News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees

Reports from Representatives to Various Organization

Report of BSA Representative to the CSSP

The Council of Scientific Society Presidents is an organization of presidents or other representatives of about sixty scientific societies and federations and societies whose combined membership numbers well over 1.4 million scientists and science educators. The goals of the CSSP are to "facilitate cooperation across multiple scientific disciplines; deliberate and adopt public policy positions and act upon the science research and education issues of national or international scope; develop ways to enhance the public understanding and appreciation of science; foster scientific research and dissemination of discoveries; and provide a mechanisms for communicating among the various scientific disciplines through he presidents of scientific societies."

The CSSP meets twice a year in Washington D.C.; this year, unfortunately, it was not possible for a BSA representative to attend. Due to the cost of travel to these meetings, the BSA Executive Committee recommends that, in the future, a representative from the Society should attend one of these per year. Additionally, because the CSSP program includes workshops on issues such as providing leadership for scientific societies, public affairs and press relations, science education, and interacting with government agencies, it is recommended that the President-Elect act as BSA representative.

Nancy Dengler

Report of BSA Representative to ASC

As newly appointed BSA representative to ASC, I served in 1999 primarily to forward requests for information from ASC from BSA. The requests were forwarded to Business Manager Kim Hiser.

ASC has developed two databases that are now available via Internet on the website of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). The first is a database of taxonomic experts (TRED) that identifies and is searchable by expert's name, taxonomic expertise, geographic expertise, and habitat expertise. The second is a database of research-quality systematics collections in museums, universities, and other agencies and associated information resources (DRSC), predominantly in the U.S., along with collections on five other continents. Both databases are accessible at the ASC website at ASC has requested that BSA inform its members of these databases. Subsequently, BSA President Carol Baskin sent a cover letter to the ASC director to accompany a request from ASC to BSA members for information for the database project.

ASC distributes on-line a bi-monthly newsletter of ASC activities and highlights of recent news about systematic collections, in addition to the printed ASC Newsletter. The electronic newsletter is available to ASC member institutions and societies, and can be sent to interested recipients on request.

The next ASC annual meeting will be held in Baltimore 14-15 May 2000 and will honor the 50th anniversary of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Rita Colwell, NSF director will be a keynote speaker.

Laurence E. Skog

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