Society Interim Council Meeting
October 25, 1999
meeting was called to order at 8:00 AM on Monday October 25, 1999.
In attendance were George Daston, Tonia Masson, Dave Wise, Bob Kavlock,
Jan Friedman, Tom Knudsen, Rick Finnell, Ken Jones, John Rogers,
and Bob Seegmiller. George Daston presided. Minutes of the previous
Council Meeting posted on the website were approved.
President's Report: George Daston
on the Societys logo and recent activities with Wiley Liss
were the main topics presented for discussion.
issue Fifty for/against comments regarding the logo issue
were received, split between two basically different kinds of logos.
Comments/suggestions were passed on to the designers who were asked
to make one last version. The two designs will then be posted on
the web, along with the original logo (with and without minor modifications
as suggested by members). Members would then have an opportunity
to rank each design. The final decision may be difficult, but everyone
in the Society needs a chance to be heard. Bob K. reminded Council
that the Society members previously wanted a change. Jan commented
that the majority probably doesnt have a strong opinion, but
that doing something in this regard is essential, and that requesting
members input via a blanket email is important.
Liss Nancy Olsen, who represents WL, has offered us the
opportunity to renegotiate our contract with WL. George has sent
her a list of concerns as a starting point for negotiations.
a good will gesture, WL has made available Teratology and all other
WL journals on-line to the Societys membership. Nancy has
also asked for suggestions on how to improve the visual appeal of
TeratologyBill Slikker was given charge of this item. The
editorial process seems to be headed in the right direction.
business office received a proposed rate increase for individual
subscriptions to the journal (from $49 to $60). George has sent
correspondence to Nancy Olsen reminding her that our contract states
that any rate increase must be mutually agreed upon by the Society
and the publisher. We have not yet received a response. A conference
call for later in the afternoon was set up with Nancy. (The contents
of the conference call are presented at the end of these minutes.
The dues issue was resolved in our favor.)
committee activities/assignments Student Affairs Committee
was assigned to develop a list of objective criteria for evaluating
candidates for student awards. Constitution committee was charged
with examining and fixing the constitution where there are concerns
of parts of it being vague. Nominations and Elections committee
was charged with developing a list of those asked to run for various
Vice President's Report: Bob Kavlock
report focused on the 2000 annual meetings. The compilation of all
sessions, along with speaker arrangements, is nearly complete. The
Genomics satellite meeting will help fill the room block for Thursday
night. An estimated budget was reviewedcosts are expected
to be kept to a minimum ($187,750, 25% of which is staff support).
Bob K. questioned whether to hold registration fees at the previous
rate. Council agreed to hold the line on registration fees. Jan
suggested that, as incentive for submitting abstracts electronically,
individuals submitting this way be given more time (later deadline)
to submit. Bob K. should add a $5000 line item for the cost of handling
the abstracts electronically. Dave will make it a practice of notifying
submitters of the date and time of their presentations (platform/poster).
Bob K. suggested that the call for abstracts go out in December
by separate mailing.
followed with Jan suggesting that Tonia be asked to check on the
time spent arranging with other societies attending our meetings,
i.e., costs of planning, arranging, etc. Ken suggested that we determine
the overall purpose for meeting with other groups, and then invite
them to participate with the organizing committee. George stated
that our sister societies are aware of the advantages of being linked
to our society.
suggested picking up sponsorships to help cover the cost of the
CE course. Dave suggested that in the future (two years from now)
we consider having password-access to the web for obtaining copies
of course materials. This would save costs after Hoffman LaRoche
stops printing the materials.
Site Selection Committee Report: Jan Friedman
tentative plan for the 2002 meetings (June 20-29) is to go to Phoenix
Arizona. This area was chosen because of the directive to look at
larger cities. Jan and Clarissa will visit the city in January.
Quotes for room rates are between $120 and 160. Operating under
the directive to look at the East Coast for the 2003 meetings, the
committee has considered the city of Philadelphia.
