[visionlist] VSS 20th Anniversary

Sanocki, Thomas sanocki at usf.edu
Wed Jun 10 12:41:39 -04 2020

This year VSS Members celebrate 20 years of vision scientists coming together, communicating, and furthering science. I was one of two founders of VSS, and I would like to take a minute to look both back and forward. Over 20 years ago Ken Nakayama and I felt a bit like rebels because we wanted to create a new interdisciplinary meeting focussed on the sciences of vision and brain. Our efforts were grass-roots and required the help of many individuals;  the result was a very successful first meeting. Thanks to an excellent governance plan that Ken designed, the society has grown through meeting and communicating across our disciplines to advance science. We have a lot to celebrate! 

Plug: Learn more about “How it all began” at the start of v-VSS, Friday June 19 11AM EDT.  Ken Nakayama and I will presenting. 

Work to do

This year has been challenging (!), and our governing board has taken up the tremendous task of creating a new virtual format. We can all thank them for their tremendous efforts. But I want to remind us that science is a grass-roots effort to which we can all contribute, and this year especially -- by listening, by questioning and communicating, and by appreciating good science. And maybe more… (see next). Let’s make this a good meeting! 

Through your efforts, VSS will continue to evolve and grow in coming decades. I want to echo others’ sentiments that science can grow by supporting the diversity of scientists doing vision. This includes welcoming each other from across the globe;  encouraging good work and creativity; and open communication.  The larger society still has difficulty with critical thinking and open communication. For this reason, let us amplify our support for each other as scientists and individuals, as we continue to study the remarkable phenomenon of vision. 

Practical points (VSS social volunteers?)

We can help support communications this year? Our VSS board has set up "coffee breaks" for us all to participate in. And perhaps there are ways for volunteers to expand on this independently, without burdening the organizers. More virtual chat rooms? VSS virtual lunches starring session presenters? Also, note that Club Vision, the ultimate “let loose” celebration with music and dancing, is beyond the scope of our valiant organizers’ efforts this year. In 2001 - 2004, VSS volunteers provided the music, and helped me carry in the sound system. This year?

Tom Sanocki

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