BEMS NL 229: Notes from the Editor

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" . . . people do not understand science.  In survey after survey, they display ignorance, superstition, and patterns of irrational thinking so persistent they seem to be hardwired into the brain.  Unfortunately, in politics, business, and elsewhere, there are plenty of people prepared to profit from these weaknesses."

Cornelia Dean in "Am I Making Myself Clear:  A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public" (Harvard University Press, 2009)


This newsletter does not belong to me, or to the current President of The Bioelectromagnetics Society, or to anyone else:  it belongs to all of us who are members of BEMS.  I edit the newsletter, which means that I try to solicit and collect meaningful contributions from members that convey to the membership useful information about what is going on related to BEMS.  I also review the content, editing as needed to make sure that the newsletter is written in clear English (the common language of BEMS, an international society).  This is particularly important for any of our members for whom English is not a first language, because translations of jargon can confuse essential meanings. 

There is an important distinction between the newsletter and our journal:  the journal publishes peer-reviewed papers describing scientific studies related to our common interest of the biological effects of electric and magnetic fields "from DC to daylight" whereas the newsletter provides our common bond on all other topics.  The website ( provides a common place to find essential links to meetings and BEMS related documents, such as the Constitution and By-Laws that govern our interactions.

I invite, encourage, and urge you to actively participate in BEMS through submissions to the newsletter so that we can all better understand each other and contribute to a thriving, interactive, international scientific society.  Topics of possible interest include:

  • research agendas
  • job postings
  • collaboration opportunities
  • cultural distinctions that you think are important for other members to be aware of
  • dialogs with other members on the meaning of reported research
  • point/counterpoint discussions of topics
  • historical notes
  • what you consider fundamental to BEMS
  • proposals for new forms of interaction with members
  • meeting agendas
  • reports from meetings you attend that are related to BEMS
  • why you joined BEMS
  • what you would like to get out of being a member of BEMS
  • questions you would like to see addressed withing BEMS
  • an obituary for someone who has contributed to BEMS related work (obituaries remind us of our history, and sometimes direct our attention to work that we might otherwise have missed)

When creating a possible submission to the newsletter, consider using this framework:

  1. The "lede" or most important fact or finding or conclusion of what you are going to write about.
  2. Tell why this is important to you, and why you think it should be important to the reader
  3. If appropriate, tell what action you'd like to result from publishing this information (come to a meeting, or dialog with other members, or some other action)
  4. Supporting material for the first two items
  5. Other necessary background or history
  6. Summary, contact information, relevant websites, etc.

We all have a lot to gain from interacting with each other, and the newsletter aims to provide that forum for interactions.  Regardless of your ability to communicate in English, I encourage you to submit articles at any time to   As editor, I will work with you if needed to make your article as clear as possible. 

Let's keep BEMS active through individual active participation throughout the year.  Make the newsletter a members' forum.