BEMS Board Meeting #102 Minutes

Held at Town & Country Resort, San Diego, CA June 7th 2008

[Editor’s note: These preliminary minutes, to be verified by the BEMS Board of Directors at its February 2009 meeting, are presented to keep members informed about society activities and plans.]

  1. Adoption of agenda: The agenda was adopted with no changes.

  2. Welcome and Introduction of officers, board members and guests: President Ewa Czerska welcomed those present.
  3. Approval of minutes of Board meeting 101: No corrections were required and the minutes of the previous meeting were duly approved.

  4. Report of the President: Ewa Czerska presented the report, stressing the success of the Kanazawa meeting and the Society’s increasing activities in Asia. The financial problems of the world are reflected in the finances of the Society but it remains successful in terms of meeting quality and membership.
  5. Report of the Executive Director: Gloria Parsley commented on the arrangements for the 2008 Annual Meeting. At the time of this report, the Society had not met its 325 room block at the Town and Country Resort (260 confirmed reservations). The Society avoided payment of a substantial penalty through quick actions by Gloria and her staff to hold the meeting’s social event at the hotel. The Board members expressed their appreciation to Gloria for this effort. Gloria also noted that there has been a slight decline in membership since this time last year.

  6. 2008 San Diego Meeting
    1. Program: Technical program chair, Michael McLean, reminded the Board of the details of the meeting program. The meeting will have a strong focus on biomedical applications
      of EMF and the plenary sessions will have an emphasis on interactivity.
    2. Year End Financial Report: There has been a decline in grant money, with $125k for Cancun, $200k for Kanazawa and $100k for San Diego.

    3. Ancillary meetings: The agreed room rates at the meeting venue cover the four days immediately before and after the main meeting. This facilitated several ancillary meetings in conjunction with the BEMS Annual Meeting as follows: The Board will meet on the Saturday before the main scientific meeting and again on the Thursday immediately afterwards. The US Air Force workshop will be held on Sunday immediately prior to the BEMS Annual Meeting. ICES will also meet beforehand, but made independent arrangements. URSI will meet on Wednesday during the BEMS meeting. No other meetings have been arranged in conjunction with the BEMS meeting.

      The Board noted that having ancillary meetings such as those of ICES was beneficial to both organizations even though ICES made its own room arrangements. It was agreed that in the future, meetings such as ICES that are held adjacent to those of the Society should be included in the Society’s annual meeting literature and timetable.

    4. Grants: Niels Kuster noted that minimal grant income had been achieved, and promised that the 2009 meeting will have more grant money than 2008. He observed that grants tend to have a geographical component and that European sponsors were less forthcoming for US meetings – and vice versa.
    5. Social Event: As noted above, the Society avoided substantial additional meeting costs related to lower than anticipated attendance by negotiating for the social event tobe held at the meeting hotel.

    6. Student awards judging: Jeff Carson, chair of the Awards committee, reported that there are 47 student papers and posters at the San Diego annual meeting. Packages have
      been prepared for the student award judges, each with several papers. All Board members were encouraged to take four or more packages.

      It was agreed that, in the interests of transparency, the details of the judging mechanism would be published in the Newsletter, and example (blank) score sheets would be shown near the registration desk and at the student icebreaker.

    7. Herman Schwan Memorial Award – It was agreed that this award would be given for second place in both the platform and poster classes.
  7. 2009 Davos Meeting:

    1. Technical programme: It was reported that Dariusz Leszczynski and Gugliemo d’Inzeo, the Technical Pro-gram Committee co-Chairs, will meet on Wednesday to discuss the program. Dariusz agreed to provide details of what had been agreed at the next Board meeting on
    2. Ancillary meetings

      Possibilities include a USAF workshop, a workshop on the Swiss RF research programme, a WHO EMF project co-ordinating meeting, the European Hyperthermia Society, a NATO panel on pulses and COST. Dariusz agreed to contact Alastair McKinlay to discuss the latter possibility.

