INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF THE ORIGIN OF LIFE
(revision 4, June 21, 2002)
The International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life was established in order that scientists of all nations and of all disciplines might share with each other the fruit of their research and contribute jointly to our understanding of the origin of life. The objectives of this Society shall be: (a) to promote research (experimental and theoretical) into the question of the origin of life; (b) to encourage and facilitate the exchange of scientific data on the subject; (c) to encourage international scientific activity on the subject; and (d) to organize and conduct meetings pursuant to these other objectives.
Section 1.1: Membership Classes – The corporation, hereafter referred to as the “Society,” shall have two (2) classes of voting members designated “Full” members and “Provisional” members. Full members are persons who are actively involved in scientific research (experimental or theoretical) in the origin of life field at the time of their application for Membership. Provisional members are persons who qualify as and have been accepted as Full members but who, due to extreme currency exchange difficulties, are unable to pay Membership dues. The voting members shall elect the Executive Council by plurality and shall vote on such other matters as the Executive Council may from time-to-time submit thereto for action. All voting members in good standing are eligible to serve on the Executive Council, if elected. Additionally, the Society shall have one (1) class of non-voting members, designated “Associate.” Associate Membership is open to those professionals and/or students who are not actively engaged in scientific research related to the origin of life field at the time of their application for Membership but who are affiliated with the origin of life scientific community.
From the members Regional Representatives will be appointed by the President for his/her time of office. The appointment can be renewed without time limits. Regional Representatives shall stimulate ISSOL-related activities in their geographic regions and attract new members to ISSOL.
Members may petition to the Secretary, as chairperson of the Membership Committee, to change their Membership status if their research involvement changes.
The Society may have such other class(es) of members as the Executive Council may from time-to-time determine by resolution. All classes of members shall have such designations, rights, powers, and privileges, and be subject to such qualifications, obligations, dues, requirements, and limitations as the Executive Council shall from time-to-time determine by resolution, except as otherwise expressly provided by these By-Laws, by the Articles and/or Certificate of Incorporation (hereinafter referred to as the “Charter”), or by statute.
Section 1.2: Acceptance of Members – Membership shall be multidisciplinary and international. Members shall be accepted on the basis of scientific (experimental or theoretical) contribution to the understanding of the origin of life. Persons desiring to become members must submit a Membership application including sponsorship from two current members of the Society. It is recommended that one sponsor have citizenship other than that of the applicant and that each sponsor submits a brief written assessment of the applicant’s suitability for Membership.
Section 1.3: Membership Committee – The Membership Committee shall consist of the Secretary, two sponsoring members, and any other persons deemed necessary and appropriate to determine the merits of the applicant. Membership applications shall be reviewed and approved by the Membership Committee.
Section 1.4: Termination of Membership – Membership may be terminated for cause by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council. Membership may also be terminated for non-payment of dues for three (3) or more consecutive years (see table below) upon a simple majority vote of the Executive Council. Members shall be deemed “in good standing” with the Society as long as they are not three or more years in arrears in their dues payments. Members who are “delinquent” in their dues payments shall be provided, in writing, an opportunity to pay the amount in arrears or to inform the Society of their intent to pay or of their inability to pay due to currency exchange difficulties. Any members so notified who have not responded after six (6) months shall then be notified in writing that they have been officially dropped from the Membership roles and that to reinstate their Membership they must submit a new Membership application. Exceptions shall be made for Provisional members. The following table shows the standing of members based on their payment status:
|Standing||Payment Status = # Calendar Years Owed|
|owes for current year only||owes for
|Eligible to Vote and
to be Nominated to EC
(“in good standing”)
|Not Eligible to Vote or
to be Nominated to EC
Section 1.5: Membership Dues – Members shall pay dues as set by the Executive Council. Dues invoices shall be mailed to each member in the last quarter of the year for the dues for the coming year. Full members shall pay US$25.00 and Associate members US$15.00 per year through 1999; effective January 1, 2000, Full members shall pay US$35.00 and Associate members US$20.00 per year. Provisional members shall be invoiced for each year’s dues but are forgiven their payment so long as the prohibitive exchange conditions exist in their country. It is understood that Provisional members will pursue identifying a mechanism by which they can pay their dues, but they are not held responsible for dues in arrears once a payment mechanism is identified. The Membership dues collected shall be primarily used to fund travel awards as outlined in Section 6.3.
