaluating past practice and procedures within the Society and its journals, and working on developing new structures to promote the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are essential to the success of science and society.

On behalf of the Council,
Marta L. Wayne

Continue Reading →


  • Wednesday, June 10, 2020
  • Comments (0)

Congratulations to the winners of the SMBE 2020 annual Faculty Awards

2020 SMBE Allan Wilson Junior Award for Independent Research Winner: Iain Mathieson

Iain Mathieson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. His group studies the genetic architecture and evolution of complex traits in humans, with a particular focus on using ancient DNA to provide a direct window onto human history and evolution. He received a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.Phil. in Statistical Science from the University of Cambridge, and a D.Phil. in Genomic Medicine & Statistics from the University of Oxford advised by Gil McVean and Cecilia Lindgren and supported by the Wellcome Trust. He then completed a postdoc at Harvard Medical School with David Reich, supported by a fellowship from the Human Frontier Science Program. His lab is currently supported by a NIH NIGMS R35 Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award, a grant from the Charles E. Kaufman foundation and a Sloan Foundation research fellowship.


2020 Margaret Dayhoff Mid-Career Award Winner: Christian Landry

Christian Landry is Professor of Biology as well as Biochemistry, Microbiology and Bio-informatics at Université Laval. His research focuses on evolutionary systems biology and evolutionary genomics. He uses experimental, computational and theoretical approaches to study how natural selection, mutations and drift are shaping cellular systems. Christian received a BSc and a MSc working with Louis Bernatchez from Université Laval, a PhD from Harvard University working with Daniel L Hartl and did his postdoctoral work with Stephen W Michnick at Université de Montréal.  He has been holding the Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Cell and Systems Biology since 2015, was elected a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada in 2014 and was awarded the NSERC EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowships of Canada in 2018.  




2020 SMBE Motoo Kimura Lifetime Contribution Award Winner: Brian Charlesworth

Brian Charlesworth is a Senior Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He was born in Brighton, England in 1945. He obtained his PhD in genetics from Cambridge University in 1969, and was a postdoctoral fellow with Richard Lewontin at the University of Chicago, 1969-1971. He subsequently worked at the Universities of Liverpool, Sussex and Chicago, moving from Chicago to E

Continue Reading →


  • Monday, May 18, 2020
  • Comments (0)

SMBE 2020 Officer and Councillor Election

Greetings SMBE Members,

The time has come for the 2020 SMBE Election!

Please take a moment to vote for your preferred candidates for President, Treasurer and up to two Councilors.  The council runs the society, and your participation is important.

The election will be open through June 26, 2020.

Candidate biographies and statements may be found as a linked PDF document within the online ballot.

If you have not received your invite directly, please check your SPAM box, make sure you have not opted out of receiving our member emails and notify smbe@allenpress.com.

Best Regards,
Marta Wayne
President, SMBE

Continue Reading →


  • Monday, May 18, 2020
  • Comments (0)

@OfficialSMBE Feed

MBE | Most Read

Molecular Biology and Evolution

GBE | Most Read

Genome Biology & Evolution