News Release 

Microbiology Society's Annual Conference biggest ever

More than 1,400 scientists from around the world will attend the five-day conference in Edinburgh to present their research

Microbiology Society

Please Note: Due to the continued spread of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, the Council of the Microbiology Society, as Trustees of the Society, have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year's Annual Conference, due to take place from 30 March until 3 April 2020 in Edinburgh, UK. For more information, please see the Microbiology Society's website https://microbiologysociety.org/news/society-news/microbiology-society-events-cancellation-due-to-sars-cov-2.html or contact Laura Cox, Content and Media Editor, Microbiology Society, +44 (0)203 034 4870, l.cox@microbiologysociety.org

More than 1,400 scientists from all over the world will attend the Microbiology Society's Annual Conference in Edinburgh, its biggest ever event over five days in celebration of the Society's 75th anniversary.

World-renowned Scottish scientist, one of the Society's founding members and its first President, Sir Alexander Fleming FRS, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery and development of rudimentary antibiotics in 1945, alongside fellow scientists Howard Florey and Ernst Chain.

Fleming and his co-founding members formed the Society for 'the establishment and extension of common ground between all forms of microbiology' - bringing scientists from across the discipline together for interdisciplinary discussion and to learn from each other. That is embedded in the Society's work today, its principal goal is to develop, expand and strengthen the networks available to our members so that they can generate new knowledge about microbes and ensure it is shared with other communities.

In support of that goal, Annual Conference will begin the Fleming Showcase, an opportunity to demonstrate the legacy of past Fleming Prize winners and to explore the impact of both established and up-and-coming scientists in addressing important global challenges.

It will be attended by world-leading scientists, previously recognised by the Society for their early career potential, including Sir Paul Nurse FRS, founding Director of the Francis Crick Institute. Speakers include leading experts in their fields, Bonnie Bassler, Liz Sockett, Mark Pallen and Luke Alphey. The event will be hosted by the well-known author and broadcaster, Alice Roberts.

The remainder of the Society Annual Conference, taking place over four days, will bring together both early career and established microbiologists across a range of symposia, workshops, forums, offered oral presentations, poster viewing sessions and Prize Lectures, including the Fleming Prize Lecture 2020, named in honour of Scotland's world-famous microbiologist.

Chief Executive of the Microbiology Society, Dr Peter Cotgreave, said: "This is a special year for the Microbiology Society, we are celebrating our 75th anniversary and we are delighted to be in Edinburgh to welcome delegates from the around the world to our Annual Conference. At the very first meeting of the Society, on 16 February 1945, the founding President, Alexander Fleming, together with Marjory Stephenson, Muriel Robertson and about 200 others, emphasised the breadth and importance of microbiology and set the culture of the Society as a welcoming community. Although many things have changed, these ideals remain central to our purpose. Our Conference will bring together scientists from every branch of microbiology, giving them the opportunity to make an impact on urgent problems like new and emerging diseases through to long-term issues like antimicrobial drug resistance and food security."

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Notes to Editors:

The Microbiology Society is a membership charity for scientists interested in microbes, their effects and their practical uses. It is one of the largest microbiology societies in Europe with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools.

Our principle goal is to develop, expand and strengthen the networks available to our members so that they can generate new knowledge about microbes and ensure that it is shared with other communities. The impacts from this will drive us towards a world in which the science of microbiology provides maximum benefit to society.

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