Tuesday 26th July 2005, 11.30am-1.00pm. These minutes were adopted at the General Assembly in Istanbul, August 2008.
1 Welcome: The President, J Davies, welcomed National Delegates to the General Assembly.
2 Delegates: Representatives of the following National Committees and Member Societies were present:
Argentina Australia Austria Belgium
Brazil Bulgaria Cameroon Canada
Chile China (Taiwan) Croatia Czechoslovakia
Finland France Germany Hungary
India Indonesia (proxy) Israel Japan
Nigeria Philippines (proxy) Poland Russia
Spain Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom
USA Vietnam International Organisation for Mycoplasma
The Secretary General explained the new voting procedures and the number of votes to be cast under the statutes as had just been ratified at the Extraordinary General Assembly held on 25th July, 2005 at 11.00 – 11.200am .
3 Minutes of the previous General Assembly, Paris, 2002
Copies of the previous minutes had been posted to all member and associate societies in April, 2005 and had also been placed on the IUMS website. These were adopted as correct.
4 Report of the President J Davies
The President reported that he felt the importance of the Strategic Planning session held at his first EB meeting held in Washington could not be overstated as it had led to a number of improvements to the statutes of IUMS. He strongly recommended that, despite the cost, future Executive Boards should hold follow-up Strategic Planning sessions. He said objectives and progress need to be evaluated critically on a regular basis if IUMS was to maintain a significant role in the microbiological community. The President spoke of the need for IUMS to keep abreast of various issues affecting member societies, particularly at this time when the science of microbiology and the policies governing it are in a state of flux. He said the President must be in touch with member societies and admitted the he had not been diligent in this area. The President spoke of the threat of bio-terrorism in recent years which had raised issues of scientific ethics. He said that IUMS must defend the rights of microbiologists to be able to have free exchange of information and materials. The President said the politicisation of microbiology would be a detriment to all.
The President thanked those who had worked with him on the Board and said it had been a privilege to serve as IUMS President.
The report was adopted.
5 Report of the Treasurer WA Hamilton
The Treasurer gave the following report which is reprinted in full. At the previous meeting of the General Assembly at Paris in July 2002, it was reported that the accumulated fund balance at 31st December 2001 stood at US $ 228,623.
This represented an improved financial position from earlier years due, principally, to the contribution from the Sydney Congress in 1999, the increase in dues received from America after 2001, and a more efficient collection of national dues in general.
The financial contribution from the Paris Congress was largely responsible for a further increase in the balance to US $ 279,527 at 31st December 2002. This position has been maintained with the figures for 2003 & 2004 being, respectively, US $ 281,548 and US $ 294,203. During this three year period, income from national dues have held steady in the region
US $ 75,000 to 80,000. Total expenditure has also been relatively constant, between US $ 85,000 and 95,000.
The major items of expenditure remain those associated with the annual meeting of the Executive Board, and support for secretarial and financial services throughout the year. With the support of UNESCO (US $ 12,000 pa) and SGM (US $ 6,000 pa), the IUMS Fellowship Program has been expanded in recent years such that it now awards up to 7 Fellowships and 4 Travel Fellowships each year at a total cost of US $ 36,000. A figure of the order of US $ 15,000 is also expended in support of the work of the Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network (PMEN), and a number of small specialised scientific meetings.
The accounts presented had been audited by Chantry Vellacott DFK.
The report was adopted.
6 Report of the Secretary General JS Mackenzie
The Secretary General commented that he thought the new statutes would help ensure a more open and workable Executive Board. He reported that there had been two important ICSU meetings in the past year; one a meeting on Biosecurity, sponsored jointly by ICSU and the US National Academy of Science was attended on behalf of IUMS by Leda Mendonca from Rio de Janiero. The second to which IUMS was invited to collaborate with ICSU to provide input on behalf of the International Science Community into the Codes of Conduct for scientists at the meeting of the States Parties to Biological Convention at the United Nations. The latter was attended by G Cassell who was there as both a representative of the US Government and IUMS.
The Secretary General also commented on the need to ensure that as many member societies were represented at the General Assembly and that National Committees were not disenfranchised because of a lack of support for them financially.
