(slighthy modified version of an article published
in Toxicon 25, 3-21, 1987; reprinted with the permission
of the publisher and of the author)
The idea for the formation of a society, this Society,
devoted to the study of the naturally occurring animal poisons
and venoms probably originated with Mrs Eleanor E.Buckley of Wyeth
Laboratories, who organized and directed the first international
conference on venoms of the A.A.A.S. (The American Association
for the Advancement of Science), held in Berkeley, California,
in 1954. The proceedings of that meeting were published as Venoms
(1956), and one might suggest that this book, along with the fine
text of E.Kaiser and H.Michl, Die Biochemie der tierischen
Gifte (1958) marked the beginning of the modern period of
the science we now know as "toxinology".
I well recall Mrs Buckley asking Dr L.M.Klauber,
Professor A.Tyler, Dr C.B.Pollard and myself about the possibility
of organizing some sort of a group to advance the study of animal
venoms and poisons. Gracious as she was, she invited the four
of us to dine with her at the old Bellevue Hotel in Berkeley and,
having taken 20 hours by Greyhound to get from Los Angeles to
San Francisco, I gleefully accepted her invitation. Our discussion
was held on the evening of 28 December 1954 in the foyer of the
hotel and we were joined by Dr F.Shannon, Dr P.Boquet, Dr E.Bogen
and Dr K.Slotta. I still have fond recollections of that meeting,
for it was my baptism into the elite and I felt honored indeed,
until I discovered the business of organizing a society might
end up with me. I was also very impressed with Mrs Buckley´s
organizational know how, which was to become invaluable to me
a decade later.
In any event, our get-together went well, and we
decided to circulate a Newsletter. There was Boquet in
France, Kaiser annd Michl in Austria, Habermann in Germany, Pawlowsky
in the U.S.S.R., Stanic in Yugoslavia, Mohamed in Egypt, Efrati
and Shulov in Israel, Gosh and Devi in India, Puranananda and
C.-Y.Lee in the Orient and Southcott and Whitley in Australia,
among others. South America was well represented with Vellard
of Peru, Houssay of Argentina and Goncalves, Moussatché,
Vieira and Diniz of Brazil. Mexico had del Pozo, and the U.S.
could call on Buckley, Klauber, Saunders, Halstead, Banner, Slotta,
Nigrelli, van Harreveld, Bogen, Keegan and Minton. A good team
to start a society. In 1958 the first and only issue of the Newsletter
was published. It contained a list of those working on animal
venoms and poisons, their addresses and a listing of their publications.
Mrs Buckley wrote a nice preamble. I called attention to a number
of available texts on venoms and marine poisons and suggested
some definitions we might consider for our new science. It might
be interesting to re-examine some of these definitions, in view
of the recent exchanges of letters in Toxicon and various
discussions at our international meetings. I shall note three
of these definitions.
I defined a venom as "a toxic substance
produced by a plant or animal in a highly developed group of cells
or secretory organ, and which can be delivered during the act
of biting and stinging". A poison was defined "as
a toxic substance within the body of a plant or animal but which
has no effective means for delivery, poisoning usually taking
place through ingestion". The snakes, spiders, scorpions
and stingrays are examples of venomous animals, while the pufferfishes,
ciguateric fishes and some newts are considered as poisonous.
Obviously, these uses of the words were suggested for toxinologists,
so that they might differentiate between venomous animals and
poisonous animals. A toxin was defined as "a substance
from a plant or animal, which when absorbed in very small amounts
is deleterious to another plant or animal". I mentioned that
we might consider a toxin as a component part of a venom or poison,
but that this application would probably not have wide acceptance.
I also noted that, in essence, all venomous animals were poisonous,
but by these definitions not all poisonous animals were necessarily
venomous. The two terms, however, could be interchanged under
most conditions. I had discussed these and other definitions beforehand
with H.L.Stahnke of Arizona State College and he suggested that
venomous animals be known as phanerotoxic (evident poison),
while poisonous animals be known as cryptotoxic (hidden
In 1960 I wrote to approximately 20 scientists throughout the world concerning the possibility of publishing a journal on toxins. Of the 18 that replied, 17 thought that such a journal would be a fine idea. The lone dissenter noted that there were "too many journals already" (a fact easy to agree with) and that all of us "had our own publications in which to publish". He saw no advantage in having a new journal or society. (Fortunately for the Society and Journal, this gentleman later changed his mind and became one of our presidents, and also received the Redi Award.)
