LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Editor’s note: this following represents the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the society as a whole. We invite alternate perspectives to be published in future issues.

We read the President’s message in the September/October issue of the Newsletter with interest. We fully agree that research designs should be built on a foundation of specific interaction mechanisms. This approach is critical for the hypothesis-driven research that can make solid advances in bioelectromagnetics. However, we do not agree with Prof. Kuster that “bioelectromagnetic research has progressed very little.” In our view the past decades have identified productive directions for future research and where further research would most likely be a waste of time and money.

We have published two manuscripts focused on biophysical and biological mechanisms that can serve to summarize the state of RF bioeffects research.[1,2] Our desire was that these might be used as discussion points and a guide to where the bioelectromagnetics community might look to expand and continue research based on these general mechanistic conclusions applicable to the ELF and RF regions:

  1. Physiological and bio-molecular systems employ electric fields that (vary) in magnitude from 1 - 200 V/m for physiological steady-state fields to >109 V/m for chemical bonds.
  2. In order to affect a physiological process that involves low-frequency fields, an exogenous field must be of the order of magnitude of the local field, which suggests that to be effective exogenous fields need to be at least approximately one tenth of the local field strength. That is, an extremely sensitive system might respond if the signal-to- noise voltage ratio is as low as -20 dB.

  3. We found, so far, no mechanism that points to a testable hypothesis for non-thermal effects between a few tens of megahertz and a few hundreds of gigahertz.

  4. We found, so far, no conclusive evidence from independently reproduced studies that biological responses occur for low-level non-thermal exposures in this same frequency range.

  5. Magnetic field affects can occur by induction of electric fields following the above quantitative guidelines and in specialized circumstances where magnetic interactions exist at microscopic or molecular levels.

In agreement with Prof. Kuster’s mechanisms-based approach, we believe that experimental work should proceed from a sound hypothesis derived, for example, from 1 and above. We think it better to design research starting from conditions where we know how things work in order to expand from there into unknown areas on a firm scientific foundation. Therefore, we encourage the research community to design experiments starting with exposure conditions that give repeatable outcomes and work from there to determine the lowest effective levels for a given waveform. We believe that this process is scientifically sound and can result in the “highly sensitive experiments” that Prof. Kuster desires with efficiency and good credibility for the outcomes.

Mays Swicord,
Quirino Balzano
Asher Sheppard

  1. Sheppard AR, Swicord ML, and Balzano Q, Quantitative Evaluations Of Mechanisms Of Radiofrequency Interactions With Biological Molecules And Processes, Health Physics, 95 (4) 2008

  2. Swicord ML and Balzano Q, Has Electromagnetic Energy in the Band 0.1 to 100 GHz Useful Medical Application? A review of Mechanisms and Biological Database Offers Dim prospects, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 36 (4) 2008

Minutes of the 103rd BEMS Board meting

Held at Town & Country Resort, San Diego, CA June 12th 2008

  1. Adoption of agenda: The meeting was called to order at 13:20.MOTION: Carl Blackman proposed that the agenda be adopted with no changes. Ewa Czerska seconded the motion. There was no discussion and the motion was carried unanimously.
  2. Welcome and introduction of officers, board members and guests: Niels Kuster welcomed those present.

  3. Report of the President: Niels Kuster thanked the outgoing president for her hard work on behalf of the Society and outlined his ideas for the coming year.
  4. Replacements/appointments

    Awards Committee: The d’Arsonval award has not been given at previous annual scientific meetings held jointly with EBEA. The 2009 meeting planning committee has requested that award also not be given at the Davos meeting.

    MOTION: James Lin proposed that the d’Arsonval award not be given in 2009 only.

    MOTION: Michael Murphy observed that prospective awardees have a 5-year window in which they are considered, and that skipping a year would mean that some currently on the list would be prematurely dropped from the list. He proposed that the current list of potential nominees and past winners be frozen for a year since the award was not considered. James Lin accepted the amendment.

    The motion, with the amendment, was seconded by Vijayalaxmi and was carried with no opposition.

    Awards Committee: It was agreed that, for the 2009 meeting only, the BEMS and EBEA awards committees will work as one group as the awards are presented jointly. There followed some debate about the continuing status of the president and vice president on the awards committee. It was agreed that the current president would stay on the committee.

    Budget and Finance Committee: David Black and Nam Kim joinned this committee.

    Development Committee: Nam Kim and Dariusz Leszczynski joined this committee.

