The Materials Research Society has shown to be an international society that promotes diversity in the materials community, includes the use of virtual technologies, and serves the broader future membership. One of MRS main strategic objectives is to advance materials research and education to improve the quality of life. Additionally, MRS has the responsibility to provide the support needed to solve many vexing problems in society. To achieve its strategic objectives and responsibilities, I believe MRS must focus on three critical goals. First, the Society should continue to innovate which requires growth. MRS must balance this expansion to include the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ material communities while establishing initiatives developed from its current membership, its volunteers, and its staff. To enable the exponential growth within a diverse global materials community, MRS should continue to foster its core Diversity Statement “Diversity drives Innovation, Excellence and New Discoveries” by bringing together participants from disparate fields to share views, insights, and discoveries. Second, MRS should continue to expand as the Materials Gateway for global communication and knowledge dissemination. MRS must dramatically expand its use of virtual technologies while maintaining the high standards of its publications, website, and meetings. MRS should seek innovative virtual technological concepts to serve the broadest possible community. Finally, MRS should increase the engagement of its international membership. In 2017, 46% of MRS’s membership originated from outside the United States, with membership from over 80 countries. This represents a unique opportunity for MRS since, on average, a scientific society headquartered in the United States only has 25% of its members from outside the United States.
The advances that MRS will achieve by uniting rapidly evolving science in different disciplines will continue to position MRS to impact a broad range of applications and thus society. Ultimately, this relies on the Society recruiting, inspiring, and retaining innovative, passionate members, staff, and volunteers. I believe the role of the MRS Board is to ensure the Society’s goals are to serve a diverse, globally engaged workforce of scientists and engineers, through “strategic thinking, setting directions for MRS, establishing policy, and operational oversight at a high level.” By accomplishing these goals, we will continue to support a robust, innovative membership that is the life and legacy of MRS.