Announcements and non-science news
Nam Kim, Dr. Dongil Lee (Korea Electric Power Corporation, KEPCO), Michael Murphy
??, YoonMyoung Gimm (Dankook Univ.), ??, Jeong-Ki Pack (Chungnam Nat’l Univ.), Prof. Masao Taki, Jaehong Lew(KORPA, KOrea Radio Promotion Agency), Dr. C. Ohkubo, Dr. Art Thansandote, ?? -----> would you ask the ?? people to Prof. Taki or Dr. Ohkubo because the ?? people may be Japanese.
Dr. Chung Sang Ryu (Radio Research Agency, Korea), Robert Cleveland, Lloyd Morgan
Michael Murphy, Janet Murphy, Hanny Kim(Nam Kim's daughter), HyeRhin Hong(Nam Kim's wife), Nam Kim
President's reception in Seoul
Left to right: Nam Kim(Chungbuk Nat'l Univ.), Jeong-Ki Pack (Chungnam Nat’l Univ.), YoonMyoung Gimm (Dankook Univ.)
I want to thank the BEMS membership for entrusting me with the position of BEMS president. I am greatly honored to serve the Society and look forward to welcoming everyone at the next annual meeting in Halifax, Canada in 2011 alongside Technical Co-Chair Joachim Schüz and LOC Co-Chair Art Thansandote. To our outgoing Board members, I send thanks for their dedicated service to our Society. To our Board members that continue to serve, I express my appreciation for their past and continued service to the Society. To our newly elected Board members who were installed at the annual meeting in Seoul: congratulations.
One major issue I hope we can tackle this year is the decline in BEMS participation. The decline in membership and meeting attendance has been at the forefront of Board discussions for several years. To put the situation into perspective, membership statistics for the past 15 years show that we have lost on average about 27 members every year. In 1996 we had 752 members with 511 meeting attendees. This year in Seoul, we had 368 members on record and 307 meeting attendees.
The decline in membership and annual meeting attendance has most likely resulted from the precipitous decline in world-wide funding for bioelectromagnetics research. Although research in bioelectromagnetics is closely tied to funding, one could also argue that our members are resourceful and tend to boot-strap bioelectromagnetics projects alongside more conventional and well-funded projects. A good example of this is the seminal work reported by Wertheimer and Leeper in 1979 [Am J Epidemiol. 1979 Mar;109(3):273-84], which to my knowledge was performed without any direct research funds. Therefore, a community of bioelectromagnetics researchers, engineers and practitioners will continue to exist even in the absence of large, well-funded bioelectromagnetics research programs that provide transient funding.
In concern for Society sustainability, past president Niels Kuster highlighted the decline in membership and meeting attendance in his 2008 presentation to the Board of Directors in Zurich. Niels is credited with challenging the BEMS Board of Directors to evaluate all options so that mechanisms can be installed to ensure that the Society operates in a sustainable way. Michael Murphy continued to evaluate options through development of the 2010 Long Range Planning document and ensured that the document be considered and ratified at the Board of Directors meeting held in Seoul prior to his departure as president of BEMS. I plan to continue to examine our options, facilitate a means to implement the 2010 Long Range Plan, and take action where it is feasible and agreeable to the Board of Directors.
We need to ensure that BEMS does everything in its capacity to encourage all those working in bioelectromagnetics, well-funded or not, to join BEMS and attend the annual meeting. We must add value to what it means to be a member of BEMS to increase participation and recruitment through viral, member-driven means.
I am optimistic that BEMS participation will rebound. If we improve our operational efficiency, improve the range of services we provide to our members, and increase our relevance and visibility world-wide, then we are sure to thrive. With strong leadership in recent years, positive signs for a turnaround are beginning to appear. This year we witnessed a jump in Impact Factor of our journal Bioelectromagnetics and better than projected attendance at the Seoul meeting.
With the goal of improving participation in BEMS, below are three actions from my election platform that will provide focus during my year as President.
Website: The website is our first line of contact with the world. Work on our new site will continue. The new site will provide our members a significantly upgraded experience from our current website. It will incorporate timely news on bioelectromagnetics research, features to attract potential new members, and online collaboration tools where members can post news articles and links, as well as interact easily and securely.
