BEMS 30th Annual Meeting


Thirty years ago, researchers doing electromagnetic effect studies had to attend small sessions in various large meetings, which included IEEE Microwave Theory and Technology Society (MTT), IEEE Antennas and Propagation (AP) Society, International Microwave Power Institute (IMPI) and International Union of Radio Sciences (URSI). Due to cost and time limitations, attendance at all these meetings each year was quite impossible for most investigators. This was one reason a group of bioelectromagnetics scientists decided to form a society so researchers could attend one annual meeting specializing in bioelectromagnetics. Their effort led to the formation of the Bioelectromagnetics Society 30 years ago.

As stated in the Society website, “The mission of BEMS is to be the international resource for excellence in scientific research, knowledge and understanding of the interaction of electromagnetic fields with biological systems. The Society’s annual conference is the major meeting in bioelectromagnetics and offers participants numerous sessions, workshops and tutorials with platform and poster reports covering current scientific topics. Attendees also meet with other professionals in the field, in both formal and informal settings, to extend their network of scientific contacts.”

My personal experience with the Society started in 1978. I participated in the committee to organize a joint 1979 meeting of URSI, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, and the Bioelectromagnetics Symposium at the University of Washington in Seattle, which was the first BEMS meeting. In that meeting, 164 papers were presented without parallel sessions (the only one in 30 years). Since the meeting was held at the University of Washington campus, Dr. Bill Guy and I organized a laboratory tour for those scientists from around the world who wanted to see our research facility. At that time, we were conducting a lifetime study sponsored by the U.S. Air Force involving the exposure of 200 rats to pulsed microwaves (BEMS 13:469, 1992). During that meeting, I met many scientists and a number of them became very good friends and colleagues. As a matter of fact, one of them, Dr. Quirino Balzano, later asked me to take care of the laboratory that he started at Motorola, so he could retire.

I have been blessed to attend all 29 annual meetings of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, even during the 13 years I was working at the City of Hope National Medical Center and had another major meeting to attend. I am all set to attend the 30th meeting to be held in San Diego, California on June 8-12. Fast rewinding my last 30 years, I can testify that BEMS meetings offer the best opportunity to learn the newest research results, to network with other scientists, and to form research collaborations. My attendance at these meetings certainly benefited my research career, and I would like to encourage the readers of the Newsletter to attend the 30th annual meeting in San Diego.

Hope to see you all in San Diego this June,
C-K. Chou

BEMS 30th Annual Meeting

Make your reservations now!

Welcome to San Diego, California’s second largest city, where blue skies and a gentle Mediterranean climate keep watch on 70 miles of beaches. Bordered by Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Laguna Mountains, San Diego county’s 4,200 square miles offer immense options for exploring. And this year’s Technical Program of events offers even more options for interactions with colleagues from around the world.

Program highlights include:

  • Six plenary sessions covering clinical applications of electromagnetic fields, epidemiological study results, exposure standards, societal issues, and mechanisms of interaction (see related articles in this newsletter and in the Jan/Feb 2008 newsletter describing plans for some of these plenary sessions).
  • A symposium, chaired by Elizabeth Rapasky, on thermal medicine (see related article in this issue of the newsletter introducing the Society for Thermal Medicine).
  • Twelve platform presentation sessions covering a wide range of topics
  • Over 150 poster presentations
  • Student presentations and awards
  • Associated meetings (URSI Commission K, Editorial Board, and BEMS Annual Business meeting)
  • Social event (TBA – Tuesday evening)

See you there!

Special note for anyone wishing to visit nearby Mexico while in the San Diego area


The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), requiring all travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. The goal of the initiative is to strengthen U.S. border security while facilitating entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors by providing standardized documentation that enables the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler. At present, U.S. citizens need to present either (a) a passport, passport card (available in spring 2008), or WHTI-compliant document; or (b) a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate when re-entering the U.S. from Mexico.


On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.

Non-US Citizens:

A passport, I-94 card or resident alien card is required. Additional paperwork might apply for visitors. Please advise your local immigration office/embassy to ensure multiple entries into the US is allowed. A tour or bus company is unable to wait for tour participants detained or delay out of the normal wait times.