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Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA)

Timeline of the Society (1899-1919)



First meeting, in conjunction w/ meeting of American Society of Naturalists, in New Haven


Dues established at $1.00

First Honorary Members: George M. Sternberg, T. Mitchell Pudden


Dues raised to $1.50


Membership limit set at 100 (Constitutional Amendment)

Affiliation with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) ratified


Committee on Classification established [inferred], (F. D. Chester, Chair)


Membership limit set at 125 (Constitutional Amendment)


First Descriptive Chart (prepared by F.D. Chester, F.P.Gorham, E.F. Smith) approved for distribution


Membership limit set at 150 (Constitutional Amendment)

Class of Corresponding Members established (Constitutional Amendment)


Resolution passed that, "while the purpose of the Society is primarily for the advancement of microbiology as a pure science, this must not be interpreted as excluding papers of applied microbiology..."


Membership limit is now 200

At the annual meeting, first grouping of papers into "sessions" (precursor of divisional structure)


Limited on number of members ended


Decision to publish a journal


Journal of Bacteriology appears, edited by C.-E.A Winslow. Dues raised to $5, with $4 for Journal Editors' terms established at 5 years (Constitutional Amendment) 

Membership requirements liberalized (no longer "persons who have conducted and published original research")


Abstracts of Bacteriology appears (A. Parker Hitchens, editor)

Local Branches authorized (Constitutional Amendment); first three accepted are Urbana, New Haven (later Connecticut Valley) and Washington, D.C. A New York City Branch was also in existence until around 1924 (re-established in 1934)

Committee on Classification (C.-E. A.Winslow, Chair) proposes a preliminary system

Committee appointed (M.J. Rosenau, chair) to cooperate with the National Research Council so that "the Secretary of the Society should be able to keep in close touch with the needs of the government [during the War] in regard to the services of bacteriologists."


Committee on Bacteriological Technic (H.J. Conn, Chairman) replaces the Committee on the Descriptive Chart

Employment Bureau proposed

Society incorporated in Indiana

First Director of Local Branches appointed (J.W.M. Bunker)

Timeline of the Society (1920-1939)



First major Constitutional revision

New Branch: Philadelphia (later Eastern Pennsylvania)


Life and Sustaining membership categories established (Constitutional Amendment). Sustaining member dues are $50

Bergey submits draft of Manual; committee established to work on it

Employment Bureau established

Committee on the Teaching of Bacteriology appointed (David Bergey, Chair)

Army Medical Museum accepts the Winslow Culture Collection, which will be cared for by Washington branch members. Collection will be known as "Collection of Type Cultures of the Society of American Bacteriologists" Eventually becomes American Type Culture Collection

Funds appropriated for support of a research fellowship in pure bacteriology ($100 per month)

New Branch: Central New York


First sustaining members join

H.J. Conn is SAB representative to Commission on Standardization of Biological Stains

Manual of Methods (loose-leaf) appears

Report from Bergey's Committee on Determinative Bacteriology recommends that the Society publish and accept royalties from the Manual

First division of the Annual Meeting program (partially) into two concurrent sections (Agricultural/Industrial; Human and Animal Pathology and Immunology)

Research Fellowship (see 1921) awarded to Miss Ellen Armstrong, who, however, accepted another position. Committee on Fellowship discharged


Bergey's 1st edition

Breed, Novy, and Paul F. Clark represent the Society at Pasteur Centennial in Paris and Strasbourg

Council votes to establish monographic series, and create position of editor of monographs (Buchanan)

Expenses, risks to be assumed by publisher; Society to receive any profits


Policy adopted that expenses of future meetings be borne by a registration fee to be paid by all members attending 

Committee on Teaching of Bacteriology dissolved


Abstracts of Bacteriology discontinued (becomes part of Biological Abstracts)

Program Committee established

Society begins financial support of ATCC

First SAB monograph, General Systematic Bacteriology, by Buchanan, is published by Williams & Wilkins


Dues raised to $7 (per minutes of 1925 mtg, 1-IVA, Folder 7. Ledger for 1928 has level  of $7.50)


Buchanan and Alice Evans represent Society at the First International Microbiological Congress in Paris and International Botanical Congress in Cambridge

Second SAB monograph, A Compilation of Culture Media (Levine & Schoenlein) published by W&W; contract between authors & W&W has SAB sharing in any royalties


Pure Culture Study of Bacteria appears. This journal, compiled and edited by the Committee on Bacteriological Technique (published by Biotech Publications beginning in 1939 in Geneva, NY), replaces the loose-leaf continuation service for the Manual of Methods... It runs until 1950

Establishment of "Permanent Fund" ($20,000 invested in U.S. Gov't Bonds)


Hucker Committee appointed "to look into the practices of the Society."

Office of Advisor to Local Branches established (H.J. Conn). But see also 1919

New Branch: Central Pennsylvania


Report of the Hucker Committee on Policies and Procedures:

-Council expanded to include Branch Representatives

-Position of Archivist proposed

-Newsletter proposed

Constitutional revision committee appointed; Winslow is chair

New York City Branch re-established


Newsletter of the SAB first sent to members

Archives Committee established

Council votes to turn over Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, along with unexpended royalties, to Bergey, to administer as he sees fit

New Branches: Eastern New York, Illinois, Indiana, North Central, and Northern California-Hawaii


First Eli Lilly Award

Second International Congress (London); Buchanan represents the Society

Local Branch abstracts begin to appear in JB

New Branches: Michigan, Southern California. Maryland Society of Bacteriologists (1931) becomes branch of SAB

Constitutional revision (nothing major)


Bacteriological Reviews appears

Cumulative Index of JB by Stanhope Bayne-Jones is published

The Leeuwenhoek Letter (translation by Cohen) published by Society and W&W

Society becomes national group sponsor for the 1939 International Congress of Microbiology, to be held in New York

At Buchanan's request, the position of editor of monographs is abolished

New Branch: Ohio


Bergey's Manual Trust established; Society no longer associated with the publication of Manual Alice in Virusland (Paul F. Clark's Presidential address published at the direction of the Council branches: Eastern Missouri (later Missouri), Missouri Valley


Council establishes the status of "Retired" member

Committee on Monographs appointed (Barnett Cohen, chair). Recommends establishment of Publications Board

Hitchens becomes editor of the Microbiology Section of Biological Abstracts; Society guarantees $2500 per year in member subscriptions

First Book Reviews appear in the Newsletter

Biotech Publications established by Conn to publish Manual of Methods, descriptive chart

Annual Meeting in New Haven (40th Anniversary): seven living charter members honored; first history round table

Third International Congress in New York; Henrici represents Society

President Henrici appoints committee (Rosenau, Chair) to explore certification of public

Timeline of the Society (1940-1959)


Committee on Teaching established (becomes Committee on Teaching in 1951)

Membership Committee appointed

Proposed constitutional revision organizes Society into Sections and Divisions, not just Sections

Committee on Certification of Bacteriologists report recommends that no certifying board be established at this time, but that if any organization should indicate its intentions to establish qualifications for medical bacteriologists, Council would take action

New Branch: Kentucky (later Kentucky-Tennessee)


Publications Board established (Constitutional Amendment)

Buchanan again appointed editor of monographs

New Branches: New Jersey (Theobald Smith Society), Texas


War Committee appointed

Annual Meeting canceled due to travel restrictions

Sub-committee on Use of Motion Pictures in Teaching established

Request from R.G. Leland of AMA Committee on Medical Preparedness that SAB "study the qualifications of physicians now engaged in the practice of bacteriology." Society declines

At this point, there is a Committee on Certification

New Branch: Virginia


No meeting scheduled


Winslow resigns as editor-in-chief of JB

Buchanan resigns as editor of monographs


Meeting canceled due to travel restrictions

Society for General Microbiology founded in England

"Handbook of Descriptions of Specialized Fields in Bacteriology" published by government w/ help from War Committee

Council authorizes President and Secretary/Treasurer to represent the Society at hearings on bills before Congress re-establishment of National Science or National Research Boards

New Branch: Northwest


Committee on Science Legislation appointed

Constitutional Revision approved by Council, Sent to members:

-Add emeritus members

-Archives given constitutional mandate

-CPC established

Financial Advisory Committee appointed

Annual Meeting Finance Committee established; will handle all receipts/disbursements for Annual Meeting. National Society responsible for deficits, takes any profits


Committee on Certification of Public Health personnel reconstituted and enlarged as Committee on Classification and Problems of personnel (S.R. Damon, chair)

President, Secretary/Treasurer represent Society at Interscience Conference on Science Legislation (sponsored by AAAS)

Society distributes (w/ April Newsletter) War Dept. survey re training, experience, salary of bacteriologists

Annual Meeting:

-First Annual Lecture (Ludwig Hektoen Lecture, by Talliaferro)

-"Incubator" first appears (through 1973)

Society Incorporated in Washington D.C., March 25

Fourth International Congress held in Denmark; Breed and ? represent Society

First title in "Microbiological Monographs" series appears: Experimental Air-borne Infection (Rosebury)

Resolution on Biological Warfare proposed (by S. Mudd) at Annual Meeting. Committee formed to examine the issue (see Baldwin files, 13 II AT, Folder 23)

New Branches: Intermountain, North Carolina, South Central, Southeastern


American Institute of Biological Sciences founded -- SAB is charter member society

Abstracts of Annual Meeting no longer appear in JB. Now distributed to registered attendees, available to others for $1

Local Branch abstracts no longer appear in JB

System of support for Biological Abstracts discontinued [new system?]

New Branches: Allegheny, North East, Rio de Janeiro (later dissolved)


Committee on Teaching Survey on Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching of Microbiology

Damon Committee (1947) appoints Sub-committee on Certification and Problems of Personnel (Francis/Syverton committee)

Society for Industrial Microbiology organized


Golden Jubilee meeting; Barnett Cohen's Chronicles of the SAB printed and distributed to members by Williams and Wilkins

Francis subcommittee (see 1949) proposes American Institute of Microbiology, with specialty board for certification of medical personnel, and other specialty boards to be added as need arises

Dues increased to $9, of which $8 shall be for subscriptions for JB and BR

Society grants $250 to assist in start-up of International Bulletin of Bacteriological Nomenclature and Taxonomy, official organ of Judicial Commission and IAM's International Committee on Bacteriological Nomenclature. Becomes IJSB, and Society takes over publication in 1970

Fifth International Congress in Rio; Stuart Mudd represents SAB

Commercial Solvents Award authorized (discontinued 1954)

National Science Foundation established; Interscience Committee on Science Legislation (AAAS) dissolved

Revised Publication agreement with Williams and Wilkins

Society authorizes $5000 for clerical support for Secretary/Treasurer; at resignation of Blair, Williams and Wilkins offer to provide business management service


Decision to begin accumulating money to support full-time Executive Secretary

Defense Research Information Service, a "central clearinghouse established through the central office of the SAB [i.e., W&W] to bring microbiologists and interested agencies together in an unofficial but effective way.”

Constitution and by-laws of proposed American Institute of Microbiology

New Branch: Colorado-Wyoming (later Rocky Mountain)

Sub-committee on Certification and Problems of Personnel report includes draft


SAB membership votes to approve proposed American Board of Medical Microbiology. AMA House of Delegates votes not to approve

Society membership in American Institute for Biological Sciences not renewed

Relationship with International Association of Microbiologists formalized

Fourth Division (Bacterial Physiology) added; divisional representatives serve as invited members of Council

Problem of publication of Local Branch Abstracts constantly addressed

Committee on Curricula proposes guidelines for accreditation of UG and Master's programs in bacteriology

Committee on Certification and Problems of Personnel reconstituted (Spaulding, Chair); will address certification of non-(quasi)medical microbiologists while Francis- Syverton Committee continues negotiations with AMA


Applied Microbiology first appears

Sixth International Congress, Rome; Mudd represents Society (?); International Association of Microbiologists becomes International Association of M Microbiological Societies

Second Cumulative index to JB, prepared by J.R. Porter

[date approximate]: Committee on Monographs disbands, position of editor of monographs disappears

New Branch: South Florida (Florida in 1984; see Archives inventory 7-IIC, Folder 7), Mexico (approved by Council: doesn't function until 1960)


Northern California-Hawaii Branch resolves that 1956 Annual Meeting should not be held in Houston because of possibility of racial discrimination against some members. Council votes to hold meeting in Houston

Society is notified by Treasury Dept. that it has never applied for tax-exempt status. Application made, denied, appealed. Taxes paid for years 1947 (date of D.C. incorporation) through 1953 pending appeal.

Spaulding Committee proposes SAB-administered "Board of Medical and Public Health Microbiology"

Pamphlet "Careers in Bacteriology" prepared by Public Relations Committee; updates pamphlet prepared by L.W. Parr (date and copy unavailable)

Sustaining Member dues now $75

Public Health Division established (see also 1956, 1958, 1997)


Francis-Syverton and Spaulding Committees recommend creation of "college" comprised of senior SAB members to establish certifying boards and engage in professional activities. New Committee of Twenty appointed to present recommendations for its creation. (Halvorson implies this was in 1954: see ASM News 33:4, p.16)

American Academy of Microbiology incorporated

Committee appointed to advise Chemical Corps on microbiological questions

President's Fellowships instituted (funded by Difco.)

Public Health "Group" (Division) established on trial basis

Dues increase from $9 to $12


Committee of Twenty proposes Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of American Academy of Microbiology to membership for approval. Approved; first meeting of BOG May 3. Election and certification committees established

Committee on Taxonomy appointed

Committee on International Geophysical Year appointed; member R.H. McBee spends three months in Antarctica

Public Health Division given two years to show sufficient support to justify divisional status


Secretary/Treasurer duties split

SAB Newsletter becomes Bacteriological News

Society applies for affiliate membership in AIBS

First Office of Naval Research lecture delivered at Annual Meeting

Tax-status appeal leads to granting of 501(c)(6) status

Manual of Methods of Pure Culture Study of Bacteria becomes Manual of Microbiological Methods; published by McGraw-Hill, not Biotech; as bound volume, not loose-leaf

Society approves one-time assessment of $.50 per member to support travel to 7th

ad hoc Committee on Future Plans of the Society appointed (J.R. Porter, Chair). Will deal primarily with publication issues

Limit placed on number of papers at Annual Meeting (400)

AAM establishes Legislation Committee

New Branch; Puerto Rico


Approval of resolution to establish Business office. Office will handle all business currently conducted under Managerial Services contract w/ Williams and Wilkins; publish Bacteriological News; assist local committees in arranging Meeting; Annual Meeting, including sale of exhibit space; operate employment bureau

Constitutional revision: terms of officers and committees begin shortly after Annual Meeting; chair of Publications Board replaces editor of JB on CPC

Committee on Education appointed (L.S. McClung, Chair)

Motion passed that Council consider changing name of Society to Society of American Microbiologists and of JB to Journal of Microbiology

Committee on Monographs re-established (Luria, chair)

7th International Congress held in Stockholm. S. Mudd, J.R. Porter, Secretary Foster, and Harry Eagle represent Society

Academy establishes American Board of Microbiology and Council on Education and Laboratories; Nominating Committee appointed

Public Health Division terminated



HQ established in Detroit. Ray Sarber hired as Executive Secretary

Membership cards issued

Council votes against name changes for Society and JB

Journal options first offered to members

Constitutional changes: membership requires BS or equivalent in training; student membership established; Secretary and Membership Committee approve new members (no longer Council); Program Committee chair and vice-chair term specifications moved to bylaws

Timeline of the Society (1960-1979)



Society name change approved: becomes effective 12/27 (name change for JB defeated)

First meeting of the American Board of Microbiology

JB to accept notices of academic vacancies

Committee on Monographs discharged

Archives deposited in Lilly Library at Indiana University

Division of Virology created (separates from Medical Bacteriology, Immunology and Virology)

Dues increase to $15 (Sustaining Members to $100) to enable enlargement of JB & AM

First photo appears in Bacteriological News

National Registry of Microbiologists established

Committee on Interscience Conferences

First survey of colleges and universities offering degrees in bacteriology or microbiology

First Handbook for the Society written by E.M. Foster


First ICAAC; proceedings published as Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy--1961

Editorial Office established; Robert Day hired as Managing Editor of Publications

AAM establishes the Committee on Postdoctoral Programs for Public Health and Medical Laboratory Microbiology (CPEP) and Civil Service Standards Committee (both are sub-committees of Council on Education and Laboratories)

Page charges initiated in JB and AM

HQ to handle rental/sales of scientific films

Society hires professional financial counsel (Brundage, Story & Rose)

Society sponsors (with ONR) Symposium on Marine Microbiology

New Branch: Arizona


8th International Congress in Montreal; H.R. Cox, Lederberg & Secretary Gerhardt to represent Society

Headquarters moves to Ann Arbor in its own building

Financial structure of the Annual Meeting reorganized

CPEP replaces Council on Education and Laboratories; sponsors first conference on post-doctoral education;

AAM Latin American Fellows Program begun


Bacteriological News becomes ASM News

First Foundation for Microbiology Lectures

Branch Rebate program initiated

ABM establishes Ethics Committee

Eastern Missouri branch expands to include entire state, becomes Missouri branch. Missouri Valley branch now smaller


Society acquires full publishing responsibility for publications program from Williams and Wilkins

Dedication of new ATCC Building during Annual Meeting

History of Microbiology Conference at Indiana

American Board of Microbiology establishes certification program for microbiologists in medical and public health fields

Latin American Visiting Professor Committee organized by AAM

First programs are approved by CPEP (Centers for Disease Control and University of Washington)


First New Brunswick lecture

Constitutional revision: membership to require BS in microbiology or related field; corresponding membership deleted; bylaw re disposition of assets moved to Constitution

ICAAC held with 4th International Congress of Chemotherapy; co-sponsor is International Society of Chemotherapy, with cooperation of Infectious Disease Society of American

First post-"grandfather" certification by ABM

Proposal put forth for "full-time, employed, elected Secretary;" rescinded in 1967

New Branch: Hawaii (leaves Northern California-Hawaii)


Joint Committee of ASM and AAM appointed to evaluate future plans for the two bodies (see 1967, 1968)

Meetings Board established (Constitutional Amendment)

Committee on International Activities

9th International Congress, Moscow: Sarles, Porter and Housewright represent ASM

New Branches: New Mexico (leaves Rocky Mountain), South Carolina


Journal of Virology begins; journal options proliferate

Joint Committee (see 1966) proposes combining headquarters operations for ASM and AAM; relocating HQ to D.C.; hiring Executive Director. Approved by Council and BOG

Publications Office moves to Bethesda

Publications Board establishes policy that "ASM publications overall shall be budgeted so as to pay their own way."

Motion to discharge Committee Advisory to Ft. Detrick defeated. Discussion continues into 1968

NRM begins to publish The Loop


First Executive Director hired (Asger Langlykke)

Headquarters moves to D.C.: 1913 I St. purchased; Academy operations also move to I St., following death of AAM Secretary G.I. Wallace

Joint Committee of ASM-AAM recommends merger of the two bodies. Will require Constitutional revision (see 1970)

American Board of Microbiology becomes American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM)

AAM Committee on Laboratory Standards created (see also 1970)

First Carski Award

JV, AM now published monthly

New dues/subscription plan: $15 minimum dues includes one journal subscription

Mail vote affirms motion to dissolve Detrick Committee

Detrick Committee proposes the establishment of Public Policy Committee; Council declines

Education Committee revises, publishes "Microbiology" issue of American Biology Teacher (see 1960)


National Registry Committee establishes certification for Specialists in Public Health and Medical Laboratory Microbiology

Harlow Hall Fund Award established by A&I Division

First statistical survey of membership

ad hoc Joint Training and Education Committee (Baldwin, chair) appointed


Infection and Immunity appears

Xth International Congress, Mexico City: Robert Hungate represents Society. Resolution on Biological Warfare accepted by Council. Hungate, Shay, and Porter meet informally with Soviet scientists

Constitutional revision: Academy becomes part of Society (AAM, Inc., Delaware corporation, dissolved);

ICAAC Committee established; several changes in Council and CPC membership

Joint meetings of ICAAC and IDSA approved

New Committees: Environmental Microbiology; Status of Women; Information Science

Fiscal year shifted to July-to-June

Life Insurance plan for members initiated

Council approves Articles of Incorporation for ASM Foundation, Inc.; approved as 501(c)(3) by IRS in 197

Manual of Clinical Microbiology published by Society

Report of ad hoc Joint Committee (see 1969) proposes establishment of Board of Education and Training: L. Joe Berry chairs committee to evaluate report

Request for establishment of student chapter at Clemson leads to bylaw changes in 1971 permitting student chapters (First one is at Clemson.)


Board of Education and Training established. ABMM, NRM, CPEP, and Committee on Guidance for Training in Microbiology all become affiliated with BET

International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology taken over by Society

CPC approves moving Publications Office from Bethesda to HQ

Constitutional revision: add BET chair to CPC; amendment process; term of office of president; member nominations for officers

ad hoc Committee on Clinical Microbiology (G.M. Needham, chair) appointed; reports in 1972

Agricultural and Industrial Division becomes Environmental and Applied Microbiology

Latin American Professorship Program initiated by AAM, funded by Foundation for Microbiology

Minimum dues now $20

ASM News begins accepting ads

Bacteriological Proceedings begins using author-prepared copy; title changes to Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the ASM in 1972; will no longer be distributed free to members

CPC rescinds policy that "publications overall be budgeted to pay their own way;" Purpose is to avoid excess (taxable) profits from ad revenue

Diamond Jubilee Committee appointed

ONR Lecture now ASM Lecture

New Branch: New York


ASM News becomes monthly publication; first yearly index appears in December issue. First classified employment ads appear in January. Non-member subscriptions offered

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy begins as journal. ICAAC abstracts published separately

Waksman Fellowships for Graduate Education established

Pasteur Sesquicentennial at Tulane, co-sponsored by Society

ad hoc Committee on ASM Organizational Structure proposes new and expanded divisional structure

Tentative list of Divisions sent out with membership renewals; divisions chosen by at least 150 will become established

ad hoc Committee on Public Affairs Policy appointed (Robert Williams, Chair)

Civil Service Standards Committee of AAM created, replaces similar committee of ABMM

Sustaining Member dues increased from $150 to $300

Council approves expansion of Foundation Lecture Program to allow for up to two lecturers per branch per year


Publications Office takes over handling of nonmember subscriptions to all journals (previously done by W&W for all except AAC, IJSB & ASM News)

Conference Committee established

Public Affairs Committee established

Incubator discontinued

ad hoc Committee to study future of Academy, relation to ASM (Rasmussen, Chair)

NRM establishes certification in Food, Dairy, and Sanitation Microbiology

Laboratory Standards Committee (see 1968) becomes ASM Committee

First BET Workshops at Annual Meeting

Advisory Committee on Culture Collections established


First ASM-sponsored Conference, "Extrachromosomal Elements in Bacteria."

Fifteen new Divisions established, officers elected

Acker replaces Langlykke as Executive Director

Page charges in journals suspended

First Cumitech appears

Diamond Jubilee: ASM News includes Sustaining Member, Journal, and Branch histories; the New Society logo appears on medallion honoring the 75th anniversary

Microbiology-1974: First in a projected series featuring symposia proceedings (ASM and non-ASM)

ASM Bookstore initiated: selected reviewed books from ASM News offered to members at discount

NSF travel/admin grant to ASM for US/USSR Joint Working Group on Production of Substances by Microbiological Means

Meetings Department established under office of Executive Secretary

Appointment of Steering Committee to establish American Board of Immunology (Erwin Neter, Chair)

New Branch: West Germany


Journal of Clinical Microbiology

Wyeth Award (becomes Becton-Dickinson in 1978)

Forty-Year Club established

Placement Committee establishes separate rosters for women and minority applicants

ASM Bookstore discontinued

Special issues of ASM News: Education & Training (March); Publications (July)

IRS approves change from 501(c)(6) to (c)(3) status, provided two amendments to constitution are adopted

Committee appointed to clarify relations between Academy and ASM (particularly re BET), Robert Hungate, chair


Dues increase to $28: $21 of that is Journal credit, $3 for membership, $4 for ASM

Applied Microbiology becomes Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Mycoplasmology Division activated

Membership reaches 25,000

First poster sessions at Annual Meeting (ICAAC follows suit in 1977)

Lilly Award age limit changes from 35 to 40; award increased from $1000 to $2000

American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology (ABMLI) established

Academy by-laws revised (Hungate Committee); changes in effect 1977, including transfer of Latin American Professorship Program to BET

Clinical Microbiology and Medical Mycology Divisions split off to form Division Group V


New Constitution establishes AAM on equal basis with other boards

Fisher Scientific Company Award for Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Branch Rebate program ended

Fiscal year switched to Jan-Dec. (six-month budget necessitated for July-Dec, 1976)

ASM Foundation, Inc. dissolved (no longer needed after tax-status decision of 1975); replaced by Foundation Committee

Manuscript handling fee instituted ($35)

Society adopts resolution concerning regulation of recombinant DNA

Wyeth Award becomes Becton-Dickinson Award

First ASM Congressional Scientific Fellowship awarded

US/USSR Joint Working Group on Production of Substances by Microbiological Means holds three conferences, publishes proceedings

BET establishes Evaluation of Continuing Education Programs (ECEP) to qualify competent programs to award Continuing Education Units

ASM is approved by Liaison Committee on Continuing Medical Education as sponsor of continuing education programs (status unaffected by AMA's withdrawal from LCCME in 1979)

Latin American Professorship Program transferred from AAM to BET

PB and CPC agree that Society will not publish "conventional textbooks"


Bacteriologically Reviews becomes Microbiological Reviews

Movement to hold meetings only in states which have ratified Equal Rights Amendment; Council establishes policy concerning action on "social, moral and political issues.”

Archives book collection moves from Lilly Library, Indiana University to Kuhn Library, University of Maryland Baltimore County

First Graduate Student Travel Grants to Annual Meeting (through Foundation Committee)

With new copyright law, authors must now assign copyright to ASM

BET seeks to establish Education Division; Meetings Board agrees to 3 trial paper sessions at 1979 Annual Meeting

Continuing Education programs, conferences accredited by Liaison Committee on Continuing Medical Education

ASM and American Society for Clinical Pathology form Joint Liaison Committee on Continuing Education

Movement to establish Board of Scientific Services

Mailing surcharge instituted for foreign member subscriptions

First Becton-Dickinson Award (formerly Wyeth)


Public and Scientific Affairs Board established

Manuscript handling fee abolished

ICAAC holds joint meeting with International Congress of Chemotherapy

ASM contracts w/ NIAID to undertake extensive manpower survey of all members; results in ASM News, 1982

Annual Meeting is in two parts: in L.A. for first section, in Honolulu for U.S.-Japan Intersociety Microbiology Congress

First ABMLI exam

Search committee appointed to investigate new headquarters building

Mexico and Rio de Janeiro branches dissolved

Timeline of the Society (1980-1995)



ABMM, NRM initiate recertification programs

CPC approves proposal for new building for Headquarters (1819 L. ST.)