I then wrote to several publishers about the possibility
of producing a scientific journal dealing with animal venoms.
Subsequently, I received a very positive response from Mr Robert
Maxwell of Pergamon Press, as well as from one other publisher.
I discussed the letters with my colleague Dr P.R.Saunders and
with Mrs Buckley, and then responded to Mr Maxwell. Within a month,
Mr Donald Shearer visited me and he and I began to prepare a mock-up
for our journal.
I suggested the name Toxicon, modified from
the Greek TOXIKON, and shortly thereafter I talked Dr Saunders
into becoming the prospective assistant editor. We then wrote
to 13 scientists, inviting them to become members of the Editorial
Council, and 18 additional scientists to join the Advisory Board.
All 31 accepted. We were particularly gratified to have Z.Maretic,
E.Kaiser, H.Michl, E.N.Pawlowsky, P.Boquet, P.Christensen, B.Uvnäs,
S.Bettini, A.H.Mohamed and S.A.Minton Jr join our Boards. A preliminary
announcement and mock-up for the Journal was distributed.
The first issue appeared in the late summer of 1962
and contained a fine foreword by Dr L.M.Klauber, four papers and
two short communications. Thus, publication of the Journal preceded
the formation of the Society. We had some tough sledding getting
the Journal started. Subscriptions came in very slowly. Between
the Editorial Boards, journal exchange commitments, advertising
copies and requests for gratis numbers (and the absence of subscriptions
from abroad), we were not sure how long Mr Maxwell could continue
to foot the bill. Dr Saunders and I started on a long letter writing
campaign, which was partially successful, and during seminar presentations
throughout the United States (and abroad) I invaded numerous libraries,
dropping notes into their "suggestion boxes" about a
"subscription" to Toxicon. Some of our members
also did some campaigning and slowly the subscriptions began to
come in. Some interested parties who were publishing on venoms
wrote that they would like to subscribe, but could not from their
country, or that they did not have money. Dr Klauber and I were
able to make 10 subscriptions available and I am sure that Pergamon
Press provided another dozen or so gratis subscriptions during
those formative years.
Returning to the Society, in 1960, during my correspondence
to scientists concerning the journal, I mentioned the possibility
of forming a society with an interest to parallel that of Toxicon.
I also learned that Dr Paul Boquet had an idea of forming some
sort of a club interested in venoms and antivenins and that he
had offered the services of the Institut Pasteur in the organization
of such a group. After a pleasant exchange of letters, he and
I decided to join ranks and see if a club or society could be
formed and coordinated with the journal Toxicon.
About that time I attended the national meeting of
the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and
this large Society not only expressed an interest in our proposed
group, but appointed a delegate (H.Dowling) to work with us on
our organization. Later in 1960, Professor Quentin M.Geiman of
Stanford phoned me and inquired if there would be any interest
in having a symposium on venomous and poisonous animals at the
10th Pacific Science Congress, which was to be held during 1961.
I called Col.Hugh Keegan, who was at Fort DeBussy on Oahu at the
time, and asked him if it would be possible to hold the meeting
at the Fort. He was enthusiastic about the possibility, assuring
me of a meeting place and volunteering to help organize the meeting,
and even raising some of the financial support. As those who had
the pleasure of attending will remember, the meeting was quite
The publication Venomous and Poisonous Animals
and Noxious Plants of the Pacific Region, edited by Colonel
H.L.Keegan and Dr W.V.Macfarlane and representing a collection
of papers from the Symposium, was published by Pergamon Press
in 1963. It was at this meeting in Hawaii that a firm commitment
was made to organize a society. Dr Saunders and I worked on a
provisional organizational plan until March of 1962. Then I wrote
letters to scientists interested in venomous and poisonous animals
and their toxins, asking if it were possible for them to meet
with us at the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey,
on 15 April 1962. That meeting was held as scheduled. In attendance
were E.E.Buckley, P.Rosenberg, A.H.Mohamed, F.Ghiretti, M.Whiting,
D.Raymond (Pergamon Press), J.F.Gennaro, B.Campbell, B.C.Abbott,
Mr R.Maxwell of Pergamon Press and myself.
According to the minutes of that meeting, I first
reviewed our progress in organizing a society to that date and
discussed the forthcoming first edition of Toxicon. We
considered the founding of a society, name for the society, its
objectives and responsibilities within the scientific community
and its relationship to Toxicon. A number of names for
the society had been suggested. Dr Russell suggested The International
Society on Toxinology. Other suggestions included the International
Society of Toxicology, Society of Natural Toxicologists, Society
of Venomologists, Society of Venoms and Antivenins and even, with
tongue-in cheek, The Society of Chemicopharmacozootoxicologists.
Dr Abbott moved for the formation of an international society.
This was seconded by Dr Rosenberg and passed unanimously. Mrs
Buckley moved the acceptance of the name International Society
on Toxinology. This was seconded by Dr Whiting and passed unanimously
after Dr Russell discussed his exchange of letters with the lexicographer
Dr J.E.Schmidt. These are reproduced, in part.
March 9, 1962
Dear Doctor Russell:
..."biotoxicology"... means, usually, the study of toxins derived from living organisms. In a way, the prefix "bio-" is redundant, because a toxin is invariably derived from a living thing ...What we really need is a term referring to toxins as opposed to non-biotic poison; for example "toxinology"...Another thing, "biotoxicology" is often used to indicate the study of poisons - not necessarily toxins - on living things. Therefore, one could not be sure whether the International Society of Biotoxicology deals with toxins only, or with all poisons...
As many of you remember, Prof.Schmidt was best known
for his Reversicon, Medical Lexicographer and Structural Units
of Medical and Biological Terms.
On March 12, 1962, I wrote Professor Schmidt:
National Association on Standard Medical Vocabulary
Monroe at Park
Dear Doctor Schmidt:
Thank you for your kind letter of March 9, 1962.
Dr.Saunders, my assistant editor, and I have considered your recommendations with much interest. The very problems you have indicated are ones that we had also entertained. We feel that your suggested term "toxinology" is more specific and concise than "biotoxicology", and we are wondering if you feel that it would be more suitable for us to identify the society as the International Society of Toxicology rather than the International Society of Biotoxicology?
I very much appreciate your interest and assistance in this matter.
On March 16 Professor Schmidt replied to my letter
and on March 19 I thanked him for his interest.
After a number of phone calls and discussion, I wrote Mr.Maxwell on June 8, 1962, noting that the Society would be known as the International Society of Toxinology.
A question has been raised about the "on"
in the Society´s name. I must admit, I do not know
where the "on" came from, although I do know that at
those formative times the "on" was discussed. There
may be, somewhere in the records of the Society kept by
the Secretary, (J.F.Gennaro) a clue to this problem of "on"
vs "of" but the only records I retained in turning over
the presidency were copies of letters which dealt specifically
with the journal, for which I was still editor.
The word "society" usually takes "of",
although it may take "for". "Federation" usually
takes "of", while "council" may take "on",
"of" or "for". "Committee" takes
"of", "on" or "for", and "association"
may take "for" or "of". I might go into these
matters in greater detail but I do not think this is necessary
at this time.
The question about "on" in the Society
name is a fair one, and since it has been raised I feel it should
be considered. I have spent some time in several languages on
proper forms, uses and priorities and I think that perhaps "of"
would be more correct than "on" but this is merely a
personal opinion and the Society should make the decision, if
one is so deemed.
Laboratory of Neurological Research, Findlay E.Russell.
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California 90033
(Published in Toxicon 14, 343 (1976))
Following the above discussions, a question arose.
It appeared that several people had tried to form a Society of
Biotoxicology after the 1961 Hawaii meeting and had distributed
letters and a charter to a number of scientists, including several
of those present. They had also made a public announcement of
the forming of a society on toxins. Dr Ghiretti expressed concern,
for he felt the letters and charter tended to minimize international
relationships, while making the organization an "American
club". Reference was also made to the journal Toxicon
becoming the Society´s journal, a commitment neither Dr Russell
nor Dr Saunders were made aware of. Dr Russell had written to
the Editorial Council of Toxicon about the matter in January
and they suggested formation of a committee to look into the problem.
They reported that the separate attempt to form a society had
subsequently been dropped.
Dr Whiting noted that a Society of Toxicology was
just being formed and inquired about the relations between that
Society and ours. Dr Russell reported that he had been in correspondence
with Dr Hayes of that Society and that there was a mutual feeling
that there would be very little overlapping between the two Societies,
since Dr Hayes emphasized that their principal interests would
be in industrial, medical and environmental toxicology, which
was not the principal interest of our Society.
Mr Robert Maxwell, director of Pergamon Press, was
then introduced and spoke of his interest in publishing Toxicon.
He expressed the opinion that it was important that a society
should grow out of the appearance of the journal, which would
then make continued publication more practical. He mentioned that
he and Dr Russell had met with Mr Raymond of the New York office
of Pergamon Press and Dr Russell was to meet the Pergamon Press
staff at Oxford the following month. DrRussell then thanked Mr.Maxwell
and expressed the gratitude of all present for his responsiveness
in publishing Toxicon, which he mentioned was hardly likely
to render a profit for some time to come.
Since the motion to form a Society has been formalized, Dr Russell proceded with the Agenda. The chair entertained a discussion on the "purposes of the Society and its specific aims and objectives". Dr Russell proposed a suggestion, which he placed on the blackboard. Following discussion, the final statement, as approved, read as follows:
"To advance our knowledge on the properties
of the toxins derived from the tissues of plants and animals,
and to bring together scientists interested on these toxins through
a common society and journal."
The proposal was moved for acceptance as a statement
of the "Purposes of the Society" by Dr Abbott, and seconded
by Dr Rosenberg. The vote was unanimous.
At this point, Dr Russell read a letter from the
World Health Organization, which had expressed an interest in
a group dealing with venoms and antivenins that could advise the
WHO on antivenin standards, processes of preparing antivenins
and the like. They requested a listing of antivenin producers,
which Dr Russell had supplied (Trans.R.Soc.trop.med.Hyg.60,
797). They requested that a representative from our group coordinate
common interests. Dr Boquet, who was already serving with the
WHO, was appointed as the Society´s representative.
The question of a letter for "Founding Members"
was considered. Since there were no officers of the Society to
implement the sending of this letter, it was suggested by Dr Campbell
that the unelected president and secretary-treasurer be responsible
for this action. Since no one knew who the new officers would
be, the montion was carried unanimously.
Dr Russell then opened a discussion on a "Charter
and/or Constitution" for the Society. He noted the differences
between the two and the need for such a document for incorporation
in the U.S.A. The question of incorporation was raised and a discussion
ensued, leaving the matter of incorporation to the permanent officers
of the Society. Drs Saunders, D.Taylor and Russell were appointed
to act as the Constitution Committee.
The next item on the Agenda involved the election
of temporary officers. It was suggested that there be a president,
secretary-treasurer, corresponding secretary and regional vice-chairman
responsible to the president. It was decided that for the time
being a president-elect not be appointed. A discussion ensued
concerning the term of office. Dr Whiting suggested a term of
one year, but Drs Campbell and Abbott felt that a term of two
years would be more practical, at least until the Society was
capable of conducting a reasonable election. After further discussions,
it was agreed that an election be held at the present time for
officers serving a two year term.
