The Society meets annually and when possible on the anniversary of the conception of psychophysics by Gustav-Theodor Fechner which occurred on the morning of October 22nd 1850. The annual meetings are scientific and business events, originally attended by a core of some 50 – 60 members and currently enjoying attendance of around double that number. In the links that follow you will find information from the annual Fechner Day meetings.
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the ISP
Traverse City, Michigan, October 19-22, 2005.
Submitted by Lawrence Ward, acting for Lucia Regolin, she not being in attendance. The meeting was chaired by Lawrence Ward, Vice President, as the President was not in attendance.
Item1. Previous Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the Coimbra, Portugal, Fechner Day 2004 meeting, submitted by Lucia Regolin, were unanimously approved.
Item 2. Treasurer’s report
(Lawrence Ward read the report from Galina Paramei, she not being in attendance, and augmented it re the accounts he holds in Vancouver)
Lawrence Ward has established accounts in Vancouver that hold the Society’s funds, having been consolidated from various accounts as follows:
|Debra Zellner (from former ISP account):||$5439.87 USD|
|Claude Bonnet (FD 2000):||$1561.20 CAD|
|Birgitta Berglund (FD 2003):||$ 940.00 USD|
|Armando de Oliveira (FD 2004):||$6300.00 USD|
|ISP dues 2005 (Weiler):||$50.00 USD|
|Donations for students and Eastern European scientists:|
|From FD 2004 (part of Armando’s transfer)||$ 330.00 USD|
|From anonymous donor:||$ 500.00 USD|
|To John Monahan for FD 2005:||$1600.00 USD|
| To be paid as student and EE scientist stipends:
(5x$800 and 2x$400)
Currently in Treasury in Vancouver after payout of stipends: approx $9300.00 USD
John Monahan will transfer any excess from FD 2005 (including donations he received) to the account held by Lawrence in Vancouver when he settles accounts in Traverse City. Lawrence estimated that the treasury would contain about $11,000 USD after John’s transfer, down from about $14,000 USD as a result of startup for the conference and the stipends that were paid in excess of donations.
Item 3. President’s Report by Mark Elliott
(read by Lawrence Ward in Mark’s absence and abbreviated here).
Mark’s report consisted of six items with a recommendation for a discussion and vote on items c and e below. (a) Given the great shock of the deaths of Doug Vickers and Sandy Bolanowski (the Society once again sends its condolences to their families) and events in Western European universities, and the pervasive influence of the discipline of cognitive neuroscience, it seems advisable to change the Society to ensure continuation of the Society in a robust state; (b) honorary membership conferred upon Erich Schröger, Yves Lacouture, Simon Grondin and Lawrence Ward in thanks for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of the Society and in an effort to ensure that these services continue to be provided; (c) recommendation of the establishment of a committee to form a Board of Trustees from the senior members of the Society to oversee extending the reach and role of the Society in promoting psychophysics as a discipline; (d) Mark is attempting to register the Society in Ireland and establish a second bank account there; (e) upgrades to website to cost E2400 and substantial amounts per year as well and this requires a more steady source of income; it would be desirable to collect dues from a larger group of members than just meeting attendees each year, he would like Secretary and Treasurer to set up PayPal account and somehow compel more people to pay dues each year; (f) heartfelt thanks to John Monahan, Sonya Sheffert and Jim Townsend for arranging this year’s meeting in the face of the shock of the deaths we experienced.
Item 4. Discussion of Mark’s item 3(a), honorary membership.
After the reading of item 2(a) above it was reported that some members objected to using Honorary Membership in perpetuity to reward members for service. Much discussion ensued and several members argued that the practice was ill-advised. It was moved by Scott Parker and seconded by John Monahan that: The Executive consider undoing the permanent Honorary Membership described by the President and propose a shorter-lasting way of rewarding members for service, a report on this process to be presented at Fechner Day 2006 with a motion for approval by the membership. After further discussion this motion was passed approximately 40 “yes” to 1 “no”.
Item 5. Discussion and vote on Mark’s item 3(c) above:
It was considered moved by the President that: a committee be formed to advise on the formation of a Board of Trustees as in 2(c) above, a report to be made at Fechner Day 2006. After considerable discussion of the purpose and functioning of this Board, a call was made for a second but none was forthcoming. Thus the motion died for lack of a second.
Item 6. Discussion and vote on Mark’s item 3(e) above:
It was considered moved by the President that: starting from this year the Society collect dues independent of Fechner Day in an effort to provide additional monies for further development of the Society website, using PayPal. It was pointed out that a small number of members do pay dues each year and receive the Proceedings in return. Discussion ensued about means of getting more non-attending members to pay dues, with discouraging results. After considerable further discussion of this proposal, a call was made for a second but none was forthcoming. Thus the motion died for lack of a second.
Item 7. Student and Eastern European scientist travel stipends
Six students and one EE scientist received travel stipends to attend FD 2005:
- Alessia Bastianelli
- Christel Ildei
- Isabel Martins
- Boaz Ben David
- Petr Dusek
- Marc Pouliot
- Elisabeth Olsen
Selection was made using the applicants’ abstracts from a larger group of applications by a committee of the Executive.
Item 8. Election of new executive committee members
Four nominees were presented who had previously agreed to serve:
Sasha Sokolov (proposed by Bob Teghtsoonian)
Olivier Mairesse (proposed by Mark Elliott)
Yoav Arieh (proposed by Larry Marks).
Ehtibar Dzhafarov (proposed by Galina Paramei)
Olivier Mairesse withdrew his name because his research is moving in a clinical direction and he might not be able to attend meetings and present relevant research. A written ballot was held and the two nominees who received the most votes, Sasha Sokolov and Ehtibar Dzhaforov, were declared elected to the Executive.
