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TERATOLOGY SOCIETY INTERIM COUNCIL MEETING
Baltimore, Maryland
Friday, October 27, 2000

Attendees: G. Daston - Past President, G. Dearlove - Secretary, J. Friedman - Vice-President, K. Jones œ Public Affairs Committee, R. Kavlock - President, T. Knudsen - Council member, J Rogers - Treasurer, Wm. Slikker - Vice-president Elect, M. Tassinari - Council member and L.D. Wise - Council member. Also attending: T. Masson - Executive Director

The meeting was called to order by R. Kavlock at 8:25.

Bob passed out an agenda with several areas requiring discussion.

Item 1. Presidents Report

  1. Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the last Annual meeting were officially approved by council. B. Kavlock noted that the minutes were on the Web site and this was a formality.
  2. ETS Interaction: B. Kavlock had attended the European Teratology Society Meeting and reported to Council that the ETS has selected Reproductive Toxicology to be their official Journal for the next three years. The decision was made before we became aware of the desire to locate a new Journal for their membership.

    B. Kavlock invited the President of the ETS to attend our Council meeting in Montreal to try to foster a closer working relationship with this group. We will also provide articles for their Newsletter and they will be requested to provide articles for our Newsletter.
  3. The possibility of K. Jones and the Public Affairs Committee leading this communications effort by preparing joint position papers with the ETS was discussed.
  4. CDC Workshop: Will be held November 29 & 30. B. Kavlock, K. Jones and J. Friedman will be attending. The question being discussed will be how to design post marketing surveillance to avoid waiting for adverse event reports to accumulate. This was an idea that was initiated by the Teratology Society Public Affairs Committee and is now being taken up by the CDC.

Item 2. Treasurers Report

J. Rogers presented Council with a number of handouts indicating our current financial status and a comparison to the previous year. Also presented was the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2001. A number of clarifications and revisions were discussed. The final meeting budget proposal for Montreal was discussed in greater detail as was the requirements for funding for awards, grants and student travel support.

The Annual Meeting budget proposal was evaluated further to determine if additional savings could be realized by reducing the functions for which the Society would provide refreshments. The goal of Council was to rework the Annual Meeting budget to determine if the registration fee for members and students attending the Annual Meeting could be reduced. A number of different scenarios were reviewed, including providing the Education Course materials as a PDF file rather than as hard copy as the standard format. J. Friedman will discuss this option with K-W Hew, Chairman of the Education Committee.

The Annual Meeting budget was to be revised and re-circulated to Council for consideration for approval.

The acquisition of digit imaging equipment for the Annual Meeting was also discussed to determine if the purchase or lease of three of these units should be considered for inclusion in the budget for 2001 or 2002. T. Knudsen had researched the costs of quality units and the costs were not easily incorporated into the current budget. Council voted to make digital projection capabilities available for each Teratology Society presentation at our next annual meeting.

The Program Committee will be asked to find out if McGill University has systems that we can use, or determine if members will be asked to provide units from their institutions for use at the meeting. Council will also broadcast an e-mail asking for contributions from the membership for digital projection equipment and T. Knudsen will continue to research the feasibility of long term leases vs. purchase vs. local short term lease.

All members will receive instructions about the use of digital equipment and files will be installed on the command computer as CD ROM files, or the speakers may use conventional slides or overheads as backup.

Item 3. Executive Directors Report

T. Mason presented an update on Teratology Society membership. There are currently 738 members total (635 Regular Members, 8 Combined Members, 22 Associate Members, 28 Student Members, 29 Emeritus Members, 17 Presidents Circle Members, 14 Sustaining Members and 2 Honorary Members). Of these, 42 Regular Members have not paid their 2000 dues. To address this issue, Council members divided up the list of non-paid members and will contact each person to determine their current plans for continuing membership. (Note: If a member goes for two years without paying their dues, then they will have to reapply for membership to be reinstated).

