Minutes from the 1st SSP board telephone meeting on May 2nd, 2002

1. Collection of new SSP members
2. Fee collection - Status or plans for 2002
3. The SSP Home Page
4. Collection of e-mail addresses
5. Next SSP meeting in Bergen
6. Joining of BaSP and SSP
7. Co-operation with neighbouring Societies
8. Future of the Bulletin
9. Other issues
Participants: Karl Skirnisson (KS, director of meeting), Maria Vang Johansen (MVJ), Katja Pulkkinen (KP), Cecilia Thors (CT), Mats Wahlgren (MW), Charlotte Maddox-Hyttel (CMH, reporter). Absent: Jorun Tharaldsen (JT), Einar Strømnes (ES)

1. Collection of new SSP members
Several new members have joined: 1 in Denmark, 2 in Finland, 1 in Norway, and 7 in Sweden, but none in Iceland.
KS: In Iceland there are 6 members.
ES/CMH: In Norway there are 35 members (according to CMH's member list). The new pamphlet was distributed very recently (No comments on this from the other countries)
CT: In Sweden there are 42 members
KP: In Finland there are 29 members
The international member list has (acc. To CMH's address list) a total of 16 names - no pamphlets have been sent to them yet (KP)
CMH: In Denmark there are 36 members. A suggestion to all local treasurers: New member names and addresses (including email if available) should be sent to the secretary (CMH) for central registration on our address list, a revised version will subsequently be distributed to all at regular intervals (e.g. just prior to our telephone meetings).

2. Fee collection - Status or plans for 2002
KS: In Iceland, the fee for 2002 has not yet been collected. Everyone has paid for 2001.
ES/CMH: In Norway, due to problems with the transfer of accounts, the call for fees was sent out just 2 weeks ago.
CT: Due to problems with a new account for the SSP payments (i.e. no messages re. payments are sent to CT). Updated knowledge on the payment status is not available yet, but things should be in order in a week's time. Apparently not many (14 people) have yet paid the 2002 fee.
KP: There are 2 members who have not paid fees since 1999. It is uncertain whether they are still members. Until now, 9 members have paid in 2001 and 2002 (Payment requests sent out at the same time for the 2 years). Payment requests have not been sent to the International members yet.

3. The SSP Home Page
KS gave a short report - KS has spent hours on the home page. THANK YOU, Karl, for an excellent job! While KS has not demanded any payment for this, our webmaster, Arni, has been paid 2000 Euro for implementing KS's design and drafting. A few more expenses may have been incurred due to purchase of, a.o., books. Everybody praised the homepage - it's a very good product.
KS asked everybody's opinion about publishing the e-mail list of SSP members on the Home Page
After some discussion, there was a general consent that it would be a good idea only if a password is required to get access to the list. Although not shared by all, there was a concern of commercial abuse or at least increased risk of junk mail if the email list was freely available.

4. Collection of e-mail addresses
KS: Email addresses for all 6 members in Iceland
CMH: Email addresses for 17 members in Denmark - the list needs to be carefully revised and checked
KP: 7 email addresses are still missing from the list
CT: 8 email addresses are still missing from the list
Norway?? - According to CMH's list 6 email addresses are missing
International members: 2 email addresses are missing according to CMH list

5. Next SSP meeting in Bergen
KS: News from Arne Skorping in Bergen. SSP 2l will be organised during June 12-15th, 2003. The first announcement of the meeting will include information on main themes, guest lecturers etc., and will be posted in September 2002. For this purpose Arne Skorping will need an updated membership list upon his request to CMH. There were no comments regarding this message.
KS: There is a suggestion of Joern Andreasen, who has pointed out that nobody (i.e. no institutions) is paying the rather high registration fee for retired members or for most of the honorary members of SSP. And if you do not pay you cannot go to the banquet and participate in some social events. However, some of the retired colleagues wish to join our meetings. Joern´s suggestion is that the respective organisers should offer those persons reduced registration fee, if possible.
The above case was observed at the last SSP meeting - and the person in question was just charged to pay the banquet fee. (Sort of out of the minutes, but: This actually seems reasonable, in other words, it could be suggested as a general guideline for the organisers that retirees and/or (????) honorary members need not pay full registration fee, but just need to pay for the banquet.) There was general consent that the SSP should be positive towards this suggestion, because it will probably not regard more than, e.g., 3-5 participants at a meeting. Especially considering that the Bulletin will no longer be published with ordinary issues (see below) but rather only as proceedings of the meetings, the extra amount of money available could be used also for this purpose (support of the emeriti).
Board: In continuation of the 'excess money' discussion it was proposed that the money might be used for student grants either as travel grants and/or as awards for best poster/oral presentation. The latter has been introduced at the Danish Society for Parasitology annual Spring Symposium (joint with the Danish Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene) and has been very successful in activating/motivating the young scientists to submit their work for more presentations, including posters.

