Hi there, I am Oana Florean, Junior Scientist, one of the enthusiastic people taking an active role in the development of The OpenTox Association (OTA) and this blog post contains my personal views. Check it out to have a glimpse at the internal organization of the association. My story is short: I joined the association for its meaningful purpose, caught up on its activities, saw good things happening and was motivated to help in its future development.
As I realized how important it is for my career as a young scientist to build my own personal network of dedicated like-minded individuals, this truly may be the most powerful tool OpenTox can offer, and now I am encouraging and supporting people to do the same. These activities are a great way to become inspired, learn expertise in a variety of different relevant subjects and create significant partnerships which can help bringing success in your career.
I tell you, it’s not easy to gather and have active scientific people in an association, as most of us are so busy with our research that we don’t feel like finding the energy to give any of our time! In spite of all of that, and after a lot of our effort, I am excited to say that the OTA membership is growing as we strive to organize ongoing working group activities, hackathons, seminars, meetings and resources development for the Toxicology Community.
We are curious and open-minded, we meet to share our work and learn from each other, and some of us hope to work together, collaboratively. We mostly thrive as a virtual organization, as this way we can establish an easy collaboration worldwide. We chat on Slack to better communicate during events such as hackathons (https://opentox.slack.com). We also communicate news and developments via a periodical newsletter, social media, and our Association Forum.
Along with high-speed virtualization, we understood how important it is to have close connections with peers and discover new professional opportunities close to the home location. Therefore, we have established Local Chapters, in Basel (CH), in Raleigh-Durham (USA) and in Seoul (KR), which model the OTA mission at a local scale, you can find more info here: http://opentox.net/association-local-chapters. We’d love to hear from you if you would like to form your own local chapter!
Sometimes things are not as fast and big as we would like, or sometimes people are not actively participating, but please know that we are working hard to accomplish our goals. We have a bonafide motivation to reach and support people in all stages of their education and careers, everywhere in the world, and that we are loyal and strong believers in our shared goals.
Kindly, Oana Florean
P.S. I think you already understood how important it is for us the concept of never stopping learning, but we cannot consider learning without taking care and involving young people in the OTA. As internships matter so much for the professional development of the students, we will have an internship program supporting students in 3 projects. We can’t wait to receive applications!