Dues are acceptable only in the currency of the country of residence of the Treasurer, or, if paid at the triennial Meeting, may be acceptable in the currency of the country in which the Meeting is being held. Acceptable forms of payment include: personal checks, travelers checks, postal or international money orders, or as charges to an American Express credit card. Any form of payment which incurs any banking fees at the expense of the Society is unacceptable. Changes to the form of acceptable dues payments may be made by the Executive Council at any time. Members shall be informed of changes to acceptable forms of payment in the Newsletter or by other written notice.
Section 1.6: Travel Fund Contributions – Members may at any time make any size contribution to the Society’s travel funds above and beyond their required annual Membership dues. All contributors shall be thanked and acknowledged by name (with no mention of amount) in the Society Newsletter.
All funds collected as dues payments or travel fund contributions shall be deposited into the appropriate bank account until the time at which the funds are awarded and disbursed as travel awards as outlined in Section 5.3.
MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
Section 2.1: Triennial Meeting – A meeting, open to all Society members and other interested professionals, shall be held every third year for the purpose of exchanging and reporting results from their scientific research in the origin of life field. The date for any triennial meeting may be selected by resolution of the Executive Council.
Section 2.2: Special Meetings – Special meetings of the voting members for any purpose(s) may be called by the Executive Council or by the President, and must be called at the written request, stating the purpose(s) of the meeting, of a simple majority of the voting members of the Society. The Executive Council may from time-to-time create and authorize meeting(s) of one or more classes of members for any purpose(s) deemed appropriate by the Executive Council, consistent with the Charter and these By-Laws. Any such authorizing resolution shall specify the time, place, purpose(s), and rules and regulations of and pertaining to the calling, holding, conduct, and powers of such meeting(s) and class(es) of members.
Section 2.3: Place of Meetings – The location of each triennial meeting shall be decided by the Executive Council at or shortly after the prior meeting. Members interested in hosting the triennial meeting shall present a formal proposal to the Executive Council at their meeting during the triennial scientific meeting. A Site Selection Committee may be formed to evaluate proposed sites and select a location to ensure that the meeting shall be consistent with typical triennial meetings. Meetings of the voting members may be held at such place(s) as shall be fixed by the Executive Council and stated in the notice of the meeting, provided however that the regular triennial meeting of members shall not be held in the same country twice in succession.
Section 2.4: Notice of Meetings – A notice stating the place, day, and hour of the triennial meeting or any special meeting(s) shall be delivered to each voting member not less than thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.
Section 2.5: Voting and Quorum – At or before each triennial and special meeting, each voting member in “good standing” at that time shall be entitled to be present and cast one vote in person or by proxy on all matters properly brought before such meetings at which a quorum is present. Members are considered to be “in good standing” if they owe no more than the current calendar year’s dues at the time the election is called (see Section 1.4). At each triennial and special meeting, the presence in person or by proxy of a simple majority of the voting members in good standing at that time shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting Society business. Approval of any action to be taken at such meeting(s) at which a quorum is present shall require the affirmative vote of not less than a simple majority of the voting members present in person or by proxy.
Section 2.6: Co-sponsorship of Meetings – ISSOL may agree to serve as a co-sponsor for meetings or sessions of meetings convened by organizations other than ISSOL. Requests for ISSOL’s co-sponsorship of another meeting must be made by or through a current member of the Society; the member must be sufficiently knowledgeable about the other meeting or organization to vouch for the appropriateness of ISSOL’s connection to that other meeting or organization. Criterion for suitability include: that a significant portion of the program of the other meeting is relevant to the origin of life community and that speakers presenting origin of life-related materials be reputable scientists in the field as determined by the Executive Council. It is desirable that prior to the meeting the planned program be reviewed by a member of the Executive Council and that there be some participation of ISSOL members in the program.
Agreement by the Executive Council for ISSOL to co-sponsor any meeting in no way commits ISSOL to provide funding. Requests for resources are to be reviewed by the Executive Council on a case-by-case basis. If resources are to be provided, the request for sponsorship must be formalized, reviewed, and approved by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council. Additionally, ISSOL must be acknowledged in the printed announcements, circulars, and programs of the meeting. An announcement of any meeting that ISSOL agrees to co-sponsor shall appear in the Society Newsletter prior to the meeting and a summary of the proceedings shall appear in the Newsletter after the meeting.
Section 3.1: Definitions – Wherever used herein, the words “Executive Council” shall refer to and mean the Society’s “board of directors,” and the word “councillor” shall mean “director.” To the extent that any duties, rights, powers, or privileges are bestowed or imposed upon the directors or the board of directors by the corporate charter, articles of incorporation, or any law or statute, the same are imposed upon the Councillors and Executive Council.
