Minutes 2014 General Assembly Montreal

Sunday July 27, 2014, 11.00am – 13.00pm at the Palais de congrès de Montréal, Room 518A-B.

These minutes were adopted at the General Assembly in Singapore 2017.

1. Welcome and introduction by the President

The President, G. Smith, welcomes the National Delegates to the General Assembly.

2. Roll-call & Introduction of voting delegates by the Secretary General and his assistants

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

Israel: Eliora Ron

Australia: Paul Young

Argentina: Victor Romanowski

Bergey’s International Society for Microbial Systematics: Fred Rainey

Germany: Brian Tindall

France: Sylvain Brisse

South Africa: Bala Pillay

Spain: Antonia Ventosa

Finland: Tero Ahola

Nepal: Santoh Thapa

Japan: Masao Mitsuyama

Indonesia: Koesnander

Italy: Mrs. Marchetti

Portugal: Milton da Costa

Cuba: Daniel Limonta & Consuelo Correa Sierra

Korea: Choul-Guyn Lee

Singapore: Yuan Kun Lee

Canada: Pierre Talbot

Netherlands: Rob Samson

UK: Geoffrey Smith

3. Adoptions of Minutes of the Sapporo 2011 General Assembly


  1. Point 8 divisional reports: Brian Tindall (Germany). BAM minutes should be online. GS: will make sure that is done soon.
  2. In Sapporo, one person had proxy votes for a number of countries. Clarification needed. GS: there is a procedure on the web. If de delegate cannot be present they can use to vote by proxy.

The minutes were adopted as correct.

The minutes of the current meeting will be posted on the website soon after this GA.

4. Short presentation about ICSU by Professor Gordon McBean, ICSU President-elect


South Africa: science for policy, policy for science: which is driving what? Prof. McBean: this is a case of mutual cooperation / interaction between politics and science.

5. Report of the President (Geoffrey L. Smith)

Today marks the end of 3 years of presidency, and a total of 12 years at the IUMS Board for Geoffrey Smith.

Some important decisions were taken:

  1. Outreach: having regional meetings to educate and to promote microbiology. There were meetings in Singapore, Bali, Cuba, etc. The feedback received was great. The Executive Board allocated an increased proportion of the budget to the outreach program. Also, a grant from ICSU was received for these activities.
  2. At the EB meeting in Madrid last year it was decided to also devote increased budget to travel awards for students from developing countries to attend the IUMS congresses. The flagship of IUMS is the congress, and it is very important to have as many attendees as possible from different nations. Money from IUMS reserves has been used for this, and IUMS will also do this in the future.

Issues facing IUMS: outreach, congress attendance, and interaction with the different societies from all over the world. The latter is a challenging task. IUMS gained new societies, but sadly also lost a few societies, partly due to hard financial times. Tasks: explain clearly the benefits for the societies to join: outreach, travel grants, cooperation etc.

Future tasks: increase interactions with other biological unions and ICSU. Yuan Kun Lee, the new president, will take that forward.

Geoffrey Smith has enjoyed working with all current and past members of the board, and wishes them, and the new board members, all the very best of success in the future.

Questions: none

6. Report of Treasurer (Helmut Fickenscher)

This is the first report of Helmut Fickenscher as treasurer of IUMS.

  1. Changing financial administration at SGM
  2. Financial report for 2013
  3. Budget plan 2014
  1. The support of SGM decreased considerably. This was partly due to SGM moving from Reading to London. New structures had to be re-established. All this led to IUMS being denied access to the IUMS account till July. The system is now functioning again, and membership registration and reporting has resumed. Most of the outstanding payments were finally made. There are high chances of regaining full functionality soon.
  2. The financial contribution of national members amounted to 40K USD. Some societies need to be contacted again. In 2011 the Sapporo conference dues were paid to IUMS, hence the high amount there. Expenditure: these vary from year to year. In 2013 IUMS paid a considerable amount to the divisions to support their activities and their COMCOFs. This amount was higher than in other years. There are two awards too: the Arima Award and the Mudd Award. The auditors report is still being prepared. Other reports are available.
  3. Budget plan 2014: the Treasurer was delighted to hear that Pierre Talbot informed IUMS that Canada could probably give IUMS about 50K. IUMS needs about 40K for the key activities. 20K for outreach activities. 50K was paid for travel fellowships for the IUMS 2014 Congress. The 2 awards for this conference are available, awarded and paid.


