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Dr. Carmela MARINO (Italy)
Prof. Ferdinando BERSANI (Italy)
Dr. Alejandro UBEDA (Spain)
Dr. Isabelle LAGROYE (france)
Dr. Micaela LIBERTI (Italy)
Prof. Paolo RAVAZZANI (Italy)
Dr. Theodoros SAMARAS (Greece)
Dr. Jukka JUUTILAINEN (finland)
Dr. Martin ROOSLI (Switzerland)
Dr. Lluis M. MIR (France)
Dr. Gunhild OFTEDAL (Norway)
Dr. Eric Van Rogen (Netherlands)
Editor’s note: To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the European Bioelectromagnetics Association in December 1989, Bernard Veyret gave the following address at the social event of the recent joint meeting with BEMS in Davos, Switzerland)
Let me tell you the story of my tribe. It is also the story of global warming between the tribes.
The name of my tribe is EBEA. I am one of its elders and its leader goes by the name of Carmela [Marino].
In the beginning, that is 20 . . . thousands of years ago, there was a group of 5 hunters who started this new tribe. I was among them.
Editor’s note: Shown in this photo from 1989: Alejandro Ubeda (Spain), Alessandro Chiabrera (Italy), Jocelyn Leal (Spain), Richard Dixey (UK), Bernard Veyret (France). Note that Maurice Hinsenkamp (Belgium), not Alejandro Ubeda, is the fifth co-signer of the EBEA charter.
One of us left the tribe, and our wise man, my friend Alessandro [Chiabrera] passed away: there are diseases that we still cannot heal . . . even using invisible waves.
A thousand years later, my tribe became known as EBEA. It originated in the territory of Europe.
This was the ancient times, before the cell phone, when there were no EMFs, that is ElectroMagnetic Fears, when we used to talk to each other face to face, and when the people of the Italian tribes could use their two hands to talk.
The leader of our new tribe is called Jocelyne [Leal]. She lives in Iberia and we miss her tonight, as she did not want to make this long journey to the Helvetian mountains, using the big birds of Iberia, because she wanted to save money and flight global warming.
In the early days of the EBEA tribe, I travelled with Jocelyne to meet with the other older tribe, named BEMS. This encounter took place long ago in a big village called Stockholm in the very far north. The encounter between the two tribes was not very peaceful. Jocelyne was scared that these tall men from the Americas might take our money, and I did not want them to steal our women!
There was a lot of screaming and tears at this gathering, but we survived: you had to be tough at the time. We thus never became a vassal tribe . . . and now we share a journal.
Since then, we have made peace and organized common gatherings such as the one in Dublin, in the land of the black beer, and this one in Davos.
The two tribes still fight each other at times but we have left our sharp stone weapons at home and we new use a new soft and round weapon which we call the microphone. Soon we may be using the nanophone . . .
I won’t be with you all on Friday for the hot topic session. It is too hot for me, and I need the 12-hour train journey back to my cave [in Bordeaux] to write my new book. Its title won’t be “why I ate my father”* nor “are EMFs helping us prevent global warming” but rather “how I ran away from the dinosaurs” because the big news is that the EMF dinosaurs are back . . . and they could become an internal threat to our tribes! A few of them have made it all the way to Davos. Please shut me up before I become one of these dinosaurs.
But before you do shut me up, I want to thank the local Helvetian tribe for organizing this underground gathering in their huge cave known as the Davos Congress Centre. This tribe is best known as the “men in black.” Its charismatic leader, known by the name of Niels [Kuster], is a wise man. He is living proof of both evolution and global warming, as he does not need much fur on top of his head. This might be why he has a thousand new ideas per minute!
However, in the advent of global warming, he should know better and start clothing his tribe with white fur. . .
He had the wise idea to gather us high up in the mountains. I live in Bordeaux which is only l40 metres above sea level. This means that my tribe, EBEA, will be able to organize there some of our next gatherings in the next few thousands of years before the tide reaches us.
Long life to our two tribes!
Editor’s note: in this photo from 2009 are Paolo Vecchia, Fernando Bersani, Bernard Veyret, Yngve Hamnerius, EBEA President Carmela Marino, and Maurice Hinsenkamp)
* Roy Lewis, published 15, 000 years ago [Pourquoi j’ai mangé mon père (translation: Why I Ate My Father), 1960, Roy Lewis, Vintage Contemporaries Press.]
Niels Kuster, outgoing BEMS president
As your outgoing president, I want to thank you for the privilege of allowing me to chair the Society this past year. To the best of my ability, I have sought to initiate together with the Board new strategies that will prepare the Society for the changing needs of its members and external conditions. I have also tried to provoke vital discussions about the future direction of the Society in my President’s Column. Of course there are those who do not agree with me, but I have tried to offer my view on the values and principles that formed our Society and that have bound us together for all of these years.
There were six agendas that I sought to move during the past year:
1) to initiate and implement the Best Bioelectromagnetics Journal Paper Award and the Most Influential Bioelectromagnetics Journal Paper by Citation Award,
2) to initiate a dynamic planning effort to insure the future viability of the Society,
3) to initiate and test several new organizational tactics to improve our annual meeting,
4) to develop effective strategic relationships and collaborative initiatives with other scientific societies, educational institutions, etc.,
5) to allocate additional time and meetings for the Board of Directors to discuss pressing issues facing the Society at the Winter Workshop and in additional web meetings, and
6) to openly communicate with our members through the newsletter on issues, problems and opinions about our Society and the field of bioelectromagnetics.