The floor was opened for nominations. Dr Ghiretti
nominated Dr Russell for the presidency, and Dr Abbott seconded
the nomination, noting that Dr Russell had worked untiringly in
putting the journal Toxicon together and in arranging "tonight´s
meeting", including the long preparation that had gone into
it. Dr Campbell suggested an unanimous vote. The vote was 11-1,
with Dr Russell voting nay. Dr Russell stipulated that he would
accept the nomination only if Dr Saunders were elected secretary-treasurer,
in that the duties of the journal and Russell´s forthcoming
Fulbright scholarship at Cambridge would make it difficult for
him to devote as much time as he would like to the organization
of the Society. Dr Saunders was then unanimously elected secretary-treasurer,
and Mrs Yvonne Majerus was elected corresponding secretary. The
sectional elected-co-chairmen were:
Europe: Dr Ghiretti, Italy; Dr Michl, Austria; Dr
Near East: Dr Mohamed, Egypt; Dr de Vries, Israel.
North America: Dr Whiting; Dr Minton; Dr Gennaro.
Far East and India: Dr Gosh, India; Dr Yanagita, Japan.
South America: Dr Goncalves, Brazil.
A discussion on the size of the founding membership
ensued, and it was decided that the number should be held between
50 and 80 scientists, or as credentials and finance dictated.
Dr.Russell pointed out that present finances would dictate approximately
two members. There was no treasury and no willing benefactors,
although the matter had been explored.
The office for the new Society was: Box 323, Los
Angeles County General Hospital, 1200 North State Street, Los
Angeles 33, California, U.S.A. Several committees were set up,
including a Council, Credentials Committee, Nomenclature Committee,
Affilation Committee, Constitution Committee and Incorporation
Committee. Applications for membership were to be considered following
a meeting of the Credentials Committee. The journal Toxicon
was to become the official organ of the new Society and would
carry notes and announcements of the Society´s activities.
It can be seen from the minutes of this meeting that
a number of matters needed yet to be considered. My leaving for
the U.K. within the month and Dr Saunders position as Chairman
of the Biological Division of the University of Southern California
necessitated some rather hurried activity. For the next month,
Paul and I sat down several nights a week and hashed out a scheduling
for the work befor us. I assumed drafting the invitation for founding
members, while Dr Saunders began preparing a statement for membership
and the membership forms. We divided the remaining problems between
us, and agreed on a time frame for each. My secretary was to do
all typing and keep all records, as well as to convey messages
between Dr Saunders and myself in Cambridge. The plan worked remarkably
On arriving in Cambridge, I began corresponding with
prospective Founding Members. The response to our invitation to
become a Founding Member was overwhelming. The following is a
listing of the Founding Members:
Abalos, J.W., Argentina
Abbott, Bernard C., USA
Adam, Kenneth R., Sudan
Balozet, Lucien, Algeria
Banner, Albert H., USA
Bettini, Sergio, Italy
Boquet, Paul, France
Buckley, Eleanor E., USA
Cantore, Gian Paolo, Italy
Carmichael, Emmett B., USA
Chen, Bei-Loo, Taiwan
Chang, Chaun-Chiung, Taiwan
Christensen, Poul Agerholm,South Africa
Condie, Richard M., USA
Criley, Benner R., USA
De Vries, André, Israel
Del Pozo, Efren C., Mexico
Deoras, P.J., India
Doery, Hazel M., Australia
Efrati, Pinhas, Israel
Endean, Robert, Australia
Flowers, Capt.H., USA
Gennaro, Joseph F.Jr., USA
Ghiretti, Francesco, Italy
Ghosh, B.N., India
Gitter, Simon, Israel
Goncalves, J.Moura, Brazil
Goucher, Charles R., USA
Halstead, Bruce W., USA
Holmstedt, Bo, Sweden
Houssay, Bernardo A., Argentina
Kaiser, Erich, Austria
Keegan, Hugh L., USA
Klauber,Laurence M., USA
Knoepffler, Louis-Philippe, France
Kocholaty, Walter F., USA
Kochwa, Shaul, USA
Lane, Charles E., USA
Maretic, Zvonimir, Yugoslavia
Maurer, Fred, USA
Meyer, Kuno A.C., Switzerland
Michl, Heribert, Austria
Micks, Donald, USA
Minton, Sherman A., USA
Mohamed, Ahmed H., Egypt
Moussatché, H., Brazil