Section 3.2: Composition of Executive Council – The number of Councillors comprising the full Executive Council shall be seventeen (17). The number of Councillors may be increased or decreased from time-to-time by amendment of these By-Laws, but shall never be less than three (3). The Executive Council shall consist of the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and twelve (12) ordinary Councillors who are not officers of the Society. The immediate past officers and the editor of the society journal shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Executive Council.
Section 3.3: Voting – At each election for Councillors and officers every member entitled to vote shall have the right to cast, in person or by proxy, one (1) vote for one candidate for each vacancy to be filled by the election. Members are considered to be “in good standing” if they owe no more than 1 year in addition to the current calendar year’s dues at the time the election is called (see Section 1.4).
Section 3.4: Election of Councillors and Officers – Regular elections shall occur in the months immediately prior to each triennial meeting of the Membership. The following shall be elected for three-year terms of office: President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and twelve ordinary Councillors plus two (2) Student Councillors not older than 35 years. The newly elected Councillors and Officers will serve as ex officio members (without voting privileges) at the first set of EC Meetings immediately following the general elections (e.g., during the subsequent triennial meeting), and officially assume their duties at the conclusion of the ISSOL Open Business Meeting. By reason of their election to such offices, each officer shall also be a Councillor during his/her term in the office to which he/she is elected. No member shall be elected to the same seat on the Council for more than two consecutive terms except the Secretary who, if re-elected, may serve more than two consecutive terms in order to provide continuity and stability to the administration of the Society.
Section 3.5: Nominating Committee – The Executive Council shall, not less than six (6) months nor more than twelve (12) months before a regular election, approve a Nominating Committee, which shall nominate a slate of candidates from all eligible members (i.e. Full and Provisional members in good standing; see Section 1.4), for the vacancies for officers and Councillors to be filled at the next election. No nominee shall be included in the ballot unless they are members in good standing, accept the nomination and the designated tasks of the office if elected, and unless they are approved by a simple majority vote of the Executive Council.
The Nominating Committee shall consist of five (5) members of the Society, including: the Secretary, two other members of the Executive Council and two members of the Society who are not members of the Executive Council. The Secretary shall serve as chairperson of the Nominating Committee and shall propose the members of the Nominating Committee to the Executive Council for approval. Nominations for any office or the position of Councilor may be made in writing to any member of the Nominating Committee by any voting member of the Society pursuant to procedures which shall be established by the Executive Council. Members of the Nominating Committee are not excluded from being nominated to be on the ballot.
Two (2) final nominees for each Officer seat, sixteen (16) nominees for the twelve (12) Councillor seats and three (3) nominees for the two (2) Student Councillors shall be compiled by the Nominating Committee and distributed as an official ballot to every voting member not less than six (6) months before the election. The completed ballots shall be returned by the voters to the office of the Secretary no less than two (2) months prior to the first scheduled meeting of the newly elected Executive Council which occurs at the next triennial meeting. The Secretary shall tally the ballots and notify all candidates of the results no less than six (6) weeks prior to the scheduled meeting.
Section 3.6: Vacancies – If the office of President shall become vacant during a term of office, one of the following officers shall succeed to the presidency and serve as President for the remainder of his/her predecessor’s term in this order of succession: First Vice President, Second Vice President.
If a vacancy shall occur in the office of First Vice President, Second Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary, the Executive Council may appoint a member from the Executive Council to fill the vacancy until the next regular election.
If a vacancy occurs in the Executive Council it may be left vacant, or if the Executive Council agrees, it may be filled by a simple majority vote of the remaining Councillors or by the voting members.
Section 3.7: Powers – The management of all the business, property, and affairs of the Society shall be vested in the Executive Council. The Executive Council may exercise all of the powers of the Society and perform all lawful acts (including the adoption of such rules and regulations for the conduct of its meetings, the exercise of its powers, and the management of the Society, as it may deem proper), consistent with the statute, the Charter, and these By-Laws, and not thereby conferred upon or reserved to the members.
Section 3.8: Meetings and Notice – The meeting of the Executive Council for the conduct of such business as shall come before the Council may be held as a closed meeting during the triennial meeting of the Society. The meeting shall be announced in advance in the pre-meeting issue of the Society Newsletter and all members of the Society shall be offered an opportunity to suggest items to be added to the agenda.
An Open Business Meeting shall be convened at the triennial meeting but after the Executive Council Meeting at which the minutes of the Executive Council Meeting shall be reported to the general Membership.
Regular meetings of the Executive Council may be established by the Executive Council. Special meetings of the Executive Council may be called by the President and shall be called at the written request of a simple majority of the Councillors. Thirty (30) days notice of special meetings shall be given by mail, fax, electronic mail, telegraph, or cable, to each director. Notice of special meetings should state the purpose(s) thereof. Meetings of the Executive Council may be held at any location.
Section 3.9: Quorum and Action – A simple majority of the Executive Council, including at least one officer, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. At any duly held meeting at which a quorum is present the affirmative vote of a simple majority of the Councillors present shall be the act of the Executive Council on any question, except where the act of a greater number is required by these By-Laws, by the Charter, or by statute. The presiding officer’s vote shall be counted only for deciding tie votes.
Section 3.10: Removal – Any one or more of the Councillors may be removed: (a) either for or without cause, at any time, by vote of a simple majority of the voting members in good standing at any regular meeting, or at any special meeting thereof, the notice of which refers to such removal, or (b) for cause, by the affirmative vote of a simple majority of the entire Executive Council at any regular or special meeting of the Executive Council.
Section 3.11: Committees – The Executive Council, by resolution adopted by a simple majority of the entire Council, may designate from its members an Executive Committee consisting of two or more Councillors, with such powers and authority (to the extent permitted by law) as may be provided in said resolution.
Prior to the triennial meeting the following Committees shall be formed and charged as described:
International Oversight Committee – The International Oversight Committee (IOC) shall ensure that the scientific, social, and accommodation plans for the meeting are satisfactory to provide a level of quality which meets or exceeds that of prior triennial meetings. An outline of such plans, known as a “Meeting Proposal,” shall be provided to the IOC by those proposing to host the triennial meeting. The chairperson and members of the IOC shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Council.
Site Selection Committee – The Site Selection Committee may make site visits to ensure that the proposed meeting site will result in the meeting being of a quality commensurate with typical past triennial meetings. The chairperson and members of the Site Selection Committee shall be appointed by the President.
Local Organizing Committee – The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) shall make all the detailed local arrangements for the triennial meeting. The LOC shall be chaired by the Society member who proposed to host the triennial; members of the LOC shall be selected by the chairperson. An outline of the meeting plans shall be provided to the IOC by the LOC as a formal proposal. The LOC shall name a Scientific Program/Abstract sub-committee which shall solicit, collect, evaluate, and select the abstracts of papers and posters to be presented at the triennial meeting; the sub-committee shall also notify accepted authors and shall prepare a detailed tentative program for publication in the pre-meeting issue of the Newsletter. The LOC shall also form a Best Poster Committee who shall review all posters displayed at the triennial meeting and select the one they deem ‘the best;’ the Committee shall present the award at the Open Business Meeting.
Oparin/Urey Award Committee – The Oparin/Urey Award Committee shall solicit, collect, and review nominations for the award and shall select and notify the awardee. The Oparin/Urey Award Committee shall be chaired by the prior recipient of the award who shall select the Committee members; the Committee shall be approved by the Executive Council (see Section 5.1 for more details). The identity of the recipient shall remain confidential until announced at the awards banquet at the close of the triennial meeting. The names and nomination materials for the runner-up and second runner-up nominees for the Society’s Medal at each balloting shall be passed to the chair of the next Committee so that such nominees can be reconsidered by that Committee after having solicited formal renomination letters for such candidates from the original nominators.
ISSOL Fellows Selection Committee - The ISSOL Fellows Selection Committee shall solicit, collect, and review nominations for the award and shall select and notify the awardees. The President shall name the Committee chairperson and those Councillors not nominated shall serve as the Fellows Selection Committee (see Section 5.2 for more details). The identities of the recipients shall remain confidential until announced at the awards banquet at the close of the triennial meeting.
ISSOL Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee - The ISSOL Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee shall solicit, collect, and review nominations for the award and shall select and notify the awardees. The President shall name the Committee chairperson and three (3) members of the Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee from the Society Fellows (see Section 5.3 for more details). The identities of the recipients shall remain confidential until announced at the awards banquet at the close of the triennial meeting.
ISSOL Best Poster Award Selection Committee – The ISSOL Best Poster Award Selection Committee built by the LOC will select from all posters displayed at the triennial meeting, ‘the best’ poster. The award will be presented at the Open Business Meeting.
Election Committee – The Election Committee shall solicit, collect, and review nominations; shall construct a ballot and have it approved by the Executive Council; shall distribute, collect, verify, and tally ballots, and shall inform all nominees of the results of the election as soon as they are known and shall inform the general Society Membership at the triennial meeting and in the post-meeting issue of the Newsletter. The Election Committee shall be chaired by the Secretary who shall propose the members; the Committee shall then be approved by the Executive Council (see Section 3.5 for more details).