My overall message was that it is important that we implement these agendas and posture ourselves in such a way that we are continuously recognized as the premier international society on bioelectromagnetics and its allied fields.
Since Bioelectromagnetics [journal] remains the primary vehicle to disseminate bioelectromagnetic research results, the Board initiated and approved the implementation of two new awards, the Best Bioelectromagnetics Journal Paper Award and the Most Influential Bioelectromagnetics Journal Paper by Citation Award, to attract more high quality submissions from those in the field and in related fields and to increase its impact factor. The first ever awards [for most influential paper by citation] were presented at BioEM2009 (see front page of this newsletter for list of winners) with the hope that the journal will reach a larger audience across multiple disciplines and interests.
The second important contribution made during this past year was our focus on identifying and serving the evolving needs of the Society as well as the needs of the field of bioelectromagnetics. With declining membership, annual meeting attendance and worldwide funding in bioelectromagnetics, and increasing management costs, we had to start building a consensus on changing environmental conditions that may require dynamic new initiatives and strategies to insure the future viability of the Society. In doing so, the Long Range Planning Committee was expanded this year to also include members from EBEA and emerging societies, such as BEMS China. Various recommendations for changing the Society’s structure and management were proposed, all of which will be published [when they are made available].
Our incoming president, Michael Murphy, has already formed a new committee to expand and act on these recommendations.
Several new organizational tactics were implemented and tested [at] this year’s annual meeting. Before preparations begin for the next annual meeting in Seoul, we should reflect on the changes made at this year’s meeting and weigh their advantages and disadvantages.
Changes [at] this year’s meeting included:
1) significant involvement of the Local Chair in organizing the meeting, potentially substantially reducing the management costs and increasing the local aspects of the meeting,
2) the inclusion of a 100-word abstract summary, graphical representation of the program and blank pages for notes in the program book,
3) a comprehensive meeting website with regular e-mail communication announcing website updates, an interactive online program with links to the full abstracts instead of CDs,
4) free internet service,
5) an eco-friendly approach, i.e., no bags, CDs, etc,
6) introduction of new types of sessions, such as Topic in Focus and Special Sessions, and
7) longer discussion times during most sessions.
Over the next few months, we will assess the responses to the meeting survey and discuss how we can further improve the annual meetings scientifically and socially.
With decreasing interest and funding for risk assessment related research, declining participation of interest groups and declining membership, it has become essential to develop effective strategic relationships and collaborative initiatives with other scientific societies, educational institutions, etc. with mutual interests. The multidisciplinary nature of bioelectromagnetics affords us the opportunity to find new ways to further develop the strengths of BEMS by broadening the scope of research topics at the annual meeting and to attract a high level of expertise from various scientific fields and backgrounds. Expanding on the efforts of Past President Ewa Czerska, first steps were taken this year at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Thermal Medicine (STM), where it was decided that both societies will organize one session at each other’s annual meetings next year and further collaborations will be discussed on a continuous basis. In addition, talks with the European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology (ESHO) were initiated. We should continue to adopt a multidisciplinary perspective for sustained growth and increased interest in the activities of our Society.
With only three regularly scheduled board meetings (two during the annual meeting and one winter board meeting) throughout the year, there is generally insufficient time to thoroughly discuss and resolve the numerous pressing issues facing the Society. In lieu of a Winter Workshop this year, the Board of Directors Meeting was combined with a lab visit, allowing more time for important discussions about current bioelectromagnetic research and about open issues within the Society. An additional web meeting was held in late March. It was recommended to follow this structure in the future as it provides substantial savings for the Society, allows for an intimate and focused tour of the host lab and provides more time for the board members to discuss important issues. Another proposed option is to discontinue these meetings and instead, organize more WebEx meetings to maintain direct communication.
The newsletter is an important means of communication between the members of our Society during the year. As president, you have the opportunity to express your ideas and beliefs in a way that has authority, precision, and can be heard across the board. The President’s Column was an essential way for me to voice my opinions and to openly address pressing issues and problems facing our Society and the field of bioelectromagnetics as your elected leader. Although not everyone will agree with the views of the President, I think it is necessary for the future presidents to open the door to dialogue with our members through their newsletter column on a regular basis. In turn, members are encouraged to respond more to these articles to let us know what you are thinking and what you need. We should remain proactive and responsive to each other between the annual meetings.
BEMS presidents come and go, but the society itself continues, evolves and improves. The president may be the spokesperson for the society for a year, but he or she alone does not establish its direction—that course is set by the members, the elected Board members and those who have gone before. I urge all of you to work with our incoming President, Michael Murphy, as we continue to build a stronger society to ensure that we, the scientists and researchers in the field of bioelectromagnetics, always have a forum to disseminate our research results, to express our views, to discuss our differences and to nurture the next generation of researchers in bioelectromagnetics.
President's column (Niels Kuster), BioEM Registration Information, Information about new award for papers published in BEMS journal, Recent Research summaries, Memories of V. V. Lednev and interaction mechanisms
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