Minutes of the IUMS General Assembly in Istanbul. Sunday 10th August 2008, 10.00am – 14.00pm. These minutes were adopted at the General Assembly in Sapporo, 1 September 2011.  


The President, Karl-Heinz Schleifer, welcomed National Delegates to the General Assembly.


Representatives of the following National Committees and Member Societies were present:

Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark (proxy), Germany, Hungary (proxy), Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea, Macedonia (proxy), Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain (proxy), Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

The SG and his assistants conducted a roll-call and introduction of voting delegates. All attendees presented themselves.

Minutes of the previous General Assembly, San Francisco, 2005

Copies of the previous minutes had been posted to all member associate societies and have also been placed on the IUMS website, in 2005. The minutes were adopted as correct. The minutes of the current meeting will be posted on the website soon after this GA.


Short presentation about ICSU by Professor Khotso Mokhele (ICSU Vice-President for Scientific Planning and Review). ICSU’s mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. ICSU consists of 29 international scientific unions and 11 national members. A committee ensures implementation of the strategic plan 2006-2011, which was approved in October 2005. In 2008 at the GA in Mozambique the executive board will present the 2012-2018 strategic plan. Thomas Rosswell, the president of ICSU, will retire soon. A new president has been elected already: Katherine Brezignac will be installed at the upcoming GA in 2008. Other positions in the ICSU Board will also be put up for election. One of the lessons learned is that it is difficult to get input from the developing countries. At the Rome meeting ICSU found it was hard for particular Unions, to identify with ICSU. As a result the appointment of committees was changed. Usually the new president (elected at GA) formed the new committees directly after the GA. Now committees will be appointed at the 1st meeting of the new board (in April) and not directly after the GA anymore, allowing overlap between old committee members and the new ones resulting in more handover time. Professor Mokhele hopes that in the coming 3 years the strategic plan 2012-2018 will be adopted by a stable ICSU.  Question from the audience: does IUMS need ICSU? Answer from Prof. Mokhele: that depends of what IUMS wants to do. KHS: ICSU is heavily dominated by geosciences as they managed to form a block and thus have better negotiations possibilities. Geo-unions can easily appoint someone to the executive board by working together.

Report of the President (KH Schleifer)

KHS has been invited to many international meetings. KHS also had much contact with affiliated societies like the International Society of Microbiology. However, often meeting dates clash, thus meeting dates need to be planned carefully. IUMS supported 2 international meetings. First, the “International Roundtable on Dual Use Life Sciences Research” (focus on biosafety) in Bethesda, USA, was sponsored partly by money from IUMS. The other one in Gent, Belgium was a workshop building of legal, institutional and technical tools for integration of data, information and research materials in the field of microbiology. There are good connections with FEMS and International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME. IUMS is sponsoring a meeting at ISME and the other way around. KHS thanked the Treasurer and Secretary General for their good cooperation over the past 9 years.  

Report of Treasurer (H Zeichhardt)

The executive board has approved the IUMS audited accounts of 31 December 2007. A summary was presented to the GA. In 2007, the accumulated fund balance was US $314,890 (opposed to US $292,323 in 2006). However, in 2007 there was a reduction in  income, because some membership fees from some members were not paid or not paid in full. For instance, the US decreased its contribution considerably. This resulted in a reduced income. However, IUMS did not spend much over the last year. Also an increase in interest contributed to the balance.

Fellowships and travel awards. the President-Elect took over activities of the Fellowship Committee on June 15, 2008. This resulted in 21 IUMS Travel Awards granted and 2 UNESCO-IUMS-SGM Fellowships awarded.

2008 forecast. A loss is anticipated, due to decreasing income through membership fees and uncertain income from Congresses. If this does not change, the expected balance will be US $180.000.

The national membership rate of US $1.30 per member will be sustained. Also the country charge of US $100 will not be changed.  

2014: Congress “per capita” fee will be increased to US $50 per fully registered attendee and US $25 per fully registered student.  

Following the report of the treasurer, there were no questions from the GA. The report was proposed and seconded. Opposed: none. Abstinations: none. The report was adopted.

Report of Secretary General (RA Samson)  

The IUMS website has been moved to the CBS Fungal Biodiversity Centre and has been updated to serve as a communication tool between the societies. The website is being used more and more.

IUMS membership. There have been 3 applications for IUMS membership: Tunisia and Rumania as regular members and ISME (International Society of Microbiological Ecology) as an associate member. All 3 were accepted by the Executive Board. There is a problem with the Russian microbiology society that requested membership some time ago: since then there has been no contact. The Secretary General hopes they will contact him soon.

IUMS Congresses 2014. Bids were received from Canada, Singapore, Netherlands and South Africa. However, the bid from S. Africa came via a university microbiology department, rather than the national organization, and was received only 1 week before this GA and therefore was ineligible (bids should be sent to Secretary General at least 3 months before the GA). Maybe South Africa can bid for 2017. All bids should follow the guidelines. Only national committees can bid, not the congress centers.

The Secretary General sent many letters to member societies but received few replies. Many addresses and email accounts seem to be out of date. Please check your address on the IUMS website and send any updates to the Secretary General.