Travel Awards Committee - The Travel Awards Committee shall solicit, collect, and review applications for partial travel support of members to the triennial meetings. The Committee shall be chaired and named by the Treasurer. The Committee shall select the recipients and distribute the awarded funds (see Section 5.5 for more details).
Section 4.1: Officers – The officers of the corporation shall be a President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary, all of whom shall be elected as set forth in ARTICLE 3.
Section 4.2: Other Officers – The Executive Council may appoint, remove, and replace such other officers, including assistant officers and agents, with such powers and duties as it shall deem necessary. The Executive Council may by resolution authorize the President to appoint, remove, and replace such other officers.
Section 4.3: The President – The President shall preside at all meetings of the members and Executive Council. When the Executive Council is not in session he/she shall have general management and control of the business and affairs of the corporation. The President shall appoint (1) Regional Representatives for his/her time of office from the list of members; (2) Chairperson of the International Oversight Committee; (3) Chairperson of the Site Selection Committee; (4) Chairperson of the ISSOL Fellows Nominating Committee; (5) ISSOL Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee (Chairperson and the three (3) members) from the list of Society Fellows. The President shall affix the seal of the corporation to deeds, contracts and other instruments in writing requiring a seal, when duly signed or when so approved by the Executive Council. If required by applicable laws, the President has responsibility for preparing the Society’s income tax forms
Section 4.4: The Vice–Presidents – The First Vice President shall, in the absence or disability of the President, exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President, and each Vice President shall exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by the Executive Council. These may include: responsibility for organizing and administering meetings, production of special publications, and fund-raising activities. The First Vice President shall be responsible for overseeing the planning of the triennial meetings.
The Second Vice President shall in the absence or disability of the First Vice President and President, exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President. The Second Vice-President shall serve as the Editor of the Society Newsletter and take the responsibility of the ISSOL website.
Section 4.5: The Treasurer – The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds, property, and evidences of indebtedness of the Society. He/she shall receive and give receipts and a quittance for moneys paid on account of the corporation, and shall pay out of the funds on hand all bills, payrolls, and other just debts of the corporation, of whatever nature, upon maturity. He/she shall regularly enter in records, to be kept by him/her for that purpose, full and accurate accounts of all moneys received and paid out by him/her on account of the corporation, and he/she shall perform all other duties incident to the office of Treasurer and as may be prescribed by the Executive Council.
The Treasurer shall be chairperson of the Finance Committee, which is appointed by the Secretary in agreement with the President from the list of Councillors and shall prepare an operating budget covering his/her three-year term and shall present it to the Executive Council at the triennial meeting.
The Treasurer shall keep and maintain the Membership files for individual members and transfer this list to the secretary periodically. The Treasurer shall distribute annual Membership dues invoices to each member and shall receive payment of such invoices. The Treasurer shall keep records of all dues payments received and shall deposit the funds to the Society’s bank accounts.
The Treasurer shall serve as the chairperson of the Travel Awards Committee. He/she shall appoint a Travel Awards Committee and then shall solicit, receive, and select applications for travel awards, and finally shall notify awardees and the Executive Council of the Committees’ final decisions.
Section 4.6: The Secretary – The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all proceedings of the Executive Council meetings. He/she shall attend to the giving and serving of all notices to the members and directors or other notice required by law or by these By-Laws; and he/she shall perform all other duties pertinent to the office of Secretary and as may be prescribed by the Executive Council.
The Secretary shall serve as the chairperson of the Membership Committee. He/she shall collect and review all applications for Membership and shall formally inform the applicant of the decision of the Committee.
The Secretary shall appoint, in agreement with the President, two (2) members of the Finance Committee from the list of Councillors.
The Secretary shall keep and maintain the correspondence and business files of the Society. He/she shall prepare a Membership roster for distribution at or shortly after each triennial meeting.
The Secretary shall keep records of statistics regarding the triennial meetings and Society demographics. At each triennial meeting the Secretary shall report to the Executive Council on the activities of his/her office for the prior three years (Membership statistics, election results and statistics, Newsletter production, distribution, and costs, and any other operating costs incurred).