    Intersociety Committee: Members of this committee:
    Chair: Philip Chadwick
    Liaison to EBEA: Ewa Czerska
    Liaison from EBEA: Carmela Marino
    Liaison to the Hyperthermia Society: Niels Kuster
    Liaison to IEEE/ICES/COMAR: Art Thasandote

      Ewa Czerska proposed the following liaisons with the Bioelectrochemistry Society:
      Liaison to BES: Ann Rajnicek
      Liaison from BES: Ana Maria Oliveira Brett
      Niels Kuster agreed to contact Ann and Ana and request that they take these roles.

        There is a need to keep track of other meetings that may be of interest to Society members, or may conflict withthe Society’s meetings, and this is part of the role of the intersociety committee.

        Journal Committee: Ewa Czerska takes the chair of this committee automatically as past president. EBEA will advise its representation.

        Long-range Planning Committee: This is an ad hoc committee chaired by the president.

        For 2008-9 its members will be Dariusz Leszczynski, Jeff Carson, Philip Chadwick, Raphael Lee, James Lin and Chiyoji Ohkubo.

        Management Committee: The members of this committee will be Niels Kuster, Ewa Czerska, Michael Murphy, Vijayalaxmi and Michael McLean (as Technical Program Chair)

        Meeting Quality Committee: The members of this committee will be Dariusz Leszczynski, Niels Kuster, Nam Kim, Chiyoji Ohkubo, Joachim Schüz, Michael Murphy and Maren Fedrowitz.

        Maren Fedrowitz will chair the committee this year, with Dariusz Leszczynski’s agreement.

        Membership Committee: Junji Miyakoshi has resigned, and Ken Joyner will be appointed as Chair of this committee.

        Memorial Committee: Sheila Johnston has resigned and Arthur Pilla has been deemed to have resigned through inactivity. Ben Greenebaum will be asked to join the committee.

        The roster will then be: Indira Chatterjee (Chair), Igor Belyaev, Carl Blackman, Deborah Ciombor, Guglielmo D’Inzeo, Ben Greenbaum, Nam Kim, and Betty F. Sisken

        Nominations Committee: Ewa Czerska, Frank Prato and Chiyoji Ohkubo will join this committee.

        Public Affairs Committee: By established rules, Ewa Czerska joins this committee, and Frank Prato leaves.

        Publications Committee: Members of the committed are Carl Blackman, Chair; Kjell Hansson-Mild; Robert Goldberg; Johnathan Kiel; John Male, Lee Rosen; and new member, Art Thansandote.

        Technology task force/website: Unchanged

        2009 Joint Meeting Planning Committee:This committee consists of:

        • the local organising committee chair;
        • the technical program co-chairs;
        •  the treasurers of both societies (BEMS and EBEA)
        • the presidents of both societies
        • the vice-presidents of both societies
        • the past presidents of both societies
        • the secretaries of both societies
        • whichever ad hoc members are invited to join by the members listed above.

        It was agreed that the Society’s manual should be updated to reflect this structure.

        Winter workshop organiser: This decision was deferred to an online discussion.

      • 2008 Annual Meeting
        1. Programme: Michael McLean reviewed the programand the Board agreed that on the whole it had been very successful. There was some debate about the structure of Plenary Session IV. Some Board members felt that the session had been a good idea but that more discussion of practical experience of implementation of the Precautionary Principle would have been of interest. David Black agreed to help advise on future sessions covering the precautionary principles.

          Niels Kuster suggested that in the future it would be advisable to try to avoid consecutive presentations by the same speaker.

        2. Evaluations/meeting quality: Michael Murphy observed that the spouse activities had been very well received. Spouse activities are planned for the 2009 meeting.

          Gloria Parsley was congratulated by the Board on the success of the social event, especially given its last-minute rearrangement. It was observed that it was difficult this year to thank the sponsors and scientific contributors effectively, and this will be addressed for future meetings.

          There were comparatively few evaluation forms returned and it is not clear how representative they are. There was debate about how the response rate might be increased. Gloria Parsley agreed to circulate a summary of the comments

        3. Student liaison: Ewa Czerska suggested that the possibility of forming a Student Chapter should be considered. Universities could be asked to contribute, to allow student members to travel to meetings.

          Ewa Czerska agreed to follow up on the idea and report back to the Board.

      • Brainstorming on analysis/redefinition/reorganisation of annual meeting: Niels Kuster opened the debate with the observations that membership and sponsorship were both falling, year after year. The Society, he said, needs to widen its appeal to encompass new areas (to us) and also novel research areas. It should be more open to participants from related fields.

