Brief information on the former Baltic Society for Parasitology (BalSP)
September, 2003. by Gediminas Valkiunas
There has been a strong tradition of research in Parasitology in Baltics. The Baltic States scientific conferences on Parasitology have been held in turn in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia once per 3-4 years since 1960. These conferences have become traditional gatherings of Baltic parasitologists. During such meetings, achievements within parasitology in scientific institutions as well as in industrial sector were discussed. At the 12th Baltic Conference on Parasitology in 1992, the idea to organise a Baltic Society for Parasitology was launched. Parasitologists in all Baltic States supported this idea. The Baltic Society for Parasitology was established in 1993. The objectives of the Society were to advance the study of parasitology, promote interest and discussion, aid education, and to disseminate information about recent advances. The Society provided an important forum for discussion between parasitologists.
The membership of the Society was free. In 2003, there were over 90 members with 40 from Lithuania, nine from Estonia, four from Latvia, ten from Belarus, 16 from Russia, three from Poland, three from United Kingdom, two from Finland, two from Denmark, one from Norway, one from Iceland and one from Ukraine. These members represented over 40 various institutions, they were scientists from experimental, academician and university laboratories, lectures from universities and other high schools, hygiene centres, hospital personnel, practising doctors, veterinarians, agronomists and teachers.
We believe that the joint Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology will provide additional opportunities for parasitologist in Scandinavian and Baltic countries to meet each other and to work together on joint projects.
The Foundation of the SSP.
Formally, the Scandinavian Society for Parasitology was founded on December 16th, 1967 - on the last day of the "Second SSP Symposium", which was organized in Hillerød, Denmark. There, an interim Board and a Scientific Council were elected. Bo-Jungar Wikgren, Åbo was elected as President, August Brinkman, Bergen as Vice-President, Johan Reuter, Åbo as Secretary and Olle Nilsson, Stockholm as Treasurer. However, the history of the SSP dates back to December 12th, 1966 when 34 Nordic parasitologists participated in a Symposium (SSP 1), organized at the initiative of the newly founded Institute of Parasitology in Turku (Åbo), Finland. The first regular Board of the SSP was elected at the 3rd SSP Symposium in December 1968 in Stockholm.
More about the history between 1967-1992 can be read in the Bullitin of the Scandinavian Society for Parasitology Vol. 2 No. 1.