Membership fees. Some countries are not paying their membership fees for different reasons. The Secretary General advised those countries to contact IUMS and discuss in order to find a solution. According to the IUMS statutes, a National Committee that has not paid its dues in full for three successive years, on notice being given by the Secretary-General, is regarded as having resigned.

Following the Report of the Secretary there were no questions. The report was adopted.

Divisional Reports

BAM (represented by M. Hecker in absence of P. Courvalin). There were 660 posters during the congress. BAM has 4 very active COMCOF’s, holding many meetings. The goal is to include the scientific programs of COMCOF’s in the IUMS. Last week there was a council meeting. COMCOF’s should be notified at an earlier stage in the future.

Note: regarding the Sapporo Congress, Prof. Tomita would also like to know the total number of COMCOF’s involved in the Congress, and their needs.   

MYCOLOGY (G. Fleet). The mycology division organizes symposia and various meetings. There are 200 registrants in the mycology division. Find more information regarding the divisions’ activities on the IUMS website. New vice- chairman will take over from G. Fleet. M. Viviani will be the new chairman.     

VIROLOGY (G.L. Smith): the full minutes will be on the website soon. Brief summary; San Francisco meeting was very successful with 1250 attendees of 70 countries, of which 950 were registered delegates. There were plenary sessions in the mornings, workshops in the afternoons. There is just 1 COMCOF in the virology division, but it does an excellent job.  

Report: UNESCO, IUMS, SGM Fellowships (D. Sordelli)

SGM provides some support for IUMS to award 2 fellowships and these were given to scientists in Nigeria and Russia who will visit laboratories in Denmark and UK, respectively.. The IUMS travel award programme saved money during the last 3 years in order to save up for travel awards for students that want to attend this Congress. There were 226 applications, 21 were selected and 19 fellowships were awarded (Because 1 person declined, and the other did not reply to messages). Question: have Russia and Nigeria paid their membership fees? If not, why can they receive fellowship? The Treasurer will investigate if the countries have paid their dues at the end of the fiscal year. Action HZ

Report on IUMS Awards (J. Bennett)

The Mudd award went to Dr. Harald  zur Hausen from Germany and The Arima award went to Dr. T. Edward Cleveland. At the next Congress the awards will be presented during the opening ceremony. JB encourages nominations (e.g. there is a shortage in bacteriology nominations).  

Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct for Members of Societies within IUMS (D. Sordelli)  

At the San Francisco meeting the IUMS code of ethics was presented at the GA (27 July 2005). Revisions to the code were made on 30 September and 4 November 2005. IUMS societies were contacted asking them if they already had a code of ethics in place. No opposition to the proposed code of ethics were received and therrefore it was adopted. Member societies are able to suggest changes for consideration at the next GA and the President asked the attendees to make a link from their website to the IUMS code of ethics page.  

Report of the Nomination Committee for the new Executive Board

Nominations for the Executive Board of 2008-2011 were:  

President-Elect: Geoffrey Smith (UK) and Keith Klugman (USA). 2 Vice-Presidents: Bernard J. Bucher (Martinique), Joan W. Bennett (USA) and Yoshiyuki Nagai (Japan). 2 Members at Large: Ozdem Ang (Turkey), Yuan Kun Lee (Singapore) and Stephen A. Lerner (USA). Treasurer: Heinz Zeichhardt (Germany) – re-election unopposed. Secretary General: Robert A. Samson (Netherlands) – re-election unopposed

President asks GA if there are any objections to the election of the 2 unopposed functions (Treasurer and Secretary General). No one opposes.  

Voting process: On all motions each Executive Board member has one vote. The Secretary General explained that the number of votes the National Committees have is linked to the number of members with a maximum of 6 votes. The votes were counted during a short recess of the GA.   


New President-Elect: Geoffrey Smith (UK). New Vice-Presidents: Yoshiyuki Nagai (Japan) and Joan W. Bennett (USA). New Members at Large: Yuan Kun Lee (Singapore) and Stephen A. Lerner (USA). All votes were used and no mistakes were found. The President congratulated all newly elected members. Directly after this meeting the handover meeting will take place.  

President: the new President will be the current President-Elect, D. Sordelli (Argentina)

Announcement: IUMS Congress site: 2014

At the Executive Board meeting bids from 3 countries were considered. The decision was close, but Canada (Montreal) was chosen as the next venue for the IUMS meeting in 2014, which will take place around the end of July / the first week of August.


  • F. Tomita introduces to the GA the Congress Venue in Sapporo, Japan. The Congress will take place on September 6-16, 2011. There will also be an outreach programme in Japan, freely accessible to the general public. The GA and the outreach programme will take place on Sept 11, 2011.
  • J. Bennett: proposed a change of bylaws, allowing a member of the national organizing committee of the upcoming Congress to become an ad hoc member of the IUMS Executive Board for the 3 years prior to the congresses to ensure greater communication. inconsequently, in 2011 a Canadian would join the Executive Board Meeting in Sapporo. In favour: all. Oppositions: none.  Action RAS Statutes and bylaw will be examined if this change can be adopted.
  • J. Davies: 5 years ago the Executive Board held a strategic session, which was, according to him, very successful. Many items were implemented. JD advises the board to have another one of those meetings.  

The meeting was adjourned at 13.