Louisiana Tech professor chairs national experimental biology symposium

May 5, 2014 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Engineering and Science

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Dr. David K. Mills, professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering at Louisiana Tech University, recently chaired a professional development symposium on social media and career development at the American Association of Anatomists’ Experimental Biology meetings in San Diego, Calif.

The symposium included a discussion on the role of networking and social media in career advancement by Dr. Jenna Carpenter, associate dean of undergraduate studies for Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science and the director of the Center for Women in Science and Engineering.  Other discussions focused on the importance of scientific social networks, led by Dr. Mary Canady, founder of Comprendia, LLC and Mills’ presentation on key science networking sites and how they work.

Experimental Biology is an annual meeting attended by over 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing six sponsoring societies and multiple guest societies.

“Experimental Biology is a multidisciplinary, scientific meeting featuring plenary and award lectures, pre-meeting workshops, oral and posters sessions, on-site career services and exhibits of an array of equipment, supplies and publications required for research labs and experimental study,” said Mills.  “Scientists from the field of anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, nutrition, and pharmacology will attend this meeting. The majority of scientists represent university and academic institutions as well as government agencies, non-profit organizations and private corporations from around the world.”

Mills says that global scientific social networks have existed for more than 150 years, fueling many great discoveries through the dissemination of published research findings and subsequent scientist communication and collaboration.  Today, scientific social networks go well beyond these early Internet tools, allowing scientists to connect, promote their work, and learn on a fast-paced, global scale.

The symposium concluded with a case-based interactive activity with the symposium speakers leading the attendees in a review of “case study” examples and analyzing them for best practices and errors to avoid. The materials were designed for a quick read and a group brainstorm on ways that participants can use social media to advance their own careers, based on what they learned at the workshop.