        James Lin commented that the Society does need to be more inclusive, but that many people who attend the Annual Meeting are concerned with safety issue and they must be kept if the Society is to expand to include others.

        David Black observed that many attendees are practitioners (both industry and government/regulators), and they want to understand the orthodox and established position so that they can communicate it to their companies, organisations and clients. Of particular interest is the way in which science and policy may be better integrated.

        Joachim Schüz reiterated that that Society’s aim is to promote state-of-the-art research, and Maren Fedrowitz supported this view strongly.

        Niels Kuster summarised by saying that the subject needed further consideration before the next meeting. He agreed to present a summary paper to the long range planning group.

        There was discussion of the financial situation of the Annual Meeting. For 2009, the meeting budget is separate from the Society’s budget as a result of holding a joint meeting with EBEA. Fixed costs are rising and income is falling; the management costs are fixed.

      • Winter workshop: Niels Kuster observed that this should be a well-organised but intimate event; it does not have to have a large external impact. It might be closer in nature to an EBEA/COST meeting, or perhaps the Board could consider a visit to an active research group to learn of their activities.

        MOTION: Joachim Schüz proposed that the President and a small task group produce a firm proposal. Carl Blackman seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.

      • 2009 Davos program: Isabelle Lagroye noted that this is the 20th anniversary meeting of EBEA. Dariusz Leszczynski observed that at present there are comparatively few US/Asian plenary speakers.

      • BEMS flyer: Ewa Czerska thanked Ben Greenebaum for volunteering to prepare a draft brochure describing BEMS.
      • Website: Jeff Carson, acting on behalf of Stefan Engstrom, described the options for content migration for the Society’s website. It might be possible to use a contentmanagement solution to allow multiple topic editors, or regional pages with regional editors.

        MOTION: Jeff Carson proposed that Stefan Engström be asked to produce a firm cost proposal. Ewa Czerska seconded the motion and it was carried with two abstentions.

      • Meeting destinations: There was discussion of the options for the 2011 and 2012 Annual Meetings.

        MOTION: Ewa Czerska proposed that the 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society be held at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Joachim Schüz seconded the motion and it was carried with one abstention.

        MOTION: Joachim Schüz proposed that EBEA be approached with a view to agreeing on a joint meeting for 2012. Carl Blackman seconded the motion and it was carried with one abstention.

        The options for 2013 include China, Bangkok and Australia.

      • New business: There was none.
      • Adjourn

       

      Minutes of the BEMS THIRTIETH Annual busines meting

      Town & Country Resort, San Diego, CA June 11, 2008, 12:30pm – 2:00pm

      1. Adoption of agenda (Outgoing president, Ewa Czerska) The agenda was adopted with no amendments
      2. Approval of minutes of Annual Business Meeting #29 (Secretary Phil Chadwick): The minutes of the 29th Annual Business Meeting were approved with no amendments

      3. Report of the President (Czerska): Ewa Czerska commented on the changing nature of the Society, the challenges facing it and the importance of students as its new blood. She emphasised the success of the Winter Workshop and the journal, and welcomed Carmela Marino as a new Associate Editor.

        The financial news was a little less good. The Society was expecting to have a loss on the 2008 Annual Meeting because of the withdrawal of a sponsor. Final attendance numbers were not confirmed, but the participation in the San Diego meeting appeared to be good.

        The Society’s international nature is illustrated by the decisions to hold the next two meetings abroad, in Europe, in conjunction with EBEA, and in Asia. It will continue to work with other societies, including EBEA, the Mexican Bioelectromagnetics Society, and the Society for Thermal Medicine.
      4. Report of the Secretary (Chadwick): The secretary’s report discussed a proposed revision to the BEMS Constitution. At its June 2007 meeting the Board of the Bioelectromagnetics Society disbanded the Elections Committee because its role had been made redundant by the successful introduction of electronic voting. Article V(3) of the Society’s Constitution reads:

        The Board shall appoint an Election Committee consisting of three (3) members. The Election Committee shall count the valid ballots and report the results to the membership at the Annual Business Meeting. The Election Committee shall certify the ballots prior to counting.

        It is proposed to remove this paragraph from the Society’s constitution and to renumber the following paragraph in that Article accordingly.

        The process for amending the Constitution is stated in Article VII, and that has been followed. The final stage in this process requires the affirmative votes of not less than two-thirds of the Members voting at the Annual Business Meeting.