Treasurers Report: John Rogers
reviewed the budget, which included a copy of the financial statement
through August 31. In summary, assets are up, and the budget is
on firm ground. Concerning the list of expenses, there were a few
items where we have not met the budget. Eighty percent of expected
revenues are in as of August 31. The new budget included cost changes/adjustments
to reflect future estimated costs, e.g., having on-line published
issues of the Newsletter, and future costs should be approximately
one-third of current costs ($4000 instead of 12,000).
the current membership, 95 individuals have yet to pay their 99
dues whereas 614 members are current through 99; 42 individuals
have not renewed their 98 membership.
the investment plan, the treasurer has been working with Legg Mason,
who suggested that the Society put more of their assets into CDs
to increase revenue. This way the principal would be guaranteed
against loss. It appears that there is not enough money to put into
mutual funds at this point.
was made by Jan to accept the budget including the proposed corrections.
Rick seconded, motion passed.
Societys contract with an independent auditor expires this
year. Tonia recommended that we choose a different auditor for next
year. Tonia and John will work together to identify a new auditor.
An email will be sent to council members for discussion of the auditors
Executive Secretarys Report: Tonia Masson
Society came out in the black at Keystone by approximately $32,000,
which is good news. George interjected that the annual meeting needs
to generate this much revenue in order to balance the budget because
operating expenses for the rest of the year have been consistently
running a small deficit.
related that our management firm made the transition in May to an
employee-owned and operated company. The transition was seamless.
The personnel who work for the Society are the same, as are the
phone numbers and mailing address for the business office. The companys
new name is Association Innovation Management (AIM). Costs have
not increased, and the management firm is staying well within the
limits of what has been budgeted by the Teratology Society. All
agreed that we are getting excellent service from AIM.
indicated that we have the opportunity to sign a six month contract
extension with no increase in management fees. Rick moved to approve
the six-month extension of the contract with AIM. Ken seconded,
the motion passed. Council will approve the contract with AIM when
we see it in the spring.
regard to fund-raising, Tony did a commendable job in recruiting
sponsors for the previous meetings. George indicated that such would
be of ever-increasing importance to the Society. An organized plan
to solicit sponsors support is needed. It was pointed out
that some organizations are willing to give unrestricted gifts.
Federal funds are also available, e.g., R-13 grants moneys for student
awards, student travel and the planned Genomics Symposium workshop.
list of the 2000 exhibitors is in Georges possession. Questions
were raised concerning other philanthropic groups that might be
willing to sponsor/contribute in the future. The presidents
circle membership (regarding fund raising) should be kept intact.
In addition to regular contributors, there is a need to have a sponsors
list. A discussion took place concerning the need to give appropriate
recognition to sponsors (presidents circle, sustaining members,
and corporations). For example, recognition could be given for sponsoring
the web page, meeting breaks, etc.
said that he would visit with donors about the possibility of them
increasing their level of contribution.
Website update: Dave Wise
suggested that we get Teratology Societys name in the public
eye by responding to public concerns. The society should be perceived
as consisting of experts on environmentally caused birth defects.
George suggested developing a policy that would promote the issuing
of a press release for each position paper released. He also asked
Dave to develop a policy concerning the direction of the Web Committee
as it relates to answering questions directed to the website. Another
question was raised concerning how to use the website to attract
people to the field of Teratology, e.g., position papers, and compendia
of people with expertise. In this regard, the Teratology Primer
will be posted on the website;. George suggested that a press release
should be timed with its publication. Tonias group was charged
with drafting the language for the press release.
item: Tonia should email society members announcing the new
student web page.
