SOCIETY COUNCIL CONFERENCE CALL
call was initiated at 1:30 PM EST. In attendance were Jose Cordero,
Phil Mirkes, Kathy Sulik, Elaine Francis, Barbara Hales, Bob Kavlock,
Jan Friedman, Carol Lemire (ex officio), Eve Kagan (ex officio)
and George Daston. Dr. Cordero presided.
Update: Dr. Cordero reported that he had received only one comment
about the newsletter item describing the resolution of the Keystone
issue, and that comment was positive.
for 2000 Annual Meeting: A copy of the proposal from the Breakers
to hold the 2000 annual meeting had been circulated to Council (attached).
Dr. Cordero reported that the proposal needed to be approved by
December 31, 1996, but could be cancelled up to two years in advance
of the annual meeting without penalty. He stated that our potential
penalty for room slippage at the 1997 meeting would be comparable
to that faced at Keystone. The reservation for 2000 is 2200 room-nights.
The proposed contract has been reviewed and revised by our attorney.
Friedman raised questions about our obligations to meet the daily
distribution of room occupancy as proposed. Dr. Cordero agreed to
look into this. Dr. Friedman also asked whether the room rates could
be decreased by $10 instead of the Teratology Society receiving
a $10 rebate. Dr. Cordero replied that he would prefer to decrease
the registration fee by $10, making the overall savings to our members
equivalent. Dr. Kavlock asked whether the meeting space would be
the same as for the 1997 meeting. Ms. Lemire suggested that we indicate
this in the contract.
was moved and seconded and approved that the proposed contract be
signed, but that the decision be revisited at the Council II meeting
in June 1997.
Committee: Dr. Mirkes reported that the symposia are set, and
that keynote speakers for the platform sessions will be invited
soon. He requested suggestions for keynote speakers in the next
few days for sessions on mechanisms, clinical teratology, epidemiology
and risk assessment. The OTIS agenda has been incorporated into
our program and will be published with our agenda. The education
course will be on experimental approaches for the study of abnormal
Update: Dr. Daston reported that he and Dr. Francis had visited
ADG and Drohan and were favorably impressed by both. They will evaluate
all four proposals on the table (ADG, Drohan, FASEB and one from
our existing staff) by end of December.
Move: Ms. Lemire reported that the 5th floor space offered by
FASEB has been given to another tenant, but that FASEB may still
request that we move at a later date. She also reported that she
has not yet received a quote for monthly rental fee for 1997.
Planning Meeting: Dr. Mirkes reported that he had received proposals
to facilitate our strategic planning meeting from two groups. Kaye
Carroll of MOD has identified two other possibilities, from whom
Dr. Mirkes has solicited proposals. Dr. Mirkes is considering holding
the meeting in March immediately before the Society of Toxicology
meeting. This would reduce total travel costs as many of the participants
in the retreat would already be attending the SOT meeting.
Feedback: Dr. Daston read a letter sent to him by Dan Sheehan
for publication in the newsletter (attached). Dr. Sheehan's letter
was critical of many aspects of the Keystone meeting and the direction
of the Society. Dr. Daston indicated that he had spoken with Dr.
Sheehan about the concerns that he had raised to try to get more
specific criticisms that could be responded to and if necessary
acted upon, and to answer any questions that Dr. Sheehan might have
about the management of the Society. Dr. Daston reported that after
discussing several options about publishing his letter or a revision
with more specific criticisms, Dr. Sheehan agreed to suspend for
now his request to have the letter published.
very powerful message from Dr. Sheehan's letter was that he, and
presumably most of the membership, would like more information about
the activities of Council . Dr. Friedman asked that we consider
ways to make Council meeting minutes more accessible. Dr. Daston
indicated that it would be too costly to reprint all the minutes
in the newsletter or to mail them separately to the entire membership.
However, it would be possible to print the agendae for Council meetings
in the newsletter, and to put the full minutes on the website or
to advertise more widely that the minutes are available in hard
copy on request from the Secretary. Dr. Daston offered to develop
a mechanism to do this.
Insurance: Dr. Francis reported that she had reviewed policies
from two companies with comparable premiums. The cost will be approximately
$1500/ year for $1 million in coverage. Ms. Lemire offered the alternative
that the Society could join a risk group which might have lower
premiums, but the premiums in such groups tends to fluctuate wildly.
It was moved and approved that Dr. Francis seek a third quote, and
after doing so up to $1500 could be expended for the most favorable
Consensus Conference: Dr. Francis reported that she had attended
a FASEB Consensus Conference as an invited observer representing
the Society. The topic was training of graduate students. Dr. Francis
thought that the process was open and participation was broad. She
indicated that she would write an article describing the process
for an upcoming newsletter.
Hearing: Dr. Cordero reported that the FDA had held a hearing
recently at which an advisory board recommended the use of thalidomide
for treatment of AIDS-related conditions. Dr. Friedman related that
even though the last Public Affairs Symposium was on this subject,
it was not clear whether there was a consensus position among the
membership. Dr. Cordero asked the Public Affairs Committee to develop
a suggested position.
Francis raised the concern that the Teratology Society had not been
apprised of this meeting or invited to participate. Dr. Cordero
replied that he would try to set up a meeting with FDA to encourage
them to routinely invite us to hearings on such topics.
Issues: Staff pay for 1997 was discussed and finalized. The
record of this discussion is maintained by the Secretary.
call was adjourned at 3:15 PM.
P. Daston, Ph.D.
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