      Gloria informed the Board that there could be no ancilliary meetings prior to the main meeting because the hotels may not be re-opened yet for the summer season. Ancillarymeetings afterwards will be possible.

    3. Grants: Nothing to report yet
    4. LOC logistics/Social event: Tabled for discussion at the Winter Board meeting.

    5. Student Memorial Session - Theodore Litovitz, 2009

      MOTION: Frank Hart proposed that this be a student award for 2009, not a session. Ben Greenebaum seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.

  8. BEMS 2010 Western Pacific Rim

    1. Technical Program Chair appointed: Dariusz Leszczynski agreed to chair the 2010 Technical Program Committee.
    2. Proposals received from Pacific Rim sites: Presentations were made by two of three Pacific Rim area proposed sites for the 2010 meeting. After extensive Board discussion, and a paper ballot, Korea was selected at the site for the 2010 BEMS annual meeting.

    3. Planning Committee Meeting: Tabled until the next Board meeting.
    4. Grants: Tabled until the next Board meeting.

  9. Report of the Treasurer: The treasurer (Vijayalaxmi) reported on the financial status of the society.
  10. Journal Report by the Editor-in-Chief: James Lin reported on matters related to the Bioelectromagnetics Journal.

    1. SPRBM journal affiliation status It was reported at the 101st Board of Directors meeting
      that role and interests of the Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine have changed, and that it now has no clear connection with the interests of BEMS.

      MOTION: James Lin proposed that linkage of the Society’s Journal to SPRBM be discontinued. Ben Greenebaum seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.

    2. Editorial board changes: There was discussion of the process of Editorial Board changes and renewal. James Lin had asked for potential retirees to put their names forwardbut none had, so the longest-serving members wereasked to step down.

      Ben Greenebaum observed that, historically, this process has been in the hands of the Editor-in-Chief, with the advice of the editorial board. In principle, appointments had been for three-year terms, but this had not really been honoured except in the breach.

      Gloria Parsley consulted the Society’s Constitution and advised that there is a two-year term for the editorial board. Membership is proposed by the Editor-in-Chief and approved by the Board of Directors

      MOTION: Ben Greenebaum proposed that the retiring members of the editorial board be thanked for their long service and that the recommendations for replacement proposed by the Editor-in-Chief should be accepted by the Board of Directors. Carl Blackman seconded the motion and it was carried unopposed, with two abstentions.

      James Lin agreed to refer the composition of the editorial board to the Board of Directors every two years from 2008 onwards.

      MOTION: Ben Greenebaum proposed that the retiring associate editors Ferdinando Bersani and Joseph Spadaro be thanked for their long service, and that the recommendations of Junji Miyakoshi and Andrew Wood proposed as replacements, by the Editor-in-Chief, should be accepted by the Board of Directors. Carl Blackman seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.Editorial board changes: There was discussion of the process of Editorial Board changes and renewal. James Lin had asked for potential retirees to put their names forward but none had, so the longest-serving members were asked to step down.
    3. Best paper award: James Lin noted that the funding for the best paper award is currently a 50:50 split between the Society and the publisher, but that this may be renegotiated to 100% from the publisher if a new contract is signed.

  11. Reports of the standing committees
    1. Awards:

      1. Student awards: Jeff Carson described the arrangements in place for scoring student papers and posters, and encouraged the Board members to participate in the scoring
        process. He distributed scoresheets and explained the procedures to be followed if there were any perceived conflicts of interest.
      2. Memorial awards: The question remains as to whether the memorial awards remain associated with specific names.The memorial poster has been prepared but the memorial committee was split on the future of the awards.It was agreed that the memorial awards would be deferred (not awarded) in 2009.

    2. Meeting Quality Committee: Chiyoji Ohkubo asked to resign as chair of this committee.

      MOTION: Joachim Schüz proposed that the technical program chair for the next year’s meeting is also the meeting quality committee chair, that the local organising committee chair is automatically a member of the committee and that the chair can appoint other members.Ben Greenebaum seconded the motion and it was carriedunanimously.