        MOTION: Ben Greenebaum proposed this constitutional amendment. Carl Blackman seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

      5. Report of the Treasurer (Vijayalaxmi): The treasurer presented the fiscal year 4/07-3/08 financial statement. The Society has $325,000 net assets; the Washington meeting made a profit of $2000, the Dublin meeting made $26,000 and the Cancun meeting made $29,000.
      6. Journal Report by the Editor in Chief (James Lin): James Lin, the Bioelectromagnetics journal’s Editor-in- Chief, presented his report on the last year’s journal activities.

        95 articles were published out of 226 submitted – a 42- 43% acceptance ratio. 70 papers were from Western Europe, 53 from Asia, 40 from North America, 34 from Eastern Europe, 10 from Australia and 11 from other regions. The journal has an impact factor of 1.5.

        The Editor-in-Chief outlined the changes to the editorial board, and thanked the retiring members for their hard work on behalf of the Society, and described the principle and mechanism of the new Best Paper Award.

        In the future, the Journal will allow online open access to papers whose authors have chosen this option. Selection of open access will not influence refereeing or acceptance as it will be considered only after a paper has been accepted.

      7. Publications Committee report: Carl Blackman, chair of the Publications committee, reported on the status of the website. He observed that both the newsletter and website are being reviewed with the aim of streamlining communication to help the Society operate better internationally. Newsletter editor Janie Page requested increased feedback from members for the newsletter.
      8. Recognition: (Czerska): Ewa Czerska thanked Rich Nuccitelli, Technical Programme Chair 2007; Mike McLean, Technical Program Chair 2008; and the entire 2008 Program Committee.Several of the Society’s Board members are retiring this year. The outgoing president thanked Ben Greenebaum, Francis Hart, James McNamee, Michael Murphy, and Joseph Salvatore.

      9. Election Results: The president announced the results of the elections for the 2008-9 Board. The successful candidates were:
        1. Vice President/President-elect: Michael Murphy

        2. Board members, biological & medical sciences: David Black and Ann Rajnicek

        3. Board member, engineering and physical sciences: Art Thasandote
        4. Board member at large: Andrei Pakhomov

      10. Transfer of gavel & recognition of retiring president (Czerska/Kuster): The outgoing president welcomed the incoming president (Niels Kuster) and the gavel was formally transferred.
      11. New Business (Kuster): Niels Kuster thanked the outgoing president for her hard work on behalf of the Society and went on to outline his ideas for the coming year, particularly for the annual scientific meeting in Davos.

      12. Adjourn: Philip Chadwick moved that the meeting be adjourned. Carl Blackman seconded the motion and there was no opposition.

      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
          Thursday.
        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

      James L. (Jim) Lords, University of Utah professor emeritus of biology and founding member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, died October 3, 2008. He was 80 years old.

      Lords served as a member of the board and a loyal contributor to the Society throughout his professional career. In the early 1970’s he joined Curtis Johnson, Carl Durney, and Om Gandhi as they began the bioelectromagnetics research in the Bioengineering Department and the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Utah. BEMS member Carl Durney noted that “without his expertness in biology and his unusual ability to collaborate in interdisciplinary research, the strong program in bioelectromagnetics research that was created at the University of Utah could not have developed as it did. As a biologist, he had keen insight into the engineering aspects of the research and was always patient in helping his engineering colleagues gain insight into the biological aspects of the work.”

      His colleagues note that Jim was a key member of every research team that he developed. Some of his early work included collaborating in the development of a liquid-crystal nonmetallic temperature probe for measuring temperatures of biological elements during electromagnetic (EM) exposure. He also worked to determine the effects of microwave radiation first on isolated turtle hearts, and then isolated mammalian hearts. He then turned his attention to behavioral effects of EM radiation. He also contributed material on thermal response to the second edition of the Radio Frequency Radiation Dosimetry Handbook, 3 kHz to 300 GHz (1991). Colleague and BEMS member John D’Andrea recalled that “Jim was a great mentor to his students, and I particularly benefited from his expert guidance and scientific insight. His insights were extremely useful to the early versions of the C95.1 IEEE Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields.”

      As well as being an accomplished researcher and teacher, Carl Durney further remembered that “[Jim] was an admired colleague who was always the perfect gentleman. In addition to enjoying close collaboration with him in research, I had the pleasure of playing handball and racquetball with him for many years until Jim’s knees gave out on him and his doctor ordered him to cease playing racquetball. He was a good athlete and the perfect example of sportsmanship on the court, and a cherished friend both on and off the court.”

