Labs, Leaders, Critical Connections: RFS Virtual Meeting 

An end of year virtual meeting hosted by the Rosalind Franklin Society, highlighted astounding accomplishments of women and minorities in science as well as significant challenges yet to be addressed. 

From groundbreaking research to prestigious awards and recognition, this virtual event provided incredible access to emerging stars as well as those who continue to lead the way. 

Sessions covered the academic world as well as industry; corporations and start-ups; and U.S. and international colleagues and partnerships.

The event took place online over two half-days: December 16th and December 17th.

Labs, Leaders, Critical Connections was produced with support from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), and OnRamp Bioinformatics, Inc.

Day 1 Day 2

Opening Remarks: A welcome from RFS President Rita Colwell and RFS Founder Mary Ann Liebert.

Day 2 Recap: With the hope that you were inspired yesterday by exciting opportunities in academia and industry, today will add some international perspectives as well as perspectives to support mentoring, partnerships, and creative innovation.

COVID 19 Research: News from the Front: With the whole world watching, critical research in immunology and virology has catapulted to the top of many lab agendas. Many have had to pivot and many are building on a rich inventory of work.

A Worldwide Issue: The restriction of opportunity and recognition for women in science is not new. Nor is it a uniquely American problem. This session will offer perspectives from the UK, Germany, and the Middle-East.

The Best of Both Worlds: Corporate Leadership meets Corporate Responsibility: Many corporations have invested heavily in the pool of women and minorities in science. With the growing numbers and influence of this burgeoning workforce, how can industry better showcase these important colleagues and attract more?

The Importance of Leadership in Creating Diverse, Inclusive, and Respectful Environments: Leaders from the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education will share innovative and effective approaches to address this challenge for women and people of color. Presentations will share plans for 2021.

From PhD to CEO: Is the only (or best)  avenue for a PhD to remain in academia? Hear from impressive entrepreneurs forging paths as founders and leaders in critical new companies.

Pipeline/Mentoring: Our Future: Emerging scientists in important labs have success to share and inspire others. And mentors need support and guidance as well.

Awards: The Window or Just Window Dressing? A priority for RFS has been to guarantee more prestigious awards for women in science. And it’s surely happening! Hear from several of this year’s impressive winners talk about the groundbreaking work and the meaning and value of such acknowledgment.

How and When to Add Voices: Young Black scientists will show us how it’s done! Social media and nontraditional communication is expending and motivating an ever-expanding base.


The Potential of Innovation, Entrepreneurs, and Partnership: Hear how Princeton University is engaging students, faculty, and industry to support innovation and entrepreneurs.


Yes, Her Legacy Lives: Rosalind Franklin’s niece will share the personal side of nurturing a legacy that was cut short but lives on in our work and that of many others, including Rosalind Franklin University.


Closing Remarks