The Secretary General raised the problem of the apparently increasing distance from the Executive arm of IUMS and the COMCOFs which he pointed out were the main working arm of IUMS.
On behalf of IUMS the Secretary General welcomed the Vietnamese Society for Microbiology and the International Organisation of Mycoplasma as full members and the Fijian Society for Microbiology and the Barbados Society for Microbiology as Associate Members. He said the admission of the International Mycoplasma Society as a full member would require alterations to the statutes which the new Secretary General would have to tackle. He thanked his colleagues on the Board for the past 6 years.
The report was adopted.
7 Divisional Reports
Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology Division K H Schleifer
K Schleifer reported that BAM had provided some travel support for scientists from developing countries to attend the International Food Safety Conference in Spain in 2004. He said reports had been received from four of the five BAM COMCOFs with Medical Microbiology Interdisciplinary Committee (MEMIC) yet to report. The International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP) is currently composed of 105 society representatives from 69 countries. The ICSP Judicial Commission and Bacteriologal Code had been represented at two meetings of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility in Copenhargen. It is planned to revise the Bacteriological Code and publish it in both printed and on-line formats. All ICSP officers as well as all taxonomic subcommittees and their members can be inspected at the ICSP website (www.the-icsp.org). The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) held its 37th General Conference in Hangzhou, China, from 11-18th October, 2004, followed by a seminar in Beijing where the approaches to food safety management and the microbial ecology of the food commodity groups were presented and discussed. Updating and revising Book 6 on Microbial Ecology has been finalized and will be published later this year. ICMSF also continues to provide scientific advice to Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Hygiene. More about ICMSF can be found at its website (www.ICMSF.org). The International Committee on Food Microbiology and Hygiene (ICFMH) organized the 19th International Symposium “Food Micro 2004” under the title “New tools for improving microbial safety and quality” and the 20th International Symposium on “Food safety and food biotechnology: diversity and global impact’ is planned for Bologna in 2006. The ICFMH Working Party on Quality Assurance and Quality Monitoring of Culture Media published the second edition of Handbook of Culture Media for Food Microbiology (edited by JEL Corry, GDW Curtis, and RM Baird) in 2003. The International Journal of Food Microbiology continues to be the “flagship” of the ICFMH and it has gained increasing international recognition, achieving an impact factor of 2.26 in 2003. Further information on the ICFMH can be found on the IUMS website. The World Federation of Culture Collections (WFCC) recently published a revised update on the European Biological Resource Centres Network Information Resource on the International Regulations for Packaging and Shipping Microorganisms on its website (www.wfcc.info/). It has also published a report of the Committee on Postal, Quarantine and Safety Regulations Activities, Developments and Concerns, on its website, which provides valuable information on the transport of microorganisms, biosecurity issues relevant to culture collections, quarantine regulations, and outlines the plans and needs for future attention. The WFCC continues to be a major resource for culture collections and for aspects of microbial conservation and diversity. The 10th International Congress for Culture Collections was held in 2004 in Tsukuba, Japan.
The Chairman spoke of the long-term trend of rising submissions and acceptances for the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM) and reported that the impact factor had risen from 2.87 to 3.19 in 2003. He said the journal had made an operating surplus and under the terms of the publishing agreement 5% of this is payable to BAM.
The report was adopted.
Mycology Division Report R Samson
The Chairman reported that the programme for the San Francisco Congress had been prepared by G Fleet and J Taylor, together with the local organising committee. He thanked them for their efforts.
He reported that from August of 2004 he had handled all the Mycology Division’s financial matters and the nomination of new officers due to the retirement of the Mycology Division’s secretary-treasurer.
The chairman presented reports on the Divisional COMCOFs.
International Commission on Antigens and Molecular Diagnostics.
International Commission on Yeasts (ICY);
International Commission on Food Mycology (ICFM);
International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi (ICTF);
International Commission on Penicillium and Aspergillus (ICPA);
International Commission on Indoor Fungi (ICIF); and
International Commission on Bionomenclature and Bioinformatics (ICBB).