  1. Tomita (Japan). Asks if the report can be made available on the website. President: a summary will be placed on the website. Dr. Tomita: regarding the fee of each member country: USA has not paid their dues in the past. Treasurer: most societies have been really reliable. However, there is still a basic problem with the dues of the USA. USA still has not rejoined the IUMS. Some smaller societies in the USA are interested in joining, but not the ASM. Dr. Tomita is worried about the low attendance of USA microbiologists. President: there is absolutely no link between paying dues and attending the congress. Payment means that a society is eligible to vote. USA has not paid, so cannot vote.
  2. Ventosa (Spain). Would like to have this financial information in advance for the next meeting, as he could not prepare any questions.
  3. Delegate of France: there are increasing expenditures on scientific activities, mostly due to the travel grants. What was the incentive to make this change in expenditure? There is now a large deficit / unbalance. Treasurer: both the income and expenses are variable. IUMS does not store money, but spends it. We have to support young scientists from everywhere in the world.

Following the report of the treasurer, there were above questions from the GA. The report was adopted without corrections.

7. Report of Secretary (Robert A. Samson)

Activities of the secretariat:

Societies: In 2013, 69 countries were represented in the IUMS. Some countries have more than 1 society like Japan and Korea. Some countries failed to pay their dues. According to the statutes these countries thus cannot vote at the GA. The Secretary tried to count the number of microbiologist linked to IUMS: about 42000. There are certainly more microbiologists around, so hopefully in the future more will join. Five new members joined: Nepal, Jordan, Bergey's, All-Russian National Academy of Systematics, Association de Microbiologistes du Québec.

Executive Board: The EB held its handover meeting in Sapporo and met in May 2012 in Montreal, in Madrid in 2013 and in Montreal yesterday. Email and Skype also keep the communication alive. Treasurer will ask the EB to look at the constitution again, as some procedures are outdated, given modern communication means.

Nominations: not many candidates registered. For the position of President-Elect and Vice President only 1 nomination was received. Member-At-Large: 2 positions, 3 candidates. Treasurer is on his 3rd term now and accepted a 4th term. Next election there will hopefully be more candidates.

IUMS website: regularly refreshed and updated. All meeting notes are there. Website; there are some problems with communication with the countries, member societies. Secretary asks for updates to be sent to him regarding any changes in the organizational structure.

Journal: collaboration with Springer is being revived. Although the conditions still have to be finalized, the affiliation is being restored.

Awards: Secretary would be happy to receive more candidates for the awards for future congresses.

Outreach: the Secretary has been highly involved in these programs, particularly on food-safety. Two workshops (one done, one planned), in cooperation with the local societies. IUMS hopes to join other countries /societies for this. The workshops are international and a-political.


  1. Tomita: Regarding Japan there are 17 societies – but only the federation joined the IUMS. Secretary: The Japanese Federation represents these 17 societies. Tomita: 17 looks dispersed. The Federation was created especially for this purpose.
  2. Delegate from South Africa: The report of the Secretary General was not online before the meeting. Secretary: will do that as soon as possible.
  3. Ventosa: instead of online, maybe reports / data could be sent to the societies. Secretary: these will not be read. Better to have it online, like the minutes of the Sapporo meeting. President: will make sure that reports are placed online soon.
  4. Delegate from Finland: what is the society doing to promote female scientists? Secretary: there are more female microbiologists than male. However, this is not reflected in the EB yet. Israel (Eliora Ron): hopefully three women will take place in the next Executive Board.

Following the Report of the Secretary there were above questions. The report was adopted without corrections.

8. Divisional Reports

BAM (Eliora Z. Ron - ER). There is a meeting of the BAM division coming Wednesday. ER has mainly been engaged in building the program for this congress. It was a pleasure working together with the Canadian organizing team, and that is being reflected in the program. There are many sessions, plenary speakers and bridging sessions. ER thanks all for doing a wonderful job. There is an IUMS journal, handled by SGM. This journal is increasing in Impact Factor and in revenue. IUMS does not profit from it, but the journal is important. ER will place the divisional report online soon. Minutes of the last BAM meeting, if not online yet, will be online before coming Wednesday.


