For years at the Evolution meetings there’s been a meetup of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans attendees — going back at least to the 90s. It’s called “Outgroup”, for the obvious phylogenetic double-entendre, and it’s operated largely unofficially. Someone would post a time and location during the meetings, over a lunch break or at a handy pub after an evening poster session, and folks would converge to chat and share a meal or a round of drinks. I was involved in that organization, such as it was, at several of the meetings I’ve attended since 2005, and it was always a nice social time in the midst of the conference.
At last year’s big joint meeting at Montpellier, things got more official, with the participating scientific societies providing some budget for a meetup at a bar near the convention center. This year for Providence 2019, we’re continuing that move with the “LGBTQ and Allies Mixer and Happy Hour” — right on the program after the third poster session, on Monday the 24th. The plan is that we’ll meet up in the conference center rotunda at 7pm, during the poster session, and I’ll have some additional drink tickets to pass out for attendees; after the poster session closes at 8pm, we’ll adjourn to some other location. There look to be some good options within walking distance of the conference center. (And if anyone has more specific suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them!)