The report was adopted.
Virology Division Report HD Klenk
The Chairman reported that the main activities for 2004 and had been the continued planning for the San Francisco Congress with a planned format similar to that held in Paris with the BAM and Mycology Congresses being held simultaneously and bridging plenary sessions for all three Divisions. HD Klenk reported that the Virology COMCOF, the International Committee for the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), continues to meet annually for 3-4 days to review and discuss taxonomical proposals generated throughout the preceding year. The Eight Report of ICTV had recently been completed and was the definitive authority on virus taxonomy and nomenclature and currently lists more then 6000 viruses.
The Chairman reported that the activities of the Division continue to be published regularly in the Virology Division News which appears in Archives of Virology. He thanked M Mayo for his efforts as editor and reminded people that the Virology Division News was also available online at: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00705/index.htm.
HD Klenk said that the Division continued to operate on a tight financial budget and reported that a detailed account of their current financial position was included with the IUMS Treasurer’s Report.
The report was adopted.
8 Report: UNESCO, IUMS, SGM Fellowships D Sordeli
D Sordelli tabled the list of successful applicants for the two types of fellowships now offered by IUMS. The results of these are tabled (for pdf click here).
The report was adopted
9 Report on the IUMS Awards F Tomita
F Tomita reported that the selection committees for IUMS Awards chose the following recipients for the IUMS Awards, 2005
The Stuart Mudd Award: Sir John J Skehel
The Arima Award: Dr Arnold L Demain
The Van Niel Award It was reported that to date no decision had been finalized on
F Tomita congratulated both awardees on behalf of IUMS.
10 Code of Ethics G Cassell
G Cassell spoke of her attendance at the recent meeting of the States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention at the United Nations in June, 2005. She stated that she believed that IUMS had an obligation to ensure that all of its Member Societies are encouraged to adopt a suitable Code of Ethics. She said the IUMS Board proposed the following Code should be sent out to all Member Societies as a guide for developing their own code, and also that the new Committee on Public Policy should be carry out a survey of all Member Societies to gain information on how many actually had Codes in place.
She proposed that the following paragraph should be adopted as the IUMS Code of Ethics for the Prevention of the Misuse of Scientific Knowledge, Research and Resources:
There has always been the potential for dual application of scientific knowledge for beneficial or malicious purpose. However, current societal and geopolitical changes have increased the risk of the misuse of this knowledge. The IUMS reaffirms its major goal is to promote research and the open exchange of scientific information for advancement of the health and welfare of humankind and the environment and strongly discourages any uses of knowledge and resources to the contrary. In particular, the IUMS strives to promote ethical conduct of research and training in the areas of biosecurity and biosafety so as to prevent use of microorganisms as biological weapons and therefore to protect the public’s health and to promote world peace.
The Assembly endorsed this Code and ratified the proposal that all members, if they do not currently have a Code of Ethics, be encouraged to adopt the above.
12 Report of the Nomination Committee for the new Executive Board
The Chairperson (J Davies) presented the report: The nominations for the IUMS Executive Board were presented and voting took place for the positions of President Elect and Members-at-large. The other members of the EB were elected unopposed.
The new IUMS Executive Board:
President: Karl Schleifer (Germany)
President Elect: Daniel Sordelli (Argintina)
Immediate Past President: Julian Davies (Canada/Wales)
Vice President: Keith Klugman (USA)
Vice President: Joan Bennett (USA)
Secretary General Rob Samson (The Netherlands)
Treasurer: Heinz Zeichhardt (Germany)
Members-at-large Katherine Smart (UK)
Members-at-large M Mitsuyama (Japan)
13 Announcement of the IUMS Congress Site – 2011
The President announced that the Executive Board had selected Sapporo, Japan for the Congress site for the IUMS Congresses, 2011. The Congresses are to be held over 2 weeks with a similar format to that in Sydney and Turkey.
14 Any Other Business
There was no other business
15 Executive Board Handover Meeting
New Executive Board Members were invited to attend the Handover Meeting on Thursday 28th July, 2005 from 12.30 – 1.30pm.
The meeting closed at 1.00pm