Recruitment: The Board of Directors will continue to work on new recruitment strategies. One option might be to reduce the cost of membership for scientists and students from developing nations where funds to join are unavailable or limited. Another option is to work more closely with related societies, such as our European partner EBEA, to address common recruitment challenges with a coordinated effort.
Scientific Excellence: Peer recognition is an important and still largely untapped channel of support for our members. The Society has always recognized its students through the Student Awards at the Annual Meeting. One option could be to extend recognition of our students through excellence-based scholarships using a traditional application process. We should consider extending the concept of a best journal paper award to students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty who are in the formative years of their career.
Progress has been made in all of these and related areas by the Board. Examples include the new journal awards for best article and article with the highest number of citations; a new BEMS pamphlet to inform and potentially recruit scientists from other disciplines to BEMS; and a new BEMS website that will go live shortly will provide useful new features, along with searches into past BEMS newsletters and, in the future, our abstract collection.
To continue progress in these areas, at the Board of Directors Meeting held at the Seoul meeting we created a European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA) Task Force, a Long Range Plan Implementation Task Force, a Task Force for Membership Development, and a Website Management Committee. I want to thank the BEMS members who helped to formulate the ideas underlying each of these new entities and the members who agreed to participate. These three new task forces and one committee will help our Society cover these timely issues: website development and enhancement; the development and implementation of strategies for recruitment of new members; the provision for additional support for our young researchers to encourage scientific excellence; and a formalized communication with EBEA, who shares Bioelectromagnetics as their official journal and with whom we meet with every four years.
Although I will leave discussion of the details of most of the new entities formed at the last Board of Directors Meeting to future issues of the BEMS newsletter, I will expand a bit on the EBEA Task Force. The goal of the EBEA Task Force is to formalize a working relationship with EBEA so that we may improve communication with EBEA's Council and members, improve operational efficiency, and find ways to complement and collaborate with EBEA’s activities. It is through the Task Force that the BEMS Board of Directors will receive regular reports on EBEA’s work and, conversely, the BEMS Board of Directors can report on actions taken by BEMS that relate directly to EBEA. In the past, this was the responsibility of one or two members of the Inter-Society Affairs committee who did not have the means to facilitate more than a superficial connection between BEMS and EBEA. The Task Force has already coordinated with EBEA to hold the BEMS Winter Board of Directors meeting in Rome to coincide with the February EBEA meeting. The increase in cost to the Society to send Board members to Rome rather than Washington, DC has proven to be minimal and formal representation of BEMS in meetings with the EBEA Council Members will provide an opportunity to begin planning for the next joint meeting BioEM 2013. I want to thank our new BEMS Chair for Inter-Society Affairs, Jonna Wilén for helping to facilitate the EBEA Task Force.
I look forward to the upcoming term and to reporting in future newsletter columns about the Long Range Plan Implementation Task Force, the Task Force for Membership Development, the Website Management Committee, the upcoming meeting in Halifax, and progress toward enhancing participation in our Society.
President, The Bioelectromagnetics Society
We received an outside request for a copy of the BEMS newsletter from Jan/Feb, 1989. If anyone has this back issue, please send a note to email@example.com.
This year’s Journal Citation Report for papers published in 2007 and 2008 is out and I am pleased to inform that the current Impact Factor (IF) for Bioelectromagnetics is 2.759. For comparison, IFs for the previous three years were 2.062, 1.799 and 1.514, respectively. Thus, the improved IF represents a consistent increase over four reporting years in a row.
I believe the improvement is related to greater interest in papers published in the Bioelectromagnetics journal, in general. In times like these, it is important to remember that it is the collective effort and hard work of authors, referees, editorial board members and editors that makes something as important as this happen.
In addition to my thanks to everyone citing papers published in Bioelectromagnetics that were used in your research and writing, I hope that the Bioelectromagnetics journal will continue to succeed in publishing the best papers in our field of research and scholarship. Your help in refereeing manuscripts, and making contributions as authors, is needed now as much as ever.
Thank you and let’s continue to excel in what we do!
James C. Lin