6. Joining of BaSP and SSP
KS: According to the discussions during the last GA, the new board is expected to work on the joining of the SSP and the BaSP. For this purpose, the statutes must be changed. Furthermore, if we intend to go with the SSP 22 in 2005 to Vilnius the statutes must be changed. All changes must be sent out with the agenda at least one month before the next GA. These facts must be born in mind. The work must start no later than the autumn of this year.
CMH: The BaSP statutes should be requested from the BaSP secretary, so combination of the 2 statues can be initiated - or appropriate changes made to either of the two statues.
KS: Somebody else from the board needs to be in charge of this process so that we, in the board, can share the workload. Who is willing?? Everybody is strongly urged to consider this opportunity and inform Karl + the rest of the board of their wish to be engaged in this important work of joining the 2 Nordic /Baltic societies.
The board all supported the idea of joining the two societies.

7. Co-operation with neighbouring Societies
KS: In September 2001, the SSP got an e-mail from the president of the German Society for Parasitology (GSP), Professor T. Schnieder in Hanover, about possibilities to organise a joint meeting. This request was discussed with the board of the Baltic Society, which strongly supported the idea. In the reply of SSP to GSP we mentioned the possibility to organise a joint meeting of SSP, BaSP and GSP in Vilnius in 2005. Three months ago I got a reply from the GSP. They arrange their meetings in 2004 and 2006 so that our biannual meetings are in different years. For this reason we cancelled the idea of arranging a joint meeting with the GSP in 2005.
Board: There were no further comments.

8. Future of the Bulletin
Jorun Tharaldsen (by mail): I have not received any material for the Bull. yet, but I'm waiting for contributions from Iceland! To be quite honest, if the amount of material does not change drastically soon, it is too much work to keep it going for me alone. My task was to edit, not to fill each issue.
There were some contributions at the meeting in Sweden, which were not included in the previous issue, and I would have been happy to include these in the next one. We have just started a parasitology program at my institute, and a description is now on the institute's web site (www.vetinst.no), I had planned to ask for permission to print it in the Bulletin as well. If I get the two articles from you, and the missing abstracts from Stockholm, plus minutes from the general assembly and the board meetings in Sweden, then there would be enough for a small issue before summer, especially if the board could also contribute with some other society news. So: It would be very good if each of you could maybe find what you could do to fill the next issue. As for the future, after that issue, it may be an idea to keep a paper version for proceedings from the SSP meetings, with abstracts and review papers/full papers from i.e. invited speakers. After all, it is better to have proceedings presented in something a bit more permanent, if possible, but I'll leave the decision to you.
Board: There was general consent that the Bulletin should no longer be published regularly, but rather should be used for proceedings only.
KS: Suggestion that we publish the last ordinary issue in Summer/Autumn, where we explain the Board's decision. Use the opportunity and try to fill the issue with some original results. Keep the Bulletin as a forum to publish abstracts and introductory lectures given at ordinary, special and joint meetings. Those issues have to be financed by the respective organisers, maybe with some support from the Board.
KP: Perhaps each country-representative can give a brief overview of the parasitological research activities in their respective countries? Possibly easiest if people in the various institutions are contacted and asked to give a short summary of main activities.
KS: Easy enough for Iceland
MVJ: Quite a task for Denmark as there are a considerable number of groups - but perhaps a brief introductory on each group - and for the homepage a link via the Danish Society for Parasitology's homepage(www.dsp.kvl.dk) to the various groups.
MW/CT: There are about 5-10 research institutions in Sweden to be covered.
KS: Suggestion that approx. 1 page is written per country with a broad (and brief) overview of parasitological activities. We will tell Jorun about this idea for her comments.

9. Other issues
MVJ: The SSP is registered in the Encyclopaedia of Associations: International Organisations - this contact will be passed on to Charlotte.
At the Royal Vet & Agricultural University in Copenhagen, a M.Sc. in Parasitology will be initiated this fall. The first time the course will be run as a 'pilot' predominantly including Danish M.Sc. students. However, it is meant to be a course taught in English and in the future will be offered internationally to a broader range of potential participants. Further information can be obtained from: www.vetmi.kvl.dk/parasitology.
CT: Can non-paying members be on the mailing list?
KS: Perhaps we should put forth a suggestion at the next GA that retired (emeritus) members pay the student fee (10 Euro). Until the GA, where all members can be given proper orientation, everybody should remain on the mailing list.
KS and CMH will attend the ICOPA meeting in Vancouver, Canada, this summer. KS will represent the SSP at that meeting.
KS: The next board telephone meeting should be in October. Other than that, we will continue to use email correspondence to keep in touch.
CMH: Thank you for a nice meeting, which lasted approx. 50 minutes. The price of this meeting won't be available until next week. I'll let you know!