T. Mason announced that the Society of Toxicology had donated a tabletop booth to the Teratology Society for our use as an advertising tool to try to recruit new members at the annual meeting of other scientific societies. Council has determined that Teratology Society will have a table top booth presence at the SOT and at the American College of Medical Genetics meetings this coming year. Members will be asked to volunteer their time in the booth if they would be attending either meeting.

An ad hoc committee was described to prepare text for the tabletop display. The committee will be composed of the chairs or their designees from the Student Affairs Committee, the Education Committee, the Public Affairs Committee, the Membership Committee, the Membership Committee Council Liaison and the Society President.

Council discussed the need to amend the Constitution to revise the membership requirements for Associate Members. The current wording requires two letters of recommendation, whereas the intent was to require only two signatures indicating support for the nominee from active members. This matter will be referred to the Constitution Committee.

T. Mason presented Council with examples of the new Logo and Letterhead.

Item 4. Secretarys Report

G. Dearlove presented Council with the plan for the Newsletter. The proposed posting dates were given and article submission deadlines based on these dates were enumerated. Any member wanting to submit an article for the Newsletter will also be requested to meet these dates (for February Newsletter, article submission deadline is early January; for the July Newsletter, article submission deadline is early June; for the November Newsletter, submission deadline is the Tuesday after Labor Day).

The Newsletter will contain brief up dates from the Teratology Society Members who are also members of other Scientific Societies (e.g. Liaisons currently listed in the Web Site). These articles will inform the rest of the membership when the meetings or other items of Society interest are planned. There will be a similar section in future Newsletters for the Chairs of our various Committees to relate what the committee is doing and if they require additional assistance or have particular items of interest.

The general membership will also be able to post articles or comments in the Newsletter. Item 5. Vice Presidents Report J. Friedman presented the program outline for the Montreal Annual Meeting. Enthusiastic discussion followed with suggestions/questions from Council members about placement of various symposia to avoid conflicting sessions. The present program indicates that this will be an excellent meeting. J. Friedman also reported on the joint symposia (NBTS and OTIS) and the Continuing Education Course (Principles of Teratology: Application of New Technologies towards Understanding Abnormal Development).

Item 6. Public Affairs Committee Report

  1. K. Jones reported on four Position Papers that the Committee was working on, or had just published.
    - The Thalidomide Position Paper has been published in our Journal.
    - The Alcohol paper is in final revision and will be sent to Council for review prior to submission for publication.
    - The Marijuana Paper is being switched to one on Cigarettes and their neurobehavioral effects.
    - A position paper on ways to present animal data for pregnancy labeling is being initiated.
  2. K. Jones presented a request for the Society to prepare an Amicus Brief for a court case. The position of the Society in this case, i.e. support papers extolling good science vs. changing priorities of the already strapped schedule, was discussed. After considerable discussion by all members of Council, consensus was reached that the Society should not engage in a particular matter before a court relative to litigation on birth defect causation. However, it was agreed that the Society should develop a document discussing the basis elements that an expert should follow in interpreting field and laboratory studies. This could then be used as generic input when the Society is requested to comment on a case. K. Jones agreed to work with B. Kavlock to form an ad hoc committee that would develop the document.
  1. Animal Use. This topic was addressed in a handout from T. Knudsen for Council review. The paper presented a draft of the Teratology Society position being similar to that of FASEB regarding the recent USDA pain and distress classification system. Thomas Flynn and Joseph Mitala worked with TB Knudsen on the response to USDA. Following discussion of the options, Council approved the draft proposal the approved letter was sent to Bob Kavlock for signature.

Item 7. Liaison Reports

Nominations Committee is moving along and has a full slate of candidates for the next election.

Constitution Committee had no major actions at this time.

Membership Committee Liaison requested a clarification about the requirements for two letters of recommendation for Associate membership as defined in the Constitution. The intent of Council was to require two supporting signatures from current members, not two full letters of recommendation. The resolution of this issue will be to ask the Constitution Committee to amend the constitution to reflect this fact.