Nigrelli, Ross F., USA
Ohsaka, Akira, Japan
Parrish, Henry M., USA
Patterson, Robert A., USA
Pavlovsky, E.N., USSR
Pope, Clifford H., USA
Raudonat, Heinz-Walter, Germany
Reid, Hugh Alistair, UK
Rosenberg, Philip, USA
Rosenfeld, Gastao, Brazil
Russell, Findlay E., USA
Saunders, Paul R., USA
Schantz, Edward J., USA
Schenberg, Saul, Brazil
Schöttler, W.H.A., Brazil
Shannon, Frederick A., USA
Slotta, Karl H., USA
Stanic, Mirko, Switzerland
Stimson, Arthur C., USA
Taylor, Dermot B., USA
Trethewie, Everton R., Australia
Tu, Tsuchih, Taiwan
Uvnäs, Borje K.M., Sweden
Vachon, Max, France
Vellard, J.A., Peru
Watt, Dean D., USA
Welsh, John H., USA
Whiting, Margorie, USA
Wiener, Saul, Australia
Yanagita, Tame M., Japan
Zarafonetis, Chris J.D., USA
One of the major problems of 1962-1963 was how to
ask (skillfully) for $ 10 from each Founding Member. One or two
potential members could not send money out of their country and,
of course, we grandfathered them into the Society. Others just
avoided the problem by no answering us, even after two or three
(gracious) letters. Other unexpected problems arose. Monies from
abroad were often directed into international banks in the USA,
which in turn forgot to notify us of the individual to be credited.
This caused a few embarrassing moments. One or two were made on
American Express (with whom we were not credited), while still
others came on international bank notes with no identification
as to who had initiated them.
Dr Saunders also sent membership forms to each founding
member and an additional 47 letters to possibly interested scientists,
whose names we had taken from the literature between 1946 and
1962. My secretary informed me that between the fall of 1962 and
March 1963 the Society received 5-7 letters a week asking for
information on the Society or Journal. During these various correspondences,
plans were made to hold a "sectional" meeting of the
Society in April of 1963. In essence, this meeting would be held
to formulate the suggestions made at the 1962 meeting and to transact
Much of 1962-1963 was spent on visiting colleagues
abroad and getting their advice on the Society and Journal. I
had the pleasure of visiting A.Bellairs, M.H.Evans, D.S.Smith,
E.Bülbring and M.Rothchild in England (as well as Mr Maxwell);
P.Boquet in France; E.Kaiser and H.Michl in Austria, Stanic in
Switzerland; B.Holmstead and B.Uvnäs in Sweden; F.Ghiretti
in Italy; A.H.Mohamed and his group in Egypt; P.Efrati, A. de
Vries and S.Gitter in Israel. The biggest surprise was in Cairo,
where I met with what was probably the first sectional group of
the Society, under Professor Mohamed´s direction. There were
62 people present and at least 30 of these were working on venoms.
I spent the next week visiting their laboratories, and in spite
of hardships, they were doing excellent research.
A sectional meeting was held at the Jefferson Hotel
in Atlantic City on the evening of 17 April 1963. Twenty-five
Founding Members and their guests attended the Society cocktail
party and dinner. The meeting was called to order by the President,
Dr Russell, who brought greetings from the Founding Members abroad
and read letters from members in absentia. The Secretary´s
Report of the previous meeting held in Atlantic City in 1962 was
read by Dr Saunders. The Treasurer´s Report was presented
by Dr Saunders. Dr Russell read the Founding Members Report, which
indicated that 63 of the 70 scholars invited to founding membership
had accepted and 5 yet remained to be heard from. Dr Russell reviewed
the activities of the Society, including his visits to colleagues
in Europe and North Africa. He directed the attention of the membership
to Dr Keegan´s visits to various antivenin institutes and
research centers this past year. A report on these visits was
published in the second number of Toxicon.
An International Symposium on Toxins was being planned
for 1964 under the direction of Drs Russell and Saunders. The
Symposium was to emphasize recent original research on the chemical,
zootoxicological and immunological properties of venoms and related
substances. The meeting was to be held in San Diego, California.
