Committee Meeting Minutes for 1985

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee of the British Mathematical Colloquium held in the 'White' Combination Room, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, on Wednesday 3rd April 1985 at 8.45 p.m.


Members present:
I T Adamson, B Bollobás, H R Dowson, D J H Garling, J Hyland (attending for the book display discussion), D L Johnson, R C Mason, C J Mulvey, J J O'Connor, A R Pears, J S Pym, J P Sproston, D Strauss, P Vámos, F J Yeadon.

  1. Dr Strauss was elected Chairman, Dr Sproston Secretary and Dr Yeadon Treasurer. It was however agreed that Dr Mason should lead the meeting through the agenda.

  2. The minutes of the Committee meeting held in Bristol in April 1984 were read and agreed. There were no matters arising that were not covered under later agenda items.

  3. There had been correspondence with the University of Bath over the possibility of a BMC there in 1991. It was decided to pursue this with a view to confirmation at the General Meeting in Hull in 1986. It was felt that a Northern university would then be desirable for 1992, and a number of possibilities (Strathclyde, Stirling, Heriot-Watt, Durham) were discussed. It was left to the Secretary to make preliminary enquiries.

  4. There was a discussion concerning BMC finances. The continued pressure from the London Mathematical Society and the Edinburgh Mathematical Society for reductions in the balance was considered, and various degrees of reduction were discussed. The general feeling was that at least a further £1000 (and perhaps £2000) reduction in 1986 should be aimed for, but it was stressed that it was the right of the Hull organisers to plan as they thought fit. The introduction of a reduced registration fee for research students was welcomed and it was suggested that this concession might be extended to the retired and/or unwaged.

    The high cost of the Cambridge Colloquium was discussed, having been raised at the General Meeting earlier in the day. It was appreciated that costs were likely to be high at places such as Cambridge, and it was suggested that, with the long planning period currently in operation, the cost of any future BMC that appeared likely to be expensive could be spread over a number of Colloquia.

    It was observed that to continue to avoid VAT on goods and services supplied by the host University, it needed to be explained that each Colloquium was an individual event organised from within the host department, and that there is no autonomous constitutional body called the 'British Mathematical Colloquium'. It was recommended that local organisers should speak to their University Conference Officer before contacting the local VAT office.

    It was reported that current practice was for morning speakers to register in the same way as ordinary members, it being anticipated that, as invited speakers, they would obtain full support from their own institutions; but that the B.M.C. would assist to the necessary extent in cases of difficulty. Evening speakers had their expenses met in full and their registration fees waived. It was agreed to continue with these practices (subject to periodical review). In particular, in the context of an attempt to reduce the reserves, the use of funds to bring speakers from distant parts if necessary was approved.

  5. There was a discussion on the book display. It was recommended that the recent practice of using a professional organiser (currently 'Bookshow') be continued, making sure that it was known precisely which publishers would be included. The LMS/AMS display would continue to be separate, and some smaller publishers (e.g. Adam Hilger) might be encouraged to come on their own.

  6. There was a prolonged discussion on possible speakers for the Hull Colloquium in 1986. Thanks were expressed to Dr Garling and Dr J Wilson for contributing the bulk of the list of suggestions.

  7. Professor Vámos advocated the provision of an alternative light lunch.

  8. The Committee unanimously passed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of the Cambridge Organising Committee for all their hard work.

The meeting, which had been generously supplied with liquid refreshment, closed on Thursday 4th April at 12.35 a.m.

Minutes signed by J P Sproston (undated).