IPC Bonn 2008

There will be an open meeting of the EPD on Thursday 4th September 1830-2000 at Bonn. Important decisions will be made about its future administrative structure. Watch this space for more details!

At the EPD open meeting in Bonn we must decide on the future administrative structure for the EPD. At present it is run by a small caretaking committee (Richard Bradshaw, Jacques-Louis de Beaulieu and Valerie Andrieu) while progress is made in working groups that report their activities on the web-site. It would be nice to keep the whole process as open and public as possible. Please now submit ideas for how the EPD should be managed in the future that can form the basis for discussions at Bonn. I will begin……

Proposal for future administrative structure of the EPD. Richard Bradshaw. I propose that the working group structure continues, but as many of the contributors have no permanent positions there should be a group of co-ordinators, nominated and elected for fixed terms, who try and sort out finances and represent the EPD to the outside world. I suggest three people would be sufficient for this role. They oversee activities and encourage working groups to be active. The main role of the working groups is to support the data-base manager Michelle Leydet. This would be a far cheaper and slimmer organisation than we had before (Executive Committee and Advisory Board), but in the absence of secure funding this is practical. It would be a little more formal (open elections etc.) than the present interim arrangement. Elections could be web-based like the INQUA palaeo committee. A key role of the co-ordinators would be to raise funds for meetings and other EPD activities so it would be advantageous for these people to have access to research funds.

CONTRIBUTION from Prof. Andy Lotter. Member of the Executive Committee EPD

Future administrative structure of the EPD – Decision to be taken during the 12th international Palynological Congress (IPC) in September 2008 in Bonn

The EPD has existed for over 15 years. It has an administrative structure that includes: - an Advisory Board (AB) of several palynologists representing different geographical parts of Europe and - an Executive Committee (EC) consisting of three European palynologists. Members of the EPD have been serving on a volunteer basis, whereas the database manager has been (part time) employed on project funds. Over the past almost two decades two EPD EU grants as well as project-related EU grants allowed to finance AB/EC meetings on a regular basis as well as incidental workshops with regard to e.g. database matters and pollen nomenclature issues. In recent years, however, the situation with regard to financing such meetings has become extremely difficult with the effect that (re-)election of AB and EC members has been suspended for some years. In view of this new situation it was decided during the last open EPD meeting in May 2007 to discuss the future administrative structure of the EPD. This discussion will involve all European palynologists and contributors to the EPD and will take place during the 12th international Palynological Congress (IPC) in September 2008 in Bonn. The organizers of the IPC have allocated a time-slot on Thursday, September 4th 2008 from 18.30-20 o’clock for an EPD meeting. Given the short time for such an important meeting this document is meant as a basis to stimulate and prepare the discussion so that we shall be able to come to a decision that will be supported by the EPD community.

Options Different options for a future administrative structure may be discussed:

Status quo Business as usual, with an AB, an EC, and a database manager in the same way as before.

Slim structure (largely following Richard Bradshaw’s suggestion) An AB consisting of the coordinators of EPD working groups (see EPD homepage) - thus representing the interests of these working groups - and an EC of 2-3 senior palynologists (representing the interests of the EPD to the outside world), and an EPD database manager.

Alternative structure Open for discussion.

For all possible structures we need to take into consideration the financial restrictions which will have implications on the amount and financing of meetings. Major discussion points for all options may be:

  1. Meetings (how often?): e.g. AB and EC meet on average once every (two?) year(s) (preferably at a major conference) to discuss and decide on EPD matters and produce a newsletter
  2. Elections (who, how?): e.g. EC members are elected by EPD members (which majority needed?) so that they represent the (majority of the) EPD community. Depending on the structure, AB members are also elected by EPD members (status quo) or appointed by the EC (slim structure: AB members are EPD working group coordinators). Should the person responsible of the EPD locally at Arbois automatically be a member of the EC?
  3. EPD members may propose new working groups on specific topics. The EC (?) approves the installation of the new working group and its coordinator, and informs the community through the EPD homepage (?)
  4. Right to vote (who?): only EPD contributors have the right to vote on EPD matters elect, and be elected for offices
  5. Votes can be done via e-mail and coordinated by the EPD database manager (?)
  6. a term of office includes 4 years, re-election is possible
  7. by accepting the election EC and AB members should commit to serving the EPD for the election period and also be able to provide their own financial means to attend EPD meetings
  8. etc.

Ideally, the discussion about these and other points not mentioned here should start as soon as possible and during the IPC meeting in Bonn we should be able to reach a decision that has the consensus of the EPD community.

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