The Secretary shall serve as the chairperson of the Election Nominating Committee. He/she shall appoint a Nominating Committee which shall be approved by the Executive Council. He/she shall place a call for nominations in the Newsletter. He/she shall compile a ballot based on the nominations and have it approved by the Executive Council prior to distribution to all voting members. The Secretary shall collect and tally the ballots, and notify the Executive Council and all candidates of the results; he/she shall call the newly elected Executive Council to a meeting at the next triennial meeting and shall construct an agenda for that meeting including issues brought forth by members.
The Secretary shall be responsible for providing the mounted and/or framed Oparin and/or Urey medallion, the ISSOL Fellows plaques, the Stanley L. Miller Award as well as the Best Poster Award to be presented at the triennial meeting.
The Secretary shall prepare the Society’s bi-annual United States income tax forms, also known as “Annual Reports.”
Section 4.7: The Councillors – The Councillors shall serve to advise the Executive Council when requested, attend the meetings of Executive Council at the triennial meetings, and vote on items placed before the Executive Council. They shall serve as ‘correspondents’ for the Society Newsletter, submitting materials as requested by the Editor. Finally, they shall serve on the ISSOL Fellows Selection Committee, except in the event that they have been nominated to be a Fellow (see Section 3.11 for details).
Section 5.1: Oparin and Urey Medallions – The Society shall alternately present two awards for “the best sustained scientific research program in the origin of life field.” The two awards shall be designated the A.I. Oparin and H.C. Urey Awards. One award shall be presented at each triennial meeting such that each award is presented at alternate triennial meetings; the awards shall be identical in selection criterion and stature, and shall be comparable in physical format.
An Oparin/Urey Award Selection Committee shall be formed no sooner than twelve (12) months and no later than six (6) months prior to the triennial meeting. The prior recipient of the award shall serve as the chairperson of the Oparin/Urey Award Selection Committee for each new award. A formal call for nominations shall appear in the Newsletter providing the details of the acceptable nomination process and format. Nominations shall be in the form of a letters of ~250 words describing the nominee’s contributions to the field accompanied by a list of not more than ten (10) of the nominee’s major publications. Nominees must be members of the Society.
The identity of the recipient shall remain confidential between the time of the final selection and the formal announcement except for informing key persons as determined by the chairperson of the Oparin/Urey Award Selection Committee. The announcement of the recipient and presentation of the medallion shall be made by the prior recipient and chairperson of the Oparin/Urey Award Selection Committee at the closing banquet of the triennial meeting. The recipient shall also be announced in the post-meeting issue of the Newsletter.
No member shall either be awarded twice nor awarded with both awards; the awards may only be bestowed upon members of the Society.
Section 5.2: ISSOL Fellows – The Society shall designate Fellows of ISSOL based on a members’ demonstrated “exceptional and sustained contributions to the origin of life through scientific research, educational activities, or service to the Society or to this scientific community.” A number of Fellows corresponding to less than or equal to 1% of the current Membership roles shall be named at each triennial meeting. A Fellows Nominating Committee shall be formed no sooner than twelve (12) months and no later than six (6) months prior to the triennial meeting. ISSOL’s 12 Councillors will serve as the Fellows Nominating Committee, and each Councillor shall submit at least one nomination. The President shall name a chairperson of the Nominating Committee.
A formal call for nominations shall appear in the Newsletter providing the details of the acceptable nomination process and format. Nominations shall be in the form of a letters of ~250 words describing the nominee’s contributions to the Society or the field.
A Fellows Selection Committee shall then be formed consisting of the Nominating Committee minus any Councillors who may have been nominated. The President shall name a Chairperson of the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee shall vote for the specified number of Fellows from the slate of nominees (in the event of a tie the Chair will vote).
The identities of the newly named Fellows shall remain confidential between the time of the final selection and the formal announcement except for informing key persons as determined by the chairperson of the selection Committee. The announcement of the recipients and presentation of the plaques shall be made by the chairperson of the Fellows Selection Committee at the closing banquet of the triennial meeting. The newly named Fellows shall also be announced in the post-meeting issue of the Newsletter.
The designation of Fellow is a lifetime appointment and no member shall be named an ISSOL Fellow more than once; fellowship may only be bestowed upon members of the Society. Urey and Oparin recipients will automatically be named ISSOL Fellows.
The ISSOL Fellows shall form the Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee and one of them will be appointed as chairperson by the President. The announcement of the recipient and presentation of the award shall be made by the chairperson of the Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee at the closing banquet of the triennial meeting.
Section 5.3: Stanley L. Miller Award
The Society shall present at each triennial meeting a Stanley L. Miller Award for outstanding contributions by a young scientist (under the age of 37) to origins of life research. A Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee shall be formed no sooner than twelve (12) months and no later than six (6) months prior to the triennial meeting by the ISSOL Fellows appointed by the President.