Dr Saunders read the Credentials Committee Report,
which was approved by an unanimous vote. Dr Abbott read the Constitution
Committee Report and, after suggestions from the members present,
the constitution was accepted as read. The proposed "By-Laws
of the Society" were discussed by Dr Abbott and on his suggestion
it was voted to consider these at the next meeting.
The Society was now organized under its Constitution,
rather than its Charter. One permanent committee, the Credentials
Committee, remained in office under the Constitution, while the
Constitution Committee was to continue in office until the next
general meeting. The Nomination Committee was appointed by Dr
Russell and consisted of Drs Rosenberg (Chairman), Gennaro and
Dr.Russell then reported on the progress of Toxicon
and the encouraging response to its appearance.
A committee composed by Drs Minton (Chairman), Micks
and Saunders were asked to work with Pergamon Press on the problem
of accepting advertisements for the Journal. A review of the Journal´s
cost, editorial policies, abstracting service and proposed review
articles was presented by Dr Russell.
Most of 1963, 1964 and 1965 were spent trying to
sort out policies and establish records for the Society and Journal.
Raising funds for the First International Symposium on Toxins
also became a full time consideration. Although there was minimum
interest in venoms and antivenins by the granting agencies in
the USA, Dr Russell was on review panels or grant committees at
the USPHS, NSF and ONR and had some knowledge of the problem of
raising funds. The last mentioned agency had always shown an interest
in marine toxins and on the recommendation of Dr Russell and Dr
Nigrelli, and supported by the monumental manuscript in preparation
by Dr Halstead, ONR recommended cosponsoring the proposed meeting
in San Diego. In writing to Dr Goncalves in Brazil I learned that
the Institute Butantan intended to hold a similar kind of meeting
in Sao Paulo that same year (1964). When two letters to the Director
of the Institute remained unanswered after several months, Dr
Saunders asked Dr Goncalves to intercede on our behalf. Dr Goncalves
had some difficulties in finding out what plans were being made
at Butantan; he thought that there might be some sort of "political
problem" involved. He promised to keep in touch, but by November
of 1963 we remained uninformed. I consulted with the Society Council
and it was decided to postpone our proposed symposium until 1965.
Further inquiries with Butantan remained unanswered
until one of our members, Dr Schenberg, informed me that the Institute
definitely planned to hold their meeting in 1965. By this time
I had raised sufficient funds to provide expenses and travel for
most scientists to come to San Diego from abroad and several had
been invited to chair sessions or present plenary lectures. Not
wishing to fractionate the scientific community, and after a telephone
call to Butantan, I asked to have the proposed funds set aside
until 1966. The agencies were not particularly happy about this,
but somehow, through our combined efforts and the support of Dr
John Olive at the American Institute of Biological Sciences and
Dr Sidney Galler of the Smithonian Institute, the support was
carried over until 1966. The final disappointment was a letter
from Dr Schenberg, who in spite of laboring on our behalf at Butantan,
informed us that the meeting there had now been postponed until
mid 1966. I discussed the problem with Saunders, Nigrelli, Lane
and Buckley, and phoned Reid, Evans and del Pozo. The decision
was unanimous - 1966 and no further postponement.
How did we survive those formative years ? Goodness
knows ! Neither Paul Saunders nor I were in it for glory (for
there was none), nor the money (there was even less). During those
years no one used any part of the dues of the gifts given to the
Society for their own expenses related to Society responsibilities
or to Journal activities. We made the trips to Washington and
elsewhere at our own expenses, paid for those who could not afford
passage to Los Angeles for council meetings and assisted several
of our founding members who visited the United States so that
they could give lectures in our country. Loma Linda University
and the University of Southern California paid our telephone and
postage expenses, duplicating and almost all other office expenses.
My secretary was hired by Loma Linda University and Drs Campbell,
Emery and Colket assisted in one way or another. Mr H.Gonzales,
my esteemed administrator, should be given the Redi Jr.Medal for
his untiring (and unpaid) efforts on behalf of the Journal and
Society from 1961 to 1970.