M. Tassinari reported on trends in Society membership from 1993 to the present. The number of members in each of the various categories of membership was evaluated for trends to increase or decrease. There has been a drop in membership from 1993 (854 members with 72 having not paid their dues) to 2000 (738 members with 42 having not paid their dues). The overall loss was discussed and although the drop off in membership was greatest between 1997 and 1998 (795 total to 721 total), the numbers are currently stabilized. The number of members who do not update their status from Student to Full will be evaluated in the future, as will the figures for attendance at the annual meetings to determine if any trends become apparent.

D. Wise led a discussion defining differences between Corporate Sustaining Members and Corporate Sponsors. There was some confusion at the last annual meeting regarding the difference between Corporate or Sustaining Membership in the Society (i.e. Presidents Circle) and Corporate Sponsorship of one or more specific events at the annual meeting. To addresses this issue a motion was made for the Society to organize the sustaining membership categories (as defined in the constitution) into three distinct levels. Membership in each level will dictate what benefits are afforded by the Society.

Sustaining Membership category will be composed of three levels of corporate sponsorship as follows:

Platinum Contributor at $4,000 or greater

Gold Contributor at $2,000 to $3,999

Silver Contributor at $750 to $1,999

Benefits for corporate sponsors will be:

Acknowledgment in the Journal and Web Site

Acknowledgment at the Annual Meeting (large poster)

Acknowledgment and group picture at the banquet

Platinum and Gold will also receive an invitation for two to the Presidents reception prior to the banquet

The motion was approved unanimously.

Publications Committee and Placement Committee Liaisons had no report at this time.

Education Committee Liaison reported that the course for the next annual meeting is well organized and everything is on schedule.

Finance Committee will continue to work with the numbers for the 2001 budget.

Student Affairs Liaison noted that MARTA and MTA will again be asked to judge the student posters and presentations at the next annual meeting for the Bradford Award.

Web Site Liaison reported that the membership directory will soon be up and will be searchable by name, state and member status. This will require a one time charge of $750 to put on the web and an additional $10 per month for maintenance. Council approved this expenditure. The directory will go up after members have been requested to let the Office know if they would like to be left out partially or totally (i.e. have any part of their current directory information hidden) as the web will be accessible to searches. Additional discussion about an on-line dues and registration web page followed. The details will be posted when they have become finalized.

Clarke Fraser Award Committee Liaison requested nominations from Council. Names provided were relayed to the Committee for consideration along with other nominations provided by the membership.

Future Site Selection Committee Liaison discussed tentative plans for the location of the year 2003 meeting. Council was presented with some of the possibilities being considered by the Committee. No definitive action taken at this time.

Warkany Lecture. B. Kavlock announced his selection for the person to delivery the Warkany Lecture in Montreal. This person had not yet been notified, so the name cannot be announced in this edition of the minutes.

Item 8. Journal Negotiations

G. Daston presented the latest offerings from Wiley-Liss regarding the Teratology Journal. The current position of the publisher should be quite beneficial to the Society and will enhance our ability to get original articles published in a timely manner. Some of these negotiations revolve around the Web, others revolve around additional journal combinations. All are designed to improve our financial position with the publisher.

Negotiations are still at the give and take proposal stage and have not yet achieved sufficient agreement for publication at this time. Once these negotiations become a firm offer from the publisher, then Council will inform the membership for discussion.

Item 9. FASEB

Discussion of the requirements for another Teratology Society member to become Liaison with the FASEB ensued. The only requirement or limitation noted was that the person had to be a non-governmental employee. B. Kavlock will look for a representative willing to take on this position.

Item 10. NIEHS/NTP Input

The Society membership should be aware that nominations are encouraged for chemicals to be evaluated for developmental and reproductive risk by the newly formed CERHR (Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction). The CERHR recently completed its first set of reviews (on phthalates) and is planning to review methanol next. Nominations can be made via their website, which can be found through the NTP site. Additionally, the NTP requested nominations from scientific societies for membership on their Board of Scientific Councilors. Council agreed to pass the name of George Daston forward on behalf of the Teratology Society.

Item 11. Other Business

Other minor items were discussed or tabled for future meetings.

Meeting adjourned

 

 

 

 

 

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