      Lords was born in Salt Lake City on April 5, 1928, to Lafayette (Lou) Lords and Rose Lenore Coppin Lords. He graduated in the Class of 1946 from West High School in Salt Lake City, where he was a football player and a member of the ROTC. After receiving his undergraduate and master’s degrees, he married Katherine (Kaye) Reeves on June 4, 1955, in Salt Lake City. Upon receipt of his doctorate from the University of Utah, he was awarded a post-doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. With a passion for teaching, he returned to the University of Utah for a 38-year teaching career in the Department of Biology. “Ol’ Doc” retired in 1997.

      In addition to the Bioelectromagnetics Society, Lords was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, Honorary Colonels, and the Ambassador Duck Club. An avid Utah athletics ticketholder, supporting football and basketball for the past 50 years, he served as faculty advisor for both the Athletics Department and pre-medical students. He was also a 50-year member of the Mount Moriah #3 Masonic Lodge.

      Jim Lords is survived by his wife, Kaye, and their two sons and four grandchildren.

      BioEM2009: Coming Soon!

      Key deadlines

      February 2, 2009 --- Abstract submission deadline

      February 23, 2009 --- Acceptance notification

      March 13, 2009 --- Application for student travel support deadline

      May 15, 2009 --- Early registration deadline

      June 14-19, 2009 --- Joint meeting

      This year, the Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) and the European BioElectromagnetics Association (EBEA) will jointly hold their meeting in Davos, Switzerland from June 14-19, 2009. This triennial meeting remains the heart of both organizations. It allows us to present the research results of our major mission, which is to promote research on the understanding of the interactions of electromagnetic fields with biological systems, and to expand the technical and medical applications of the scientific findings. Members of the international scientific, engineering and medical communities interested in recent developments in bioelectromagnetics and associated technologies are invited to attend the joint meeting and contribute to its technical sessions. In conjunction with BioEM2009, several workshops and forums will be organized by other relevant organizations.

      Getting Ready: The program of the meeting will provide a comprehensive overview of the field of bioelectromagnetics- from fundamental research topics on the interactions between living tissue and EM energy to medical applications. BioEM2009 will feature invited plenary talks by world-renowned scientists, a variety of special sessions and panel discussions aligned with the most pressing issues in the field of bioelectromagnetics as well as informative technical sessions, poster sessions, and social functions. Student competitions will also be a highlight of the conference. Students from around the world will have the opportunity to present their work in an oral or poster session while developing their technical communication skills and networking with the bioelectromagnetics community.

      The Technical Program of BioEM2009 will include plenary sessions, special sessions, topic in focus sessions, platform presentations (15min/talk, 5min/Q&A) and poster sessions, a student paper competition, and exhibits.

      Original papers are solicited for presentation (in English) on the interaction of biological systems with electromagnetic energy from static fields through the visible light frequencies. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following categories: clinical devices; medical applications; high-throughput screening; in vitro studies; in vivo studies; mechanisms of interaction; theoretical and practical modeling; instrumentation and methodology; dosimetry; exposure standards; occupational exposure; epidemiology; and public policy.

      Authors wishing to present papers should submit a 100- word short summary and 2-page abstract electronically at: http://bioem2009.org/online-submission/

      For non-web submission and general information, contact the meeting project manager:

      Gloria Parsley, Tel: +1301 663 4252; Fax: +1 301 694 4948; Email: office@bioem2009.org.

      Environment of the Conference: The stimulating and interesting program is complemented by the spectacular alpine meeting venue of Davos, Switzerland. Nestled in a majestic alpine valley in the heart of canton Graubünden, Davos is the highest town in Europe, situated at 1560 m / 5100 ft, and a world-renowned winter-summer resort with sport, spa and congress facilities. Davos has all the amenities of a city in the middle of breathtaking mountain scenery, surrounded by the wonders of nature. With its spectacular alpine location, Davos offers a wide variety of sport and leisure activities, including, swimming, hiking and high alpine golfing. Excursions by train, bus & cable car, and walks into the mountains, uncover a tapestry of traditional Swiss villages, dramatic views and abundant wildlife. Walkers have access to both sides of the valley by cable car and mountain railways and a vast network of paths ranging from half hour strolls to full day hikes. Guests have complimentary use of selected cable cars and mountain railways.

      Davos also has an interesting cultural life, including five museums, theater performances, exhibitions, local crafts, etc. Davos is also home to the world famous Kirchner Museum. It beautifully displays the world’s largest collection of paintings by the expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, who lived in Davos for many years. The cubist style of the museum building also attracts many architecture enthusiasts. The famous Promenade, flanked by boutiques, shops, hotels, and cafes, links the town’s two sections, Davos-Platz and Davos-Dorf. There are also over 90 restaurants, ranging from cozy, typically Swiss eating establishments to elegant and trendy restaurants, bars, cinema, nightclubs, theater, and specialty shops.

