As our nation comes together to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, all of us have been called to fundamentally alter our lives. At the MBL, faculty and staff have had to rethink how we work, conduct research, and collaborate, all on a short timeline.
Thanks to the intensive efforts of our entire community, the MBL has taken numerous actions to reduce our on-campus footprint and practice the social distancing measures that are critical to the health and safety of us all. These actions drove difficult decisions including the cancellation of our Advanced Research Training courses scheduled in May and June, and a delayed start of Whitman Center research programs. We came to these decisions with great care and with the best interests of the MBL and our broader community in mind. I anticipate additional impacts to summer programming as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Although MBL is operating with a significantly reduced on-campus physical presence, our work continues. Essential staff are caring for our animals and other organisms and maintaining our facilities as we pivot to new and creative ways to share our expertise with the world. For instance, we’ve launched a new short video series, #MBLSciShoots, on our social media channels that brings MBL science to high school students and the public within their own homes.
While the MBL has been impacted in the past by events such as The World Wars and the Great Depression, there is no question that the programmatic and operational changes we make to fight the spread of COVID-19 disease are unprecedented for this institution. Just as our predecessors did then, we are coming together as a community to adapt our work in resourceful ways and look with optimism towards the opportunities the future will bring.
I am deeply grateful for the unwavering dedication of our staff during this time and for the continued support of our loyal friends and steadfast supporters. The global MBL community is a diverse network of individuals and institutions committed to advancing the biological sciences and training the next generation of scientists; our mission is more important than ever. In times like these the generosity and support of the global MBL community is of the utmost importance and I hope you will consider contributing however you are able. I hope you and your families stay safe and healthy as we navigate this pandemic.
Nipam H. Patel