AGM April 2014 (minutes)

Minutes of the YCG AGM 2014
7th April 2014, University of Loughborough

Committee members present

Anna Warren (AW), Nicholas Funnell (NS), Lauren Hatcher (LEH), Anthony Phillips (AEP), Kate Wittering (KW), Pascal Parois (PP), Anna Polyakova (AP), Lucy Saunders (LS), Sarah Gurung (SG).

1. Formalities

1.1. Acceptance of Agenda

Accepted by William Lewis, seconded by PP.

1.2. Apologies for Absence

Helen Mason (HM) and Issy Kirby (IK).

1.3. Matters Arising


2. Elections to Committee

2.1. Chair

AW completes a 2 year term as Chair. 1 nomination for the position was received: Scott McKellar (SMK) was nominated by AW and this nomination was seconded by NF. The position was awarded with no objections.

2.2. Secretary / Treasurer

LEH completes a 2 year term as Secretary / Treasurer. 1 nomination for the position was received: Claire Hobday (CH) was nominated by SMK and the nomination seconded by Andrew Maloney (AM). The position was awarded with no objections.

2.3. CCG representative

HM completes a 2 year term as CCG representative. 1 nomination was received: Jorge Sotelo (JS) was nominated by AM and seconded by SMK. The position was awarded with no objections.

2.4. IG representative

KW completes a 2 year term as IG representative. 1 nomination was received for this position: Anneke Klapwijk was nominated by Karen Robertson (KR) and seconded by Louise Hamdy (LH). The position was awarded with no objections.

2.5. PCG Representative

AEP completes a 2 year term as PCG representative. 2 nominations were received for this position:

  • Jerome Wicker – nominated by Karim Sutton, seconded by PP.
  • Peter Thygesen – nominated by NF, seconded by Matt Cliffe.

A close vote saw Jerome Wicker (JW) elected to the position.

2.6. Ordinary Member

IK completes a 2 year term as ordinary member, leaving one possible opening on the committee. 1 nomination was received for this position: KW was nominated by LH and the nomination seconded by KR. The position was awarded with no objections.
As outgoing chair, AW is additionally co-opted back onto the committee in an advisory role (as per Section 3.I.F of the YCG Constitution) until the 2015 AGM.

The new and returning members were welcomed onto the committee, which is now comprised as follows:

  • YCG Chair: Scott McKellar
  • Vice Chair: Nicholas Funnell
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Claire Hobday
  • CCG rep: Jorge Sotelo
  • IG rep: Anneke Klapwijk
  • PCG rep: Jerome Wicker
  • BSG rep: Anna Polyakova
  • Ordinary Members:
    • Lucy Saunders
    • Sarah Gurung
    • Kate Wittering
  • Co-opted: Anna Warren

3. Reports

3.1. Chair’s Report (AW)

This year’s satellite meeting has been organised to follow the format that has been established in previous years. We received numerous numbers of abstracts, with many of our speakers being selected to speak at the main meeting. This year our plenary speakers were Iain Oswald from the University of Strathclyde and Elspeth Garman from the University of Oxford. This year’s Parkin lecture was awarded to Claire Murray from Diamond Light Source which she will be presenting tomorrow morning, along with our amusingly themed session ‘Are Crystallographers Still Necessary?’ This session is being presented by Simon Coles from the University of Southampton and Graeme Winter from Diamond Light Source, it is meant as a discussion session, so get ready with your questions to get involved. Finally, this year we have a joint session with the IG in the main meeting on Wednesday afternoon entitled ‘Getting a Job.’ I highly recommend everyone attending this session where we will have 3 speakers, one from academia, one from a small university spin out company and one from a large multinational company. Is it meant to give an insight into all of the different options available to you after finishing your PhDs, and again a large section of this will be question and answers.

