George Langford Recognized for Service to ASCB, Science

The Public Policy Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology selected George Langford to receive the 2022 Public Service Award for his 50 years of service to the ASCB and science. A short video of the presentation will be shown on Saturday, December 3 during the Cell Bio 2022 Keynote in Washington, DC. The complete version of the presentation will be available to view after that date here

George Langford

In her remarks at the presentation ceremony, ASCB CEO Rebecca Alvania said, “Along with being a distinguished scientist, your career can be described in one word: Service.”

Alvania highlighted just a few of the activities Langford has been involved in. She said, “you have also contributed to the broader scientific community through your service on boards and advisory panels for critically important government agencies and foundations: the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, the National Science Board, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Research Council, NASA, and the Marine Biological Laboratory, to name a few.”

She also listed many of the activities Langford has been involved with within the ASCB. Alvania’s list included the first chair of the ASCB Minority Affairs Committee, the chair of the ASCB Membership Committee, the chair of the ASCB Prize for Inclusivity selection committee, ASCB Treasurer, and a member of the ASCB Council.

Public Policy Committee chair Holly Goodson highlighted Langford’s most recent service project in her remarks. Goodson said, “There is no clearer example of your service to the scientific community than your work to establish and build the PAIR-UP Program….You recognized a problem – that there are too few Black imaging scientists who use advanced imaging microscopy. Instead of just recognizing that there was a problem, you went ahead and forged a solution.”

Goodson found a lesson for everyone in Langford’s years of service, especially in his development of the PAIR-UP program. Goodson said, “PAIR-UP is not just an activity that helps solve a specific problem. It is an example to the rest of our community that when we see a problem, we need to follow your lead and find a solution.”

Langford said he was humbled and honored by the recognition, and he acknowledged that his efforts are just a part of the solution.

“We need a diverse workforce to accomplish the mission of discovery and innovation required to advance scientific knowledge and improve human health,” Langford said. “This is particularly true, if we are to we are to improve the health of the Black community and other minoritized communities. The PAIR-UP program does not require scientists to leave their culture at the door, but to be their authentic selves.”

About the Author:

Kevin M. Wilson serves as Director of Public Policy and Media Relations for The American Society for Cell Biology. He's worked as the Legislative Director for U.S. Congressman Robert Weygand (D-RI) and as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI). He has a BA in Politics and American Government from the Catholic University of America. Email: