24 Mar 2015
SCI full membership has declined by about 10% since five years ago although e-membership is showing an encouraging start and has almost replaced that reduction. Nevertheless, like other similar societies we face significant challenges in the next few years to recruit and, importantly, retain members; particularly active members.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of active members and staff, SCI continues to be successful in running conferences, lectures and specialist meetings. To support these and our other activities we depend heavily on the funds generated by our scientific journal publications, now approaching 70% of the society's income. SCI funds are not limitless and it is investment income that, just, bridges the gap between operating income and expenditure. This has constrained the ability to invest more in activities for the future. It is also in part why HQ staff numbers have reduced by over 50% from the 2006 peak, with the resulting pressure on services.
With this background, I hope that candidates for election will succeed, through their self-nomination form, in sharing with members their views and especially their plans for the future long-term financial sustainability that is vital to SCI's existence. Aspirations alone are not enough and will need to go hand in hand with effective strategies.
Once again can I encourage all those who want to be involved in SCI governance to put themselves forward; there is real work to do.
Dr Jack Melling
Chairman of the Board of Trustees