Volume 44, No. 2
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Key words: professional societies, early-career scientists, recruitment, engagement, senior scientists, guidelines
Despite their long-standing and central role in the dissemination, promotion and defense of science, scientific societies currently face a unique combination of economic, social and technological changes. As a result, one of the most pressing challenges facing many societies is declining membership due to reduced recruitment and a failure to retain members, particularly early-career scientists (ECSs). To ensure that professional biological societies retain long-term viability and relevance, the recruitment and retention of ECSs needs to be a main priority. Here we propose a series of recommendations that we, a group of ECSs, believe will help professional societies better integrate and retain ECSs. We discuss each recommendation and detail its implementation using examples from our personal experiences in the global seabird research and management communities and from our collective experience as members of several professional societies. We believe these recommendations will not only help recruit and retain ECSs as society members, but will also directly benefit the organizations themselves.
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CARROLL, C., NOSS, R.F., HILTY, J. & TROMBULAK, C. 2009. Solving SCB's Membership crisis by reinvigorating the sections: response to Schwartz et al. Conservation Biology 23: 5-6.
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LESLIE, D.M. 2007. A shifting mosaic of scholarly publishing, scientific delivery, and future impact changing the face of learned societies. Journal of Mammology 88: 275-286.
MUSANTE, S. & POTTER, S. 2012. What is important to biological societies at the start of the twenty-first century? BioScience 62: 329-335.
POTTER, S., MUSANTE, S. & HOCHBERG, A. 2013. Dynamism is the new stasis: modern challenges for the biological sciences. BioScience 63: 705-714.
SCHWARTZ, M.W., HUNTER, M.L. & BOERSMA, P.D. 2008. Scientific societies in the 21st Century: a membership crisis. Conservation Biology 22: 1087-1089.
SHIFFMAN, D.S. 2012. Twitter as a tool for conservation education and outreach: what scientific conferences can do to promote live-tweeting. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 2: 257-262.