Dr. Tomita: BAM misses one thing: Applied Science. Dr. Ron: disagrees: there are many applied subjects in the program. President: this can be debated at a later stage if more feel the need for this.

MYCOLOGY (Scott Baker - SB). SB is the outgoing chair of the division.

  1. A fantastic program has been set up for this congress: SB thanks Teun Boekhout and Pierre Belhumeur for the great cooperation.
  2. Change in name of the division suggested: from "Division of Mycology" to "Division of Mycology an Eukaryotic Biology". Still need to formalize that change. The changes would expand the reach of the IUMS, and give firmer footing to the division in the current scientific environment.
  3. There has been a big change in the last few years in mycological nomenclature. Many have been very actively involved in this.
  4. Teun Boekhout will be the new Chair of the division.

Questions: none.

VIROLOGY (Yoshihiro Kawaoka - YK): chair of the virology division. Many worked on the program for this congress. There is an excellent line-up of symposia, bridging sessions and workshops. 56K USD were raised for partial reimbursement of plenary speakers and workshop conveners. COMCOF's: ICTV has been very active. All ICTV activities are available on the ICTV website. Half a dozen posters of their activities can be viewed downstairs. Coming Wednesday the virology division counsel meeting will take place.

Following the Reports of the Divisions there were no questions. The reports were adopted without corrections.

9. Report: UNESCO, IUMS, SGM Fellowships (Geoffrey L. Smith)

Following the Report of the President there were no questions.

10. Report on IUMS Awards (Stephen A. Lerner)

On the website the two awards are being described: Arima and Mudd Award. The awards for 2014:

Arima Award: Dr. Ben Lugtenburg Leiden University, Netherlands. Dr. Lugtenburg can't join the meeting unfortunately, but he comes to Canada privately in a couple of weeks and then the award will be handed to him by Pierre Talbot.

Mudd Award: Joan Bennett, Rutgers University, USA. Dr. Bennett will receive her award coming Tuesday at 5pm.

SL: We need more nominations for the next IUMS meeting. For this congress only 3 nominations for the Mudd award and only 2 for the Arima award were received.


Terry Dermody: can anyone make a nomination or does it have to come through the member societies. Stephen Lerner: only through societies. However, nominees don’t have to be society members.

11. Report of the Nomination Committee for the new Executive Board

Nominations for the Executive Board of 2012-2014 are:

President-Elect: Eliora Z. Ron (Israel) – election unopposed

2 Vice-Presidents: Steve Lerner (USA) and Maria Grazia Pizza (Italy) – election unopposed

Treasurer: Helmut Fickenscher (Germany) – re-election unopposed

Secretary General: Robert A. Samson (Netherlands) – re-election unopposed

2 Members at Large: Koesnander (Indonesia), Sang-Ki Rhee (S Korea) and Yoichi Kamagata (Japan)

The available candidates for the 2 Members at Large position present themselves:

Koesnander; Sang-Ki Rhee; Yoichi Kamagata - 2 positions, 3 candidates.

  • President asks GA if there are any objections to the re-election of the 1 unopposed re-election for the position of Secretary General. No one opposes.
  • President asks GA if there are any objections to the re-election of the 1 unopposed re-election for the position of Treasurer. No one opposes.
  • President asks GA if there are any objections to the election of the 1 unopposed function of President-Elect. No one opposes.
  • President asks GA if there are any objections to the election of the 2 unopposed functions of Vice-Presidents. No one opposes.
  • For the two Members at Large positions there are 3 candidates. The delegates are asked to cast their votes.

Voting process: The votes are being counted during a short recess of the GA.


President: Yuan Kun Li (Singapore)

New President-Elect: Eliora Z. Ron (Israel)

New Vice-Presidents: Mariagrazia Pizza (Italy) and Stephen L. Lerner (USA).

Treasurer: Helmut Fickenscher (Germany)

Secretary General: Robert A. Samson

New Members at Large, chosen by the GA: Sang-Ki Rhee and Koesnander.

Votes: Koesnander: 70. Kamagata: 60. Rhee: 83. Total of votes casted: 213.

All votes for available delegates and proxies were used, no mistakes were found. No blank votes were casted for the Member at Large position. The President congratulates the newly elected members. This week the handover meeting will take place.