A formal call for nominations shall appear in the Newsletter providing the details of the acceptable nomination process and format. Nominations shall be in the form of a letters of ~250 words describing the nominee’s contributions to the field accompanied by a list of not more than ten (10) of the nominee’s major publications. Nominees do not have to be members of the Society.
The identity of the recipient shall remain confidential between the time of the final selection and the formal announcement except for informing key persons as determined by the chairperson of the Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee. The announcement of the recipient and presentation of the award shall be made by the chairperson of the Stanley L. Miller Award Selection Committee at the closing banquet of the triennial meeting. The recipient shall also be announced in the post-meeting issue of the Newsletter.
Section 5.4: Best Poster Award –
From all posters displayed at the triennial meeting, ‘the best’ poster will be selected by the LOC and the “Best Poster Award” will be presented at the Open Business Meeting.
Section 5.5: Travel Awards – Travel awards shall be distributed to members of ISSOL to partially cover the transportation costs to the triennial meeting and meetings which ISSOL is co-sponsoring. Awards shall be made in such a way as to foster the participation of as many young scientists as feasible at the triennial meeting. Applicants must have been accepted to make an oral or poster presentation at the meeting in question and must provide a copy of the accepted abstract with their application.
A Travel Awards Committee shall be formed no sooner than twelve (12) months and no later than six (6) months prior to the triennial meeting. The Travel Awards Committee shall be named and chaired by the Treasurer. A formal call for applications shall appear in the Newsletter providing the details of the acceptable application process and format. The Treasurer shall collect the applications and shall together with the Travel Awards Committee select the applicants and determine the individual award levels. The Treasurer shall notify the awardees in time so that travel plans for the meeting can be made. The recipients of travel funds shall also be announced in the Newsletter and in the Treasurer’s report to the Executive Council.
The Executive Council may from time-to-time agree to co-sponsor a meeting and to offer partial travel awards to members of ISSOL who have been accepted to make oral or poster presentations at those meetings. Agreement to co-sponsor a meeting does not imply or guarantee any provision of travel funds. Meetings which ISSOL agrees to co-sponsor shall be announced in the Newsletter. Recipients of travel funds for co-sponsored meetings shall be named in the Newsletter.
Funds from two accounts shall be awarded and distributed as travel grants. The general fund into which all collected Membership dues are deposited shall be essentially all distributed for travel awards, withholding only those funds necessary for payment of other debts as determined by the Executive Council upon the recommendation of the Secretary and Treasurer. Additionally, earnings accrued between triennial meetings on the David H. White Memorial travel fund shall be 100% distributed for travel awards; the principal of this account shall not be distributed but shall be held in an interest-bearing account to accrue earnings.
Section 6.1: Newsletter – A Newsletter containing information pertinent to the Society, its members, the origin of life community, and origin of life field of scientific research shall be produced and distributed to each member free of charge two-to-three times annually.
Articles, announcements, letters-to-the-editor, and other items shall be accepted from members and non-members so long as they are deemed by the Editor to be of potential interest to the members. The Newsletter shall particularly contain announcements pertinent to the official business of the Society, such as: call for nominations for the Oparin/Urey and ISSOL Fellows awards, announcement of availability of travel funds, call for nominations for seats on the Executive Council, call for abstracts for the triennial meeting, tentative program for the triennial meetings, session summaries from the triennial meetings, election results, names of the recipients of any Society awards, official minutes of any meetings of the Executive Council (including the official reports of the Secretary and Treasurer), or any meetings open to the general Membership. Materials in the Newsletter shall be presented at a non-technical level which is accessible to the general membership.
The issue immediately prior to the triennial meeting shall contain a tentative program for the meeting as prepared by the Scientific Program/Abstract Sub-committee of the Local Organizing Committee; the issue immediately after each triennial meeting shall contain summaries of each scientific session, as prepared by the session co-chairpersons, and the official minutes of the Executive Council (including the reports of the Secretary and Treasurer) and Open Business meetings conducted at the triennial meeting; a preliminary report from the Local Organizing Committee on the financial status of the meeting shall also be included. The post-meeting Newsletter shall also contain the results of the election of the Executive Council, the results of the awarding of the ISSOL Oparin and/or Urey medallions, the newly named ISSOL Fellows, and summaries of other events held during the week of the triennial meeting as deemed appropriate by the Executive Council.
A copy of the post-Meeting issue of the Newsletter shall be provided to all participants of each Triennial Meeting. Non-members expressing an interest in the Society’s activities or in becoming a member may receive one complimentary copy of the Newsletter at any time.