      Getting there: Situated at 1560 m or 5100 feet above sea level in a picturesque valley at the heart of the Alps, Davos is easily accessible by train and car. The closest international airport is Zurich Airport. The journey from Zurich Airport takes just under 3 hours. Two train changes are required, one at Zurich main station and one at Landquart. The airport train station is situated under the airport shopping area, a few minutes walk from either of the airport terminals. The local station nearest to the Congress Centre is called Davos Platz. A one way 2nd class ticket to the main railway station in Zurich costs CHF 6.00 and it takes 10 min. Trains from Zurich to Davos Platz station depart every hour and a one way 2nd class ticket costs CHF 51. All prices are subject to change.

      We look forward to seeing you there!

      BioEM2009 Planning Committee
      Gloria Parsley, Conference Organizer
      Guglielmo d’Inzeo, Technical Program Co-Chair (EBEA), Dariusz Leszczynski, Technical Program Co-Chair (BEMS),Niels Kuster, BEMS President, Local Organizing Committee Chair, Carmela Marino, EBEA President

      Other BEMS Representatives
      Philip Chadwick, Secretary, Ewa Czerska, Past-President, James Lin, Editor-in-Chief, Michael Murphy, VP/ President-Elect, Vijayalaxmi, Treasurer

      Other EBEA Representatives
      Ferdinando Bersani, Vice-President, René DeSeze, Past-President, Isabelle Lagroye, Secretary, Alex Ubeda, Treasurer, Gunnhild Oftedal, György Thuróczy, Eric van Rongen, Bernard Veyret

      For questions about the technical program, please contact: Guglielmo d’Inzeo (EBEA), Co-Chair, Technical Program Committee, E-mail: chair@bioem2009.org, or Dariusz Leszcynski (BEMS), Co-Chair, Technical Program Committee, E-mail: chair@bioem2009.org

      For general questions, please contact:

      Gloria Parsley, BioEM2009 Conference Organizer
      Phone: (1) 301-663-4252
      Fax: (1) 301-694-4948
      E-mail: office@bioem2009.org

      PIERS 2009 (Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium)
      Date: 23-27 March 2009
      Location: Beijing, China
      (see July/August 2008 BEMS newsletter for details)

      Society for Thermal Medicine Annual Meeting
      Date: 3 – 7 April 2009
      Location: Tucson, AZ
      Abstract submission deadline: 5 December 2008
      Contact: http://www.thermalmedicine.org

      Third International Conference of Applied Electromagnetism CNEA 2009: “Potentialities of Electromagnetism in Medicine,Agriculture, Industry, and  Environment”
      Date: 18-21 May 2009
      Location: Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
      Pre-Registration Due: March 31, 2009
      Email: eventoscnea@yahoo.com
      Conference web site: http://www.cnea.uo.edu.cu/english/indexi.htm

      WHO IAC (International EMF Project) 2008
      Date: 10-11 June 2009
      Location: Geneva, Switzerland
      Details: See September/October 2008 BEMS Newsletter

      BIOEM2009: Joint Meeting of BEMS and EBEA
      Date: 14-19 June 2009
      Location: Davos, Switzerland
      Technical Program Co-Chairs: Guglielmo D’Inzeo and Dariusz Leszcynski
      Conference web site: www.bioem2009.org.
      Notes: For non-web submission and general information, contact the meeting project manager: Gloria Parsley, Tel: +1 301 663 4252; Fax: +1 301 694 4948; Email: bemsoffice@aol.com.

      Sixth International Workshop on EMF
      Location: Bodrum, Turkey
      Dates: October 11-16, 2010

       

      REMINDER: IT’S TIME TO RENEW YOUR 2009 BEMS DUES!

      Please visit our web site, www.bioelectromagnetics.org
      for a dues form, or contact our office:

      Phone: (301) 663-4252
      Fax: (301) 694-4948
      E-mail: bemsoffice@aol.com

      Harvard Biologist Takes New Job at Alma Mater

      Michael Levin, who has published several articles in the Bioelectromagnetics Journal and recently gave an invited talk at a Society Annual Meeting, was mentioned in a November 18, 2008 post on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s on-line news blog (written by Caitlin Moran): The internationally recognized biologist, who previously directed the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at the Forsyth Institute, has left his post at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine to work as a biology professor at Tufts University, his alma mater.