Item 9. Future meetings.
FD 2006: Hertfordshire (St. Albins) England, 25-28 July: Diana Kornbrot made a presentation, providing information on the proposed meeting structure, the area including accommodations, and the options re registration fees.
FD 2007: Tokyo, Japan, 20-23 October: Shuji Mori made a presentation, providing information about meeting structure and costs, and emphasizing the attractiveness of Tokyo as a place to visit as well as the Tokyo International Exchange Center as a meeting venue.
After some discussion of possible meeting venues for 2008 and 2009 (the latter is the 25th anniversary of the Society), including the possibility of a meeting in Eastern Europe, possibly Moscow, and Cassis in 2009, Bruce Schneider volunteered to hold FD 2008 in Toronto. Bruce will begin to plan and other candidates for FD 2008 and later were invited.
Item 10. Other announcements outside the business meeting.
Lawrence Ward announced, on Fechner Day, that Duncan Luce, a longtime and faithful member of the ISP, had won the US National Medal of Science for 2003 (conferred in March 2005). This is the highest honor that can be bestowed by the US Government on an American scientist and we are proud and honoured that Duncan is an active member of our Society.
At the banquet Bob Norman proposed a birthday toast to Irina Skotnikova, another longtime member who was unable to be with us in Traverse City this year.
Minutes of the General Meeting of the ISP
1. Minutes of Fechner Day 2005
The minutes of the previous meeting (FD2005) were approved,
2. Treasurer’s report
Galina Paramei The treasurer made a report as to the current funds and previous expenditures (for students etc.).
Treasurer’s report provided as a separate (see appendix below) document.
3. Presentation and vote on website upgrade
The statement by the chair, Lawrence Ward, on the recommendation of the Executive Committee (April 25, 2006) for the upgrading of the ISP website was approved in principle.
4. Presentation and vote on funding options for (3) if approved
Discussion ensued on the manner of implementation of these recommendations.
Consequently, the following motions were moved:
Motion 1. That €3500.00 Euros be allocated for the set up of the ISP web site and that €1200 be allocared for subsequent yearly maintenance of the ISP web site. Yearly maintenance is for each calendar year
Motion 2. The Executive Committee authorizes Mark Elliott to be in charge of the website and that he approach and work together with the person he designates to set-up and maintain the site.
Motion 3. The proposal defined by Motion 1 should be continued subsequently until the ISP decides that another proposal should be pursued, or the ISP no longer has the funds to support it.
It was also suggested that a “quality check” group or subcommittee be formed to assist and monitor the operation of the website. The most likely members of that committee would be the signatories of the original proposal contained in the Appendix of the April 25, 2006 recommendation. The signatories were: Danny Algom, Yoav Arieh, Mark Elliott, Larry Marks, Scott Parker, Helen Ross, Bert Scharf, Mimi Teghtsoonian, and Bob Teghtsoonian.
Motion 4. The annual ISP membership dues are not for covering the costs of production and printing of the proceedings of the annual meeting. These are the responsibility of the host organizers.
1 opposed, 2 abstentions, and passed by majority.
Motion 5. The annual dues shall remain at $50.00 USD. Dues are to be paid by January 1st and are to be paid to the treasurer (or to Lawrence Ward) and not to the conference organizer. As suggested by Lorraine Allen members are to be reminded by e-mail, early in October that dues are to be paid by Janurary 1st.
1 opposed, passed by majority.
It was also stipulated that membership in ISP is required for access to the Website Proceedings and discussion forums. Mark Elliott had earlier suggested that the proceedings become accessible for ISP members through the Website.
5. Students travel stipends and conference support
The following were supported by the ISP, or by the conference itself, to attend Fechner Day 2006:
The following student was supported by the Maths, Stats and Computing Section fo the British Psychological Society
6. Election of new executive committee members
Executive Committee. Diana Kornbrot and Bill Petrusic were elected as new members of the Executive Committee.
7. Future Meetings
Fechner Day 2007, Tokyo, Japan. (Shuji Mori).
Fechner Day 2008, Toronto, Ontario. (Bruce Schneider).
Mark Elliott most kindly offered to organize and host the 2009 Fechner Day meetings in Galway, Ireland.
8. Other Business
Galina Paramei and Bill Petrusic
Appendix: Treasurer’s report
by Galina Paramei, ISP Treasurer
1. ISP account (currently):
- US$ 9,698.52 in the US account
- CAD $3.43 in the Vancouver account
2. Total amount spent on subsidizing travel grants
(four persons; June 2006):
- US$ 2,900
- the actual amount spent: US$ 2,800
- the transfer fee and US$ GPS exchange: US$ 100
3. Interest: ca. US$ 200
4. The following were supported by the ISP, or by the conference itself, to attend Fechner Day 2006:
- Vagner Custódio: £450
- Suncica Zdravkovic: £450
(The travel grant £450 includes: £65 conference fee; £15 ISP fee; the remaining £370 available in Travellers Cheques)
- Claudia Wilimzig: £300
- Vlad Zotov: £300
(The travel grant includes £65 conference fee; £15 ISP fee; the remaining £220 available in Travellers Cheques)
The Society was conceived during discussions among varying combinations of Birgitta Berglund, Ulf Berglund, Bertram Scharf, Martha Teghtsoonian, and Robert Teghtsoonian, during the early part of 1985, and had its first meeting later the same year in Marseille, France. Scharf and his colleagues in the CNRS laboratories in Marseille agreed to serve as a local organizing committee and be our hosts for a first meeting divided between meeting rooms at the CNRS and various locations in the picturesque (and conveniently nearby) village of Cassis.
The name of this organization shall be the International Society or Psychophysics.