      Maren Fedrowitz agreed to join the committee.
    3. Membership Committee: The report of the chair of the membership committee was presented.

      1.  Janie Page observed that the membership committee is considering a change to the layout of the membership form.

      2. Emeritus application(s) for approval: The single application pending was determined to be from an Associate member, whose status cannot be converted to Emeritus, so there was no vote.

    4. Memorial Committee: The website is updated with memorial information from the newsletter, when available. However, there are some deaths that appear to be appropriate for the website, but for which there is little information about the person’s life. Each year at the Annual Meeting, a memorial poster honors those who have passed the preceding year. MOTION: Indira Chatterjee. Chair of the Memorial Committee, proposed that the option be available to honor on the website people who were not Society members but had made a major contribution to the science related to the interests of BEMS. Permission from their families will be sought when this is considered appropriate. Ben Greenebaum seconded the motion, and it was carried with four abstentions.

    5. Intersociety Affairs: The report of this committee has been circulated to the Board by email.

      1. EBEA: It was agreed that better liaison was needed.

      2. IEEE/ICES: Michael Murphy reported on IEEE/ICES activities

      3. SPRBM annual conference: Liaison with this society will now cease.

    6. Publications Committee:

      1.  Journal: The ongoing review of the Editor-in-chief resulting from his NIEHS review was discussed. There had been no negative impacts reported.

        MOTION: Ben Greenebaum proposed that the periodic review of the Editor-in-Chief be stopped. Phil Chadwick seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
      2. Newsletter: Janie Page requested material for the Newsletter from Board members. The Newsletter remains short of articles and needs more active involvement. She also requested a better indication of the Society’s needs with respect to the newsletter.

      3. Carl Blackman suggested some actions that might increase newsletter activity, and described a plan to consider uniting the newsletter with the Society website. He noted that this is still being outlined and invited comments from Board members who might be interested in being part of discussions to further outline this option.

      4.  Website: Stefan Engström is unable to provide longterm support for the website. Ewa Czerska will meet with him to discuss options for future technical support and will report on Thursday.

    7. 2009 Winter Workshop: The possibility of holding the meeting in conjunction with a COST BM0704 meeting in Europe was discussed. Niels Kuster will report on Thursday.

  12.  New business: Future Meeting Sites
    1. 2010: It was agreed that Dariusz Leszczynski and Nam Kim would be technical program co-chairs for the Korean meeting.

    2. 2011: There was a presentation of the Halifax proposal. The decision on location will be taken at the next Board meeting

    3. 2012: MOTION: Niels Kuster proposed that the 2012 meeting should be held jointly with EBEA. Joachim Schüz seconded the motion and it passed with no objections. Ewa Czerska and Ben Greenebaum agreed to work with EBEA on this matter.
    4. 2013: MOTION: Carl Blackman proposed that the 2013 meeting should be held in Asia. Niels Kuster seconded the motion and it passed with no objections. It was agreed that China and Bangkok would be considered as possible site candidates for that meeting.

    5. 2014: It was agreed that this meeting would be in North America, following the usual three-year rotation.

  13. Old business:
    1. Support for past president: MOTION: Frank Hart proposed that the support agreed for other Society officers to attend the annual meeting should be extended to the immediate past president. Carl Blackman seconded the motion and it passed with no objections.

    2. Purchase of microphone and speaker: MOTION: Michael Murphy proposed that the Society purchase a microphone and speaker for use at future Board meetings Vijayalaxmi seconded the motion and it passed with no objections.

    3. Refunds on meeting fees: Gloria Parsley reported that there had been 7 or 8 last-minute requests for refunds. One request asked that the person’s fee be used to pay for attendance at the next meeting. The Board did not agree to any refunds of fees.

    4. Bioelectromagnetics discussion group: Stefan Engström had stated earlier that the discussion group was not connected in any way to the Society. Carl Blackman agreed to discuss the matter with him further.
  14.  Adjourn