Once Failing Biology Society Thrives as It Nurtures New Disciplines

By 1959, new discipline-focused divisions had emerged: developmental biology, comparative endocrinology, comparative physiology, and animal behavior, among them. But in the 1990s, ASZ was teetering, so weak financially that it appealed to its members for bailout donations. Soul-searching resulted in a greater emphasis on cross-cutting topics. “People thought that having a program that was truly integrative was more important than having the disciplines,” says comparative physiologist Louis Burnett of the College of Charleston in South Carolina, who has been the SICB secretary for the past 8 years. Another name change reflected the shift: By 1996, ASZ became SICB.


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