FASEB update: Tom Knudsen
recommendations were made to help Teratology Society members benefit
from research funding possibilities:
would be helpful to know where members are obtaining research funding
for reason that the science funded in the future will likely be
discover new ways of attacking developmental disease; risk assessment
followed by intervention is one possibility
identify emerging sub-disciplines
position ourselves to take advantage of future offerings (funding)
items: Tom and John DeSesso (our other representative to the
FASEB Consensus Conference on funding), will continue to work with
FASEB to ensure that funding for biomedical research, including
teratology, continues to increase. In the next Newsletter, Tom will
prepare an article about aspects of his interactions with FASEB.
Finnell called attention to a recent RFA released by NICHD (Developmental
Mechanisms of Human Malformations, RFA #HD99-008) relevant to members
of our Society. It was agreed that this announcement should be transmitted
to the membership via the Newsletter and email. Note: see the homepage
for links to these RFA's.
Public Affairs Committee: Ken Jones
following items of business were presented for discussion:
endocrine disrupter position paper will be placed on the web site
in the next month.
A response to an article in JAMA on risks of birth defects from
organic solvents was written and signed by 5 individuals of an ad
hoc subcommittee of the PAC. The response will be published in Teratology,
along with a response from Gideon Koren, an author of the paper.
Lew Holmes has written the introduction to the issue. It was recommended
that an abbreviated version of the response be sent to JAMA.
Three more position papers are in preparation: the thalidomide paper
is ready to go; papers on FAS and marijuana and on hypothyroidism
are being developed.
Committee: Bob Seegmiller
discussion revolved around the status of the Society membership.
The importance of soliciting new members was mentioned. George encouraged
Council to actively recruit new members and to submit names of individuals
who need sponsorship. Karen Filkins has agreed to identify individuals
who have clinical background as prospective members. Tom suggested
that we invite symposium speakers to join our Society.
ad hoc Societal Participation Committee had been sunsetted earlier
this year after consultation with its chair, John DeSesso. However,
Tony Scialli had a conversation with Steve Harris at the last annual
meeting in which Steve suggested that the work of the committee
might not be complete. George had contacted Steve to better understand
his views. George related that Steve had expressed the opinion that
the leadership of the Society was now doing a good job of being
inclusive, so there was no need to re-establish this committee.
document George reported that FDA had prepared a draft
guidance document to help its reviewers interpret pre-clinical reproductive
and developmental toxicity data. He indicated that there was a great
deal of interest among Society members in providing help to the
FDA and he suggested that this could be done through the aegis of
either the Teratology Society or MARTA. He indicated that he would
discuss the possibilities with MARTAs leadership. (Note added:
The result of this discussion was that MARTA would take the lead
in preparing comments for FDA.)
Conference phone call to Nancy of Wiley-Liss (3 PM)
first issue was the proposed increase in subscription rate.
reported that the proposed rate increase had come from a different
part of the company without her knowledge. She has worked the issue
internally at Wiley to our favor. The rate will be held at the 99
level through the year 2000. Wiley will provide Council with a written
proposal for a rate increase by February 2000 to provide enough
time for Council to consider the request and make a recommendation
to the membership at the annual meeting.
expressed its opinion that any rate increase be negotiated and asked
how the process can be improved. Nancy replied that the WL editor
(Nancy) is supposed to contact the Society about a price increase.
The letter that we received was sent without her knowledge and she
promised such a mistake wont happen again. The proposal for
a rate increase that we will see next year will include a rationale
for the proposed increase.
expressed concern about the magnitude of the rate increase outside
of North America and asked that the actual charge for postage be
shared with the Society.
asked about the status of the contract re-negotiation. Nancy replied
that she had asked Wileys legal staff to incorporate the proposed
changes that George had submitted into the contract. She indicated
that we would receive a copy of the draft contract by the following
then reviewed the on-line journal access for the members. Online
access to WL journals will be extended indefinitely; George said
that the Society office would email this message to members who
will hopefully take advantage of this opportunity.
asked about Wileys marketing campaign for Teratology. Nancy
replied that a marketing survey was conducted and the results will
soon be sent to Council. Rebecca Morton will contact George.
was adjourned at 3:30 PM.
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