      The opportunity for interdisciplinary research at Tufts was a key factor in the switch for Mr. Levin, who was already working with Tufts researchers in biology and biomedical engineering. He believes interdisciplinary collaboration is becoming more important to medical research.

      Mr. Levin is known for his findings on tissue growth as it relates to birth defects and cancer. He graduated from Tufts in 1992 with a degree in biology and computer science, and later received a Ph.D. from the Harvard University Medical School.

      NIST to Study Electroshock Safety

      Electroshock weapons—such as stun guns and other similar devices that temporarily incapacitate a person by delivering a high-voltage, low-current electric shock—have helped law enforcement officers safely subdue dangerous or violent persons for years. The use of these weapons has been challenged, however, by claims that they may have contributed to more than 150 deaths in the United States since 2001. Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working toward a standard method for accurately assessing the electrical output of these devices, the results of which can be used in establishing baselines for future medical and safety studies.

      Groups such as Amnesty International have called for guidelines for electroshock weapons that include “threshold exposures” (the minimum charges that would incapacitate different groups of people without putting them at risk for injury or death). One obstacle to the development of such guidelines is the fact that various reports regarding the output of electroshock weapons—the current and voltage they deliver—are inconsistent.

      To address this problem, scientists in NIST’s Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) have developed methods for calibrating the high-voltage and current measurement probes used by industry so that any inherent biases in the probes are minimized. By compensating for these probe effects, voltage and current readings were obtained that reflect the energies being dispensed by the weapons.

      Next steps in the characterization program for electroshock weapons include implementing a second type of high-voltage measurement to verify the probe calibration system; further refining the uncertainty analysis for the overall measurement method to better define its accuracy and reliability; and, eventually, working with government agencies and the law enforcement community to standardize the method that will facilitate establishment of use guidelines.

      ### Public release date: 13-Nov-2008
      For more information, contact

      Nicholas Paulter,
      nicholas.paulter@nist.gov, (301) 975-2405
      Or
      Michael E. Newman,
      michael.newman@nist.gov, (301) 975-3025

      EMF Effects on Cardiovascular System Reviewed

      The cardiovascular effects of exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields were reviewed recently by David McNamee and collegues in a recent publication in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, published online 17 February 2009. Building on an earlier conclusion by Preece et al. that the data is ‘too strong and consistent to be ignored, but if an effect exists, it is a small effect”, they conclude that “the equivocal results reported to date require clarification through further research, including both epidemiologicalepidemiological studies of cardiovascular disease and laboratory studies investigating cardiovascular parameters.” The paper makes specific recommendations for future research, and note the importance of recording the geomagnetic magnetic field parameters when performing such studies.

      DA McNamee, AG Legros, DR Krewski, G Wisenberg, FS Prato, and AW Thomas. A Literature Review: the Cardiovascular Effects of Exposure to Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health. Springer Verlage 2009.

      UMTS Effects Debated

      A debate on details of research reporting possible genotoxic effects from third generation (UMTS) mobile communication devices continues in the pages of the January 2009 issue of the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. The original article by Claudia Schwarz et al. published in Vol. 81, No. 6 (May 2008) showed) in vitro genotoxic effects on human fibroblasts (but not in lymphocytes).

      The Memorial Committee recently updated its web database of obituaries of deceased members and people strongly tied to Bioelectromagnetics research. During the process, they found these two memorials of people who were a key part of the early years of the Bioelectromagnetics society.

      DR. CURTIS CARL JOHNSON, 1932 - 1978
      Members will recognize this name from the Student Awards given each year at our Annual Meeting. This text appeared in the precursor to the BEMS newsletter, the Bioeffects Newsletter, No. 5, April 1978, just before BEMS was formed. It was written by Thomas Rozzell, who also served as an early editor of the BEMS newsletter.

      The bioelectromagnetics research community and the many friends of Curt Johnson were deeply saddened to learn of his death on 25 March 1978. Curt had been severely ill for about two months.

      Born in Long Beach, California on November 7, 1932, he received the BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from CalTech in 1954 and 1955 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1958. He first joined the faculty of the University of Utah as an Assistant Professor in 1961. In 1967, he joined the Bioengineering Center at the University of Washington and was involved in research and development of biomedical instrumentation and biological microwave effects. In 1972 he returned to the University of Utah as Professor of Biophysics and Bioengineering and Director of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering. He was appointed Chairman of the New Department of Bioengineering in 1974.

      Dr. Johnson was a prolific writer. He published two textbooks in electromagnetic theory and contributed to three other books in bioengineering. He published more than 65 journal articles and made more than 70 presentations at technical meetings. He holds seven patents and filled several editorial positions for technical and scientific publications.