At this year’s AGM there are a number of posts up for nomination. Lauren Hatcher steps down as our secretary/treasurer having spent a number of years on the committee. I’m sure on behalf of myself and the rest of the committee that we would all agree in thanking Lauren for all her hard work and efforts over the past few years. Helen Mason, Kate Wittering and Anthony Phillips are stepping down as CCG, IG and PCG rep respectively, and Issy Kirby retires as an Ordinary Member. All four have put in huge efforts to the committee and we really appreciate all their hard work over the last few years. Particular thanks go to Anthony for his help for the planning of this year’s BCA Spring Meeting. Finally, I step down this year as chair, but will be co-opted onto the committee for another year in an advisory capacity during this change over period.

The YCG over the past year has been involved with a number of outreach events. The main one being the Big Bang fair in March at the Birmingham NEC. This was a 4 day event which saw over 75,000 visitors some of whom visited our stall ‘The Structure of Stuff is Sweet,’ to learn about crystallography in a variety of exciting ways. This was funded by the STFC, Diamond and ISIS, and was a huge success. Thanks go to all the YCGs who were involved!

We have also recently been involved again in the Diamond Open Days which took place in March. Here we held a number of different activities to explain what crystallography is and why it is useful. Thanks go to all the volunteers, who helped out, with special thanks going to Nick Funnell and Sam Horrell for help with the organisation.

We are still enquiring to a number of different routes to receive funding to cover the cost of our meeting, having so far only received funding to cover outreach events. This is proving difficult to find suitable funding bodies to cover such events. We are happy to receive suggestions if anyone has any ideas.

The YCG/BCA will be attending the Cheltenham Science Festival in June this year. We will be holding two events at Cheltenham, an interactive stand for over 16s, where there will be hands on activities to learn about crystallography. The second event will be a panel discussion jointly sponsored by the British Society of Immunology, here there will be two speakers talking about how crystallography is useful to deciphering information about your immune system. As these events will have a biological twist it was decided to use some of the outreach money that the YCG was awarded from the Biochemical Society to cover some of the costs of these events.

The YCG are keen to be involved and encourage others to get involved with outreach events. If you are interested in being added to the mailing list to hear about future events please come see us at the end of the AGM to give us your email address.

3.2. Secretary’s Report (LEH)

At the start of 2013 the YCG accounts were looking particularly healthy, thanks to an award from the Biochemical Society in 2012 to fund Outreach activities and, additionally, to Allan Pang for a £500 donation in September 2012. As a result, a balance of £1,384 was carried over at the end of 2013.

This year has once again been busy for the YCG with regard to our Outreach contributions and the majority of our financial transactions in 2013 – 2014 have reflected this activity. As reported in August, we contributed £51.44 of our award funds to purchase a set of diffraction gratings for use at Outreach events.
In September, several YCG volunteers helped to man the BCA stall at the British Science Festival in Newcastle and YCG funds were contributed to help cover their expenses. As promised in my 2013 report, Allan Pang’s £500 donation was used to cover these, helping to contribute to the BCA’s costs for this event. The Festival was also used as a platform to promote the Biochemical Society, in recognition of our Outreach award.

As a result of this expenditure, at the end of 2013 our final account balance was £852.33.

In spite of these transactions, there remains a substantial amount of the Biochemical Society grant money to be spent and, as such, we propose that the YCG contribute towards two events that will be hosted by the BCA at the upcoming Cheltenham Science Festival. Given that one of these events is to be held jointly with the British Society of Immunology, this seems a particularly appropriate use of the grant money, which was awarded with a view to the promotion of biochemical research.

The committee are always keen to hear of any potential funding opportunities, whether for Outreach activities or more general funding that might contribute towards our satellite meetings. Please direct any suggestions to the incoming Secretary/Treasurer.

4. YCG Outreach

The outcome of previous Outreach events involving YCG members and outline of future plans were thought to have been covered adequately in Section 3.

5. YCG Finance

The financial position of the group was outlined in Section 3.2. AW additionally reminded members of the difficulties the group faces in finding funding sources that are not already linked with the main BCA. AW encouraged any members who might know of funding opportunities to contact a member of the committee.

6. Date of the YCM AGM 2015

The next AGM will be held at the YCG satellite in 2015 at the University of York, which is likely to be held on Monday 30th March 2015.

7. Any Other Current Business

7.1. YCG committee meeting

AW reminded the new committee of the upcoming committee meeting at the University of Loughborough.

8. Close

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