12. Change of the IUMS Constitution (Stephen L. Lerner)

Changes of IUMS Constitution: Stephen L. Lerner (SL): constitution is antiquated in some respects, thus some minor changes are needed at this point:

  1. Secretary General and Treasurer terms: in the current constitution there is a limitation of terms (2nd and 3rd term): suggesting change to “multiple” terms. Appears in 2 places in the constitution.
  2. Name of mycology division to be changed to involve Eukaryotic Biology. Suggested new name: "Division of Mycology an Eukaryotic Biology".
  3. Also a minor suggested change: use of word Liaising / to Maintaining contacts.

Questions: none.

VOTING for changes in the constitution: The voting procedure was executed by raising hands. Changes to the constitution as described by SL, were accepted by the GA, unanimously.

13. IUMS Outreach Programs. Report of activities (Stephen L. Lerner, Robert A. Samson).

 The last 3 years the funds for outreach efforts increased considerably. In December 2012 4 members of the EB plus the Outreach Ambassador from Asia went to participate in a meeting in Nepal and met graduate students. 2 of these graduates entered universities in the USA less than a year later, encouraged by the EB. In November 2013, IUMS sponsored and co-organized a meeting in Cuba. The Cubans gave 18 presentations, and there were 4 speakers from the USA.

This year 2 activities have been planned: 1. Collaboration with Spain and Portugal prior to the mycological meeting in Cartagena, Colombia. 2. the treasurer organizes a meeting in Yogyakarta on food safety and mycotoxins in November 2014.

Stephen Lerner asks societies to make suggestions for outreach programs.

Questions: none.

14. IUMS Congress Singapore 2017 and announcement of the site for 2020

2017: Singapore.

Yuan Kun Lee gives a presentation about the Congress in Singapore and would like to welcome all to Singapore. Singapore is accessible from any part of the world. E.g. there are 47 flights a day from the USA. Most countries have direct flights to Singapore. Residents from most countries don’t need a visa, and if needed it usually takes just 4-5 days. Transportation in Singapore is cheap. Dining: multinational, multi-racial, and not expensive. Accommodation can be found in a wide range from 15 to 600 USD / night. Website: www.iums2017singapore.com for the last updates.

President: the date of the 2017 meeting has not been set yet, but will be published on the IUMS website very soon.

2020: At the Executive Board meeting four countries made a bid: Spain (Barcelona), Korea (Daejon), Australia (Melbourne) and Italy (Milano). The decision was close, but South Korea has been chosen as the venue for the IUMS meeting in 2020. All bids were impressive and the choice was difficult. There was a clear decision though.

2023: Bids for 2023 can be submitted to the Secretary General. These bids will be considered by the Executive Board at their meeting in Singapore in 2017, Submission of bids: at least 3 months prior to the EB meeting in Singapore.

15. AOB

The President expresses appreciation for all the work the EB has done, and particularly thanks the 3 vice-chairs for putting together the program for this Montreal meeting.

 Notification of the new Executive Board Members to attend the Handover Meeting

Announcement: the handover meeting will take place coming Wednesday. Apart from the EB, all new elected members need to be there and also those EB members whose terms are ending.

Pierre Talbot: Liaised with the local organizers. Dr. Talbot feels proud and humbled by all people attending this Montreal meeting. There are 86 countries and 2000 attendees to this meeting. 3 scientific program committees have been working very well together. There are plenary lectures in the morning, posters at lunchtime, and bridging sessions in the afternoon. The opening ceremony at 5PM will feature both speeches and entertainment. Opening lecture: Julian Davies, Vancouver. And a Nobel Prize winner session!

Closing lecture: Philippe Sansonetti of the French Pasteur Institute.

Report will be online soon.

Financial support of the travel awards: the 50K received from IUMS were matched by the organization. There were 360 applications resulting in 76 awards, peer reviewed for scientific quality and need for funds. Quality: abstract quality, motivation, and letter from supervisor. 70% of the grants were awarded to participants from low-income countries. Fundraising committee: raised 200K. However, it has been a difficult task due to the current financial situation. Exhibitors: 30 – at poster session room. Local arrangements: 75 volunteers with red t-shirts: graduate students eager to help with any questions.

Questions: none.

President: thanks Pierre Talbot and his team for all the hard work done.

The meeting was adjourned at 13.00.

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