Executive Officer's Report

I had the recent pleasure of reading a history of the first 50 years of the MAS. Most of you probably received this special issue of the Journal a couple of years ago and immediately filed it as being of no interest. I know I did! I rectified that mistake when I needed to get some information on some older activities of the Academy. I had no idea of the turmoil and politics (some internal, some not) involved in our past. But more importantly I had no idea of some of the great accomplishments of the MAS. In addition to being responsible for the Junior Academy of Sciences, the MAS initiated the concept of science fairs in the state in 1954. In the 1960's, the Academy directed a partially NSF-funded program arranging for high school visitations by research scientists. This resulted in 250 teams conducting 3,700 visits to 1,050 schools for a total of 100,000 contact hours over a ten year span! That was a major effort. The Academy is also directly responsible for the creation of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs. We will honor the fiftieth anniversary of that event later in the year with a special article in our Journal. Finally, over its 67 year life span, the Academy has only had four Executive Officers. The first three, Clyde Sheely, Charles Dodgen, and Dudley Peeler set a magnificently high standard that I can only humbly try to emulate.

This past year we used a new on-line system for submission of abstracts. The results have been quite positive. About one-third of the abstracts were electronic this year. Division Heads reported no difficulties with the system, and the mechanism of handling abstract fees and membership dues went smoothly. Having the abstracts initially in electronic form also saved our Journal Editor many hours of scanning paper versions. We encourage you to continue using this system in the future.

We will be returning to Biloxi for our 1998 meeting. The Broadwater has aged somewhat but is still offering us the best deal on the coast. We even all got free dinners at their casino. That deal will also be part of the package next year, if you stay at their hotel. See you then, if not before.--John Boyle