Section 6.2: Official Journal – The official journal of the Society shall be the Origin of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere. The Editor shall be a member of the Society appointed by the Executive Council. Nominees for the position of Editor shall be proposed to the Executive Council and the current Editorial Board by a committee chaired by the current Editor.
Section 6.3: Other Publications and Media – The Executive Council may elect to produce other printed publications, videos, films, audio tapes, web pages, and/or electronic files and documents as the need or desire arises. Any such materials shall only be an official communication of the Society if approved by the Executive Council.
Circulars for the triennial meeting are to be produced by the Local Organizing Committee for each triennial meeting. The meeting circulars shall be automatically distributed to each member and may be distributed to other interested parties. It is recommended that such circulars be approved by the International Oversight Committee of the triennial meeting to ensure completeness and correctness.
Section 7.1: Corporate Seal – The Executive Council shall provide a corporate seal stating the corporate name, and location and year of incorporation, which shall be in the charge of the Secretary and shall be used as authorized by these By-Laws.
Section 7.2: Fiscal Year – The corporation’s fiscal year shall consist of twelve months which shall close annually on December 31 each year.
Section 7.3: Checks – All checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the corporation shall be signed by such officer(s) or agent(s) of the corporation, and in such manner as shall be determined from time-to-time by resolution of the Executive Council.
Section 7.4: Notice and Waiver of Notice – Any notice of meetings required under these By-Laws to be given to members and/or directors may be waived in writing signed by the person(s) entitled to such notice, whether before or after the time stated therein. All notices required by these By-Laws shall be printed or written, and shall be delivered either personally or by fax, electronic mail, telegraph, cable or mail, and, if mailed, shall be deemed to be delivered when mailed, postage-prepaid and addressed to the member or director at his/her address as it appears on the records of the Society.
Section 7.5: Action By Written Consent in lieu of Meeting – Except as otherwise provided in these By-Laws, any action of the members or Executive Council or of any Committee thereof may be taken without a meeting provided that such action shall be set forth in a written proposed resolution and submitted to the members entitled to vote on same. If a simple majority of all members entitled to vote with respect to such resolution shall consent in writing to its adoption, such consent shall have the same force and effect as adoption of the resolution in a regularly held meeting. Provided however, that Title 29 Chapter 10 of the District of Columbia Code requires certain actions to be taken at a meeting of the members or the Executive Council, and such actions shall be taken in meetings as heretofore set forth or may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing, setting forth the action so taken, shall be signed by all of the members entitled to vote with respect to the subject matter thereof, or of all the Councillors, as the case may be.
Section 7.6: Amendments – These By-Laws may be altered, amended, or repealed by a vote of two-thirds of the Executive Council at any regular or special meeting thereof or by a vote of two-thirds of the Executive Council by a ballot conducted by mail or fax if all members of the Executive Council consent in writing to such a ballot by mail or fax in lieu of meeting.
Section 7.7: Merger or Voluntary Dissolution – Merger or voluntary dissolution shall require a resolution adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Council recommending that the Society be dissolved or merged. The question shall thereafter be submitted to a vote of the voting members at a regular or special meeting. The notice of any such meeting shall state that a vote on dissolution or merger of the Society will be one of the purposes of the meeting.
Section 7.8: Charter and Statute – The corporation shall be limited to doing only those acts authorized and permitted by and not contrary to its Charter and the U.S. Non–Profit Corporation Law under which it is incorporated and any tax law under which it secures any measure of tax exempt statute.
Section 7.9: Registered Office – The corporation shall maintain a registered office in the District of Columbia, U.S.A. and a registered agent thereat, subject to change thereof in the manner prescribed by U.S. law. Registered offices may be maintained in other jurisdictions as determined from time-to-time by resolution of the Executive Council.
Section 7.10: Other Offices – The corporation may have such other offices and places of business within or without the District of Columbia as the Executive Council shall determine.
Section 7.11: Language – The official languages of the Society shall be English, French, and Russian. The working language shall be English.
Section 7.12: Depository – Unless otherwise provided by resolution of the Executive Council, the funds of the Society shall be deposited in a bank in Switzerland or in the country wherein the Treasurer resides. All funds collected as dues payments or travel fund contributions shall be deposited into the appropriate banking account until the time at which the funds are awarded and disbursed as outlined in Section 5.3.
Section 7.13: Official Logo – The official Society logo may only be used with the approval of the Executive Council and may only be used for the benefit of the Society and its members.