Minutes from ISPB AGM 2012

Minutes of the International Society for Plasmid Biology General Meeting, Santander, Spain, September 12, 2012

Officers presiding: Current President: Laura Frost; Current Secretary: Igor Konieczny; Current Treasurer: Christopher M. Thomas

  1. Welcome

The ISPB President Laura Frost opened the meeting and welcomed the participants.

  1. Attendance:

58 participants were present.  Apologies for absence: Adam Roberts.

  1. Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was approved.

  1. Minutes from the previous International Society for Plasmid Biology General Meeting, Bariloche, Argentina, 2010

The minutes from the 2010 meeting were approved.

  1. Election of Officers:

The ISPB President Laura Frost proposed the following candidates:

As President: Manuel Espinosa

As Secretary: Eva Top

As Treasurer: Christopher M. Thomas

All candidates were elected unanimously.

  1. Association with the Society for General Microbiology

Presented by Christopher M. Thomas.

Questions and discussion (Beth Traxler, Chris D. Thomas, Druba Chattoraj, Laura Frost, Saleem Khan, George Chaconas)

Main Issues:

– Discussion and questions focused on financial and membership issues.

– Membership. The current situation is deliberately not tightly defined because ISPB has wanted to be inclusive.  However, there may be a need to have a more formalized system including the procedure for joining the society by people who do not participate in all ISPB meetings. Also, it was suggested that the membership fee should not be listed in the conference fee.  This causes problems for some participants. It should be referred to as administrative costs.


– That before final decisions are made, members of ISPB would be informed of all financial details of the proposed association with SGM.

– That membership procedures need to be reviewed and possibly modified.

– It was approved to continue negotiations with SGM.

  1. Financial report including a discussion on the use of membership funds

The financial report was presented by Christopher M. Thomas.

Questions and discussion (Beth Traxler, Chris D. Thomas, Maria del Solar, Fernando de La Cruz, Druba Chattoraj, Laura Frost, George Chaconas)

Main Issues:

– It was proposed to use funds to organize next IPBC’s to prime activities but that this money would need to be repaid after the conference.  This was agreed.

– It was proposed to use funds for awards for young researchers participating in the ISPB meetings.  It was agreed that the new president and officers would propose how ISPB funds could be used once the commitments to the organizers of the next conference were clear.

The financial report was approved unanimously.

  1. Approval of new Constitution

The new constitution was presented by Laura Frost.

Questions and discussion (Fernando De La Cruz, Douglas E. Rawlings, Chris D. Thomas, Druba Chattoraj, Laura Frost, David K. Summers)

Main Issues:

– It was proposed to remove the statement about the exact membership fee charge from the constitution: it should be specified by the ISPB General Meetings.

– It was proposed to raise the membership fee to 30 GBP.

– The new fee (30 GBP) was accepted unanimously.

– It was proposed to move the detailed discussion about the fee to next meeting after association with SGM unless this needs to be done as part of the negotiations.

– It was pointed out that there was not a clear statement about the length of the presidency in the new constitution. It was corrected in the text of the new constitution to clearly specify that the presidency is 2 years long but there was also an amendment to create an overlap between past and new president.

The new constitution was approved unanimously.

  1. Venues and dates and organizers of future meetings

The next ISPB Meeting in 2014 was presented by Neville Firth.

Questions and discussion (Fernando De La Cruz, Douglas E. Rawlings, Chris D. Thomas, Druba Chattoraj, Laura Frost, David K. Summers, Gorge Chaconas)

Main issues:

-The two possible venues for the next IPBC were presented – either Victoria in South Australia in December or north of Brisbane in North Queensland (Palm Cove) in September.

-The inconvenience of the locations in terms of the need of long flight from main airports in Australia was raised.

-The dates of the meeting were discussed in light of teaching and overlap with other meetings, which should be avoided. There was no clear unanimous opinion about the right dates of the meeting.  Suggestions were raised to have a survey to poll the ISPB members, but that was ultimately rejected. Finally, the September date seemed to be most popular among the members present.

Conclusions: The decision was made to settle on September in Queensland, with the organizers making sure that it would not overlap with a recombination meeting that same month.

(Subsequent to the Santander meeting, the dates of the conflicting meeting were provided and are September 7-12. Julian Rood and Neville Firth haven’t settled on dates yet, but will do their best to avoid a clash with this meeting, so ISPB2014 will likely take place in Palm Cove in mid-late September.)

  1. Report on Plasmid Annotation Workshop

Presented during the second ISPB general meeting by C.M. Thomas, L.S. Frost

Only a few participants attended.

– Open discussion about problems in plasmid annotation

– Naming and Annotation of Plasmids L.S. Frost and C.M. Thomas