      I first became acquainted with Curt as a contractor for the Office of Naval Research. Shortly after I came to ONR in 1971, we collaborated in the invention of the liquid crystal/optic fiber temperature probe, and he (along with Jim Lords and Carl Durney) and I hold a patent on that device. A brilliant researcher, Dr. Johnson was internationally recognized for his work in bioengineering, and in particular, for his work in bioinstrumentation and the biological effects of microwaves.

      I am certain that everyone who knew Curt joins me in expressing to his widow, Wilma, and his four children our deep sense of sorrow and our great feeling of loss. We are all much better individuals because he walked amoung us and so unselfishly shared with us a part of his life.

      In order that future students will continue to benefit from the research program that Curt developed, a Memorial Fellowship Fund has been established at the University of Utah. Checks may be made to the University of Utah-Dept. of Bioengineering and sent in care of the University of Utah Development Office, 306 Park Building, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.

      The following obituary was originally published in BEMS NL #68, May/June 1986

      HERBERT A. POHL, 1916 -1986
      Professor Herbert A. Pohl passed away Saturday, 21 June, of a heart attack. Born 1916, Pohl earned his Ph.D. in chemical physics at Duke University in 1939. He was a faculty member at the Departments of Anatomy and Chemical Engineering, Johns Hopkins Medical School. He served in the Navy during World War II at the Naval Research Laboratory, and later worked for the DuPont Company on nylon, dacron, and in the atomic energy division. From 1957-1962 he taught at Princeton University. Later he joined the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, then was a Visiting Professor at the University of Uppsala, Sweden as a Wallenberg Fellow from 1963-1964. He served as Professor of Physics at Oklahoma State University from 1964-1981. As a NATO Senior Fellow, he did research at Cambridge University in 1971, and at WoodsHole, MA in 1976. His active research was on electroactive organic polymers, and on biological dielectrophoresis, a phenomena he discovered and named.

      Dr. Pohl was the Editor of the Journal of Biological Physics, and Co-Editor of the IEEE Digest of Dielectrics. He was also the Director of the Pohl Cancer Research Laboratory, Stillwater, OK; and at his death was a Visiting Scientist at the Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

      We recently asked Joachim Schuz how he got involved in bioelectromagnetics. His response? “Well, coincidence…”

      He continued: “In 1992, the German Childhood Cancer Registry at the University of Mainz started a large comprehensive epidemiological study on causes of childhood leukemia, and we were three Ph.D.-students-to-be who were interested in finding a topic within this study. While the other two worked in the same building where all the interviewers and fieldworkers were located, my office was at the Tumor Centre, so it was decided that I would take over the add-on study to the main study that was in collaboration with an external partner anyway and required less regular contact with our own fieldworkers. Having an office 200 meters away from the main building determined my first contact with EMF, instead of working on leukemia and pesticides or leukemia and infections.

      “The EMF measurements were done by the Technical University of Braunschweig, and the head of respective institute was honorable Professor Karl Brinkmann, an early member of BEMS. It was his wish that our study should be presented at BEMS, a conference neither my boss or I had ever heard of before. I first went to a BEMS meeting in 1997, to Bologna, to report our results from the leukemia study done in Berlin. I especially enjoyed meeting all the researchers active in this field at one place, and the multidisciplinary and liberal spirit of BEMS. Since then I’ve only missed the meetings in Florida and Hawaii.

      “A bit embarrassing to say, but I became BEMS member only in 2005, however, immediately tried to compensate my failure by becoming a very active BEMS member and was elected to join the BOD in 2006.”

      He commented on his own transition from being a student to a full researcher in this area: “During a recent EBEA meeting, a speaker from a large US manufacturers company concluded his talk with a recommendation that no one below 40 years of age should go into EMF research. Luckily I had just turned 40 few weeks earlier and I’m therefore eligible to pick up some loose ends to investigate some questions where I believe we have still quite some scientific uncertainty. Whereas some activities will be completed ‘soon’ (Interphone), others are planned to commence for several decades (Cosmos).” [Editor’s note: there is no upper or lower age limit within BEMS.]

      With this auspicious start, we asked how he views the future. He responded with enthusiasm and humor that “in Davos it will be my turn now to listen to my own students, and I wish them a good start in BEMS. Maybe it will be less thrilling than my own start: in Bologna all my slides were upside-down and I had to give my first BEMS presentation freely while the chairmen were busy to turn my slides - from upside-down to mirror-inverted - but the second attempt succeeded.”

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