Virology Division splits into DNA Animal Viruses (S) and RNA Animal Viruses (T)

ASM files amicus curiae brief before Supreme Court in Chakrabarty case (patentability of genetically-engineered organisms)

Minority Predoctoral Fellowships established (funded by Foundation for Microbiology)

Wellcome Visiting Professorship Program initiated

Bylaws Changes: sunset committee; Council must formally approve new main activities; inclusion of PSAB; officers will supervise non-Board-related committees; half of Nominating Committee members must be elected Council Members

Petition approved for Nosocomial Infections Division

ASM disaffiliates from AIBS


Dues increased, from $28 to $45; Journal credit increased to $38

Due to high interest rates, plan to build new HQ building at 1819 L St. abandoned

IAMS becomes International Union of Microbiological Societies

Report of ad hoc committee on branches (Sunset Committee) recommends bylaw changes: establish Branch Organization Committee; set formal rules for branch self-governance; criteria for dissolution of branches

Report of ad hoc committee on ASM NEWS: editorial Board recommended, as well as publication of review articles

Molecular and Cellular Biology appears

PB discusses new journal on Viral Pathogenesis (decides in 1983 not to undertake this), decides not to publish Dictionary of Microbiology

Elesec (BET Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education) first published

Councilors' Colloquia (divisional mini-conferences) tried at Annual Meeting

Housewright replaces Acker as Executive Director; Sarber becomes Executive Secretary Emeritus

Petition approved for Bacteriophage Biology Division (M)

ABMM/ABMLI diplomate caucus holds organizational meeting

Exploratory meeting held by virologists to examine establishing virology association. Issue is addressed in Council by report of ad hoc Committee on Affiliation in 1982

NRM attains full category A membership in National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies

Non-book Archives material shipped to UMBC


Byrd Press begins printing all scientific journals; Dartmouth Press begins printing ASM News

Due to space considerations, Office of Education and Training moves to Joseph Henry Building at NAS

ASM hosts XIII International Congress in Boston

Page charges reinstituted for JB, IAI, JCM, JV, AEM, AAC(MCB in 1983)

United States Federation of Culture Collections J. Roger Porter Award established

Hoechst-Roussel Award established

First commercial taping of sessions at Annual Meeting

ad hoc Committee on Divisions reports, includes recommendation that Divisions have equal representation with Branches in governance

Placement Committee discontinues separate registries for women and minorities

PSAB inaugurates legislative alert letters to members

PSAB establishes ad hoc subcommittee on the Status of Minority Microbiologists (full Committee status in 1984)

PSAB helps establish ad hoc Group for Medical Research Funding

Fermentation Division renamed Fermentation and Biotechnology

NRM moves to make recertification voluntary, extends period from 3 to 5 years

ASM Conference on Infections and Immunological Diseases of Male Homosexuals


Dues increase to $50 ($41 for journals, $5 for ASM News, $4 for membership services)

Sunset Committee on Boards: recommendations include centralized publicity function; review of policy statements; updated handbooks; long-range (3-5 year) planning

ICAAC Young Investigator Awards established (sponsored by Merck, Sharpe, and Dohme)

First Alice Evans Award (Comm. on Status of Women Microbiologists, PSAB)

All ASM Foundation monies (except those given by Foundation for Microbiology) are transferred to general ASM funds

Individual, non-member subscription rate added

Petition for Mycobacteriology Division (U) approved

Elesec discontinued

First report of ad hoc Committee on Ethics

NRM becomes Certification Board of National Registry of Microbiologists

New Branch: Alaska


Revised report of ad hoc Committee on Ethics. CPC adopts code. Permanent committee established

Committee on the Status of Women Microbiologists initiates "The Communicator"

Society begins to accept credit cards for book purchases, meetings registration, membership

First Raymond W. Sarber Fellowship Awards; first Vector Young Investigator TravelAwards

Textbook publishing issue raised again; ad hoc committee appointed

Council approves common set of bylaws for divisions. Each division now to have a representative on Council; one of these representatives to serve on CPC

Headquarters Search Committee explores purchase of 2011 I St. After a confusing vote at March Council Mtg., special meeting held in June, and motion to purchase building is defeated

Sustaining member dues from $150 to $500; Student member dues from $5 to $10

New Divisions: Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology; Medical Immunology (name changed to Diagnostic Immunology almost immediately.) Division of Bacterial Infections and Pathogenesis name change to Pathogenesis of Bacterial