by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.
This past weekend, for the first time I attended the annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). I went with a lot of expectations and a lot of anxiety. I am a junior scholar and I am on the job market this year. I know the importance of connections and networking so I went to the meeting knowing that I needed to introduce myself to people on hiring committees, professors, and practitioners. But the thought of approaching people that I did not know and introducing myself was not met with warm, happy feelings. Being a social and loquacious person does not always translate into a person who networks well, but I was surprised to find that speaking to meeting attendees was easier than I had expected. Everyone was very friendly and very encouraging. Other than the few conversations that I regrettably ended very awkwardly, I think I did a good job. I received lots of cards and lots of “hey send me an email” and lots of “hey keep me updated on your work” comments. I have always been told the importance of networking but at the ASBH meeting I experienced the true value of networking and just how important it is in bioethics to know people and to let other people know you.
Before the meeting I submitted an abstract to the early career scholar’s program. Once my abstract was accepted, program coordinators paired me, a junior scholar, with two established bioethicists who then read my completed paper and were ready to give me verbal and written feedback during our designated meeting time at ASBH.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.