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MINUTES of the Genetics Society Annual General Meeting 2006

eld at the Arts Centre Theatre, University of Warwick on Thursday 30th March 2006 at 6.45 p.m.


The meeting was attended by 63 members including 10 members of the Committee. President Jonathan Hodgkin chaired the meeting, and the minutes were recorded by Honorary Secretary John Armour.

AGENDA

1. Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting (Saturday 7th May 2005), and matters arising

The minutes of the 2005 AGM had been posted on the Society’s web site for consultation by members, and copies were circulated at the meeting. The meeting approved them as a true record for signing by the President. No matters arising were raised.

2. President’s Report

President Jonathan Hodgkin, presiding over his last Genetics Society AGM, said that his tenure of the post had been an enjoyable and successful time, and thanked other members of the committee for contributing to this success. He wished incoming President Brian Charlesworth every success during his term of office.

3. Honorary Treasurer’s Report

Honorary Treasurer Justin Goodrich reported that largely due to continued very healthy income from the Society’s journals, and reduced losses made on its scientific meetings, the Society’s financial position continued to be very strong despite increased expenditure on support for meetings and grants. Members could expect continued low subscription rates and low-cost scientific meetings. The funds available to support fieldwork grants had been increased, and the Treasurer invited members to take advantage of these and other schemes for support of scientific activities. He indicated that proposals for new “sectional interest” groups would be welcomed by the committee.

4. Executive Officer’s Report and Business for transaction

In the absence of Executive Officer Jayne Richards, Honorary Secretary John Armour drew members’ attention to the need to supply updated contact information to the Society’s office to ensure that the Newsletter and other communications from the Society would be received by members.

5. Honorary Secretary’s Report and business for transaction

(a) Honorary Secretary John Armour confirmed the announcement (previously made via an email communication to members) that Miltos Tsiantis had been elected to be the 2007 Balfour Lecturer.

(b) Similarly, he confirmed that Caroline Dean was the winner of the 2007 Genetics Society Medal.

(c) The Honorary Secretary explained three changes to the constitution proposed by the Committee. These changes had been described in the Newsletter announcement of the AGM, and were also defined, with proposed wording for appropriate clauses of the constitution, in the material circulated to members at the meeting. The changes proposed were (a) to create the committee post of Postgraduate Representative; (b) to discontinue the post of Irish Members’ Representative; and (c) to allow voting by email in advance of AGMs, and for votes received in this way to count towards the quorum.

This last change had been proposed in order to protect the Society against the potentially disabling consequences of a non-quorate AGM, but also to ensure greater involvement of members in the transaction of the Society’s formal decisions. Motions proposed at AGMs are formulated well in advance of meetings, and email voting is appropriate for the simple and non-contentious (but vital) business of the AGM, such as election of new members.

The Honorary Secretary explained that changes to the constitution required a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. In response to a question from a member, he confirmed that in order to come into effect, the changes would require the approval of the Charity Commission. However, the change to email voting had already received strong support at a preliminary vote at the 2005 AGM, on the basis of which the Honorary Secretary had approached the Charity Commission. The Commission had indicated consent in principle to this change if approved by the 2006 AGM. Thus the new measure was conditional on the approval of the Charity Commission, but it was likely that approval would be forthcoming.

Each of these three changes to the constitution was individually put to a vote, and in each case was approved unanimously by the meeting.

(d) A list of 225 applicants for membership had been posted on the Society’s web site and was circulated at the meeting. No objections were raised to any of them becoming members. The proposal to admit them all to membership of the Society was put to a vote, and carried unanimously.

(e) Honorary Secretary John Armour expressed the thanks of the Society to outgoing committee members for generously giving their time and expertise to help the Society, including Hugh Fletcher, David Goldstein and Adam Wilkins. He particularly thanked outgoing Scientific Meetings Secretary Darren Monckton, and outgoing President Jonathan Hodgkin, for their sterling service to the Society.

The nominees to join the committee were Andrew Ward (Scientific Meetings Secretary), Mark Beaumont (area “E”), Tanita Casci (area “F”), and Jo Young (Postgraduate Representative). At a vote, their election to office was supported unanimously.

6. AOB

No further issues were raised by the meeting. The President therefore thanked those present, and closed the meeting.