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MINUTES of the Genetics Society Annual General Meeting 2003

Thursday 27 March 2003, University of Warwick Arts Centre Cinema, 1630


Present: Vice-President (External Relations), Vice-President (Corporate Affairs), Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, Scientific Meetings Secretary, and 39 other members.

The meeting was declared quorate. In the absence of the President, the Honorary Secretary proposed that Vice-President David Cove should chair the meeting, which was carried unopposed.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the previous General Meeting of 22 March 2002, were read and approved.

2. President?s Report

2.1 Medals: In the absence of the President, Honorary Secretary Howy Jacobs announced to the meeting that Peter Holland had been elected by the Committee as the inaugural recipient of the Genetics Society Medal in 2004. The meeting was also reminded that Mary Lyon had been elected Mendel Lecturer for 2003.

3. Vice-Presidents? Reports

3.1 External Relations: Vice-President David Cove announced that the Committee had voted to affiliate to the Biosciences Federation, the new umbrella body for UK life sciences, and had therefore disaffiliated from the Institute of Biology Affiliated Societies Forum. The UKLSC was now defunct.

3.2 Public Understanding of Genetics: In the absence of the Vice-President, the Honorary Secretary informed the meeting that consultations were in progress, aimed at creating a database of expertise and resources for better dissemination of genetics to the general public.

4. Honorary Treasurer?s Report

On behalf of the Committee, Honorary Treasurer Helen Sang drew the meeting?s attention to the annual report and accounts prepared the preceding year (covering calendar year 2001), which had been posted on the Society?s website. The Honorary Treasurer then described the various categories of grant currently provided by the Society and the modalities of application for them.

5. Executive Officer?s Report

5.1 Membership renewals: Executive Officer Jayne Richards explained the system for renewals. Those paying by cash, cheque or credit card are sent a reminder annually in May, with payment due on 1 June. Those paying by direct debit are debited annually on 1 June or 1 December, depending on when they first joined.

5.2 Applications for Membership: The applications for new membership received in the previous 12 months were formally tabled. Some candidates did not have named proposers, but had submitted their CV for the Committee to scrutinize. The Honorary Secretary formally proposed these individuals for membership, on behalf of the Committee. All candidates were accepted unanimously into membership.

6. Honorary Secretary?s Report

6.1 Balfour Lecturer 2004: The Honorary Secretary announced that Gilean McVean had been elected by the Committee as Balfour Lecturer 2004.

6.2 Election of new Committee members: The Committee?s nominations to fill the vacancies created by the retirement of Committee members were unopposed, and the following were therefore declared elected, to serve for 4 years from 1 May 2003 (except where stated), in addition to those members of the Committee who remain in office.

- Vice-President for Corporate Affairs, Helen Sang
- Vice-President for Public Understanding of Genetics , Mark Macnair
- Honorary Treasurer (to serve for 4 years from 1 May 2004, and from 1 May 2003 in an observer capacity), Justin Goodrich
- Honorary Secretary, John Armour
- Newsletter Editor, Tracey Chapman
- Ordinary Committee members to represent:
Area A (gene structure, function and regulation) - Patricia Kuwabara
Area C (cell and developmental genetics) - Wendy Bickmore
Area D (applied and quantitative genetics) - Peter Keightley.

7. Scientific Meetings Officer?s Report

Scientific Meetings Secretary Darren Monckton informed the meeting that the Committee had decided that multi-day spring meetings were no longer viable. In future, the Society will hold, on alternate years, joint spring meetings with other societies, and several one-day meetings that would replace the traditional spring meeting. These would be organized in major venues during term-time, around the Society?s award lectures and the AGM.

8. Newsletter Editor?s Report

Newsletter Editor John Armour reminded the meeting that newsletter contributions from ordinary members were greatly welcomed, especially for the ?A Taxi Driver Writes....? column.

9. Heredity Managing Editor?s Report

Managing Editor John Brookfield drew the meeting?s attention to the fact that the journal is now published by Nature Publishing Group. It will go on-line for submissions and review from June 2003. A new Managing Editor, Richard Nichols, will take office at the start of 2004.

10. Other Business

Jane Langdale pointed out that plant geneticists were not adequately represented on the Committee. On behalf of the Committee, Honorary Secretary Howy Jacobs agreed that the matter would be considered at the earliest opportunity, so that the Committee could rectify this at the next round of elections, or by using its power of co-option.

The Honorary Secretary moved a unanimous vote of thanks to retiring president Linda Partridge, and of good wishes to incoming President Jonathan Hodgkin.

There was no other business and the meeting was closed at 1655.