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Teratology Society Business Meeting
Keystone Colorado
July 1, 1999

Tony Scialli called the meeting to order at 4:34 PM. Approximately 100 members were in attendance. The minutes of the last business meeting were approved; the motion to approve was made by Bob Kavlock and seconded by Sidney Beck.

President's Report: Tony Scialli

Tony reported that Lawrence (Larry) Wetzel of Ciba-Geigy had passed away recently. Friends and colleagues of Larry have raised funds in his memory, which have been used to fund three student travel grants.

Vice President's Report: George Daston

This year's meeting had 103 abstracts presented. We have fulfilled our obligation to Keystone. At the very worst, financially, we will break even. Next year's meeting will have us returning on June 24-29 to the Breakers in West Palm Beach, Florida. In the year 2001, June 23-28, we will meet in Montreal. Our meeting will adjoin the Alcoholism meetings.

Vice President Elect's Report: Bob Kavlock

Mention was made of the possibility of holding satellite meetings with our members.

Secretary's Report: Bob Seegmiller

The Society added 19 members between August 1998 to June 1999. Influx was due in part to aggressive recruitment of senior members. Total membership now stands at 739, mostly regular members. There are concerns with member retention and payment of dues (of the 739 members, 104 have yet to pay their 1999 dues). The application process worked well due to several applications processed at periodic times throughout the year, the two-letters of sponsorship having been waived and having the membership application on the web. With regard to the Newsletter, the cost of publishing has remained within budget. It was mentioned that the third and final issue for this year would be on the web, with hard copies made available to those not having access to the web. Questions were raised concerning announcement of the Newsletter via email, and dropping journal subscriptions for those in arrears with their dues.

Treasurer's Report: John Rogers

John thanked the Finance Committee for assistance in preparing a balanced budget and keeping the society in good financial shape. Looking into long-term investments, details of which will be posted on the website. Ambition is to increase the return on our investments. Sidney Beck asked where would we put the money. John suggested money market funds, corporate bonds, etc, wherever we can maximize our return with minimal risk. Tom Flynn moved that the Treasurer's report be accepted, Bob Kavlock seconded, motion carried and the Treasurer's report was approved.

Editor in Chief/Publications Committee Report: Lew Holmes

Lew mentioned that we are seeing an increase in the number of pages per issue, more letters to the editor are coming, priority scores are improving, and he is recruiting papers and themes for publication. He requested that members fill out reviewer’s forms to broaden the reviewing process. With regard to our relationship with Wiley Liss representative, Nancy Olsen, plans are being considered to improve the cover of the journal and permit manuscripts to be sent by electronic means. They are also developing a general marketing plan (they have organized a marketing office and this is the first time Wiley Liss has exhibited at our meetings.)

The question was raised by Bob Brent concerning free reprints for authors of papers. In response, Nancy Olsen is considering to offer 50 reprints. Lew said overall, our relationship with the publisher has improved dramatically (she has offered several suggestions for change), and he has been in active communication with Wiley-Liss and Council.

The Wilson Award for best paper has been established.

Nominations and Elections Committee Report: Tom Flynn

Tom announced the election results: Council = Tom Knudsen, Vice President Elect = Jan Friedman.

Public Affairs Committee Report: Ken Jones

It was mentioned that Council (it will be put on the website for inspection by members as well as published) approved the endocrine disrupter paper, and that two other position papers are forthcoming. Jan Friedman chaired the post-marketing surveillance symposium, and statements of consensus on thalidomide, alcohol, naturopathic medicine, marijuana are being considered by the committee.

Education Committee Report: Melissa Tassinari

Melissa reviewed the Continuing Education course, stating that there were 104 participants. She mentioned that JoLynda Jones will chair next year's course, along with Kok-wah Hew serving as secretary.

Website Committee Report: Dave Wise

Dave summarized the accomplishments of the Website Committee. He stated that the product is viewable, comments can be received; the web is receiving double the number of hits from a year ago, maintenance costs are nominal at $50 per month, a redesign of the website is in progress, and future issues of the Newsletter will be posted on the web. Council minutes, pregnancy labeling information, responsibilities of officers and committees, logo displays, meeting program, student web-page competition, a password protected web board and access to Society conferences are/will be posted on our website.

Sidney Beck suggested that important documents such as the Newsletter be archived on acid free paper.

Miscellaneous business:

Rich Miller asked the President what had happened to recommendations made by the Blueprint for the Year 2000 Committee that had been in place in the early ‘90s. Tony indicated that the Blueprint had been used by the Strategic Planning Committee in establishing its long-term goals that are now being pursued. He also mentioned that we would like to hold planning retreats every 5 years.

Bob Brent asked when the list of new committee members would be published. Tony said it will first appear on the website and then in newsletter/journal.

A discussion took place concerning development of a list of media resources (individuals and areas of expertise). Bob Brent suggested that the Society should not be in the business of approving anyone as experts because of our experience with scientists becoming "professional" plaintiff-expert witnesses. Tony said Council/Society should explore this issue. Sid Beck stated that if the Society does recommend such experts, then Council should review the names and credentials. Alan Fantel said that a committee was previously charged with studying this issue, but that George should reconsider the matter. A discussion on the web should air all of these points of view.

Elaine Faustman asked what is our role in advocacy. Karen Filkins has been approved to be the new person responsible for this issue.

George Daston said that we should take up Carole Kimmel's challenge of advocating our field more. One area might be to share our expertise with regulatory agencies, as has been done with the labeling of drugs in pregnancy issue.

Elaine suggested that, with regard to advocacy, we should think broadly, and become actively involved in several areas such as funding for research.

Motion: Steve Lamm moved to adjourn; George Daston seconded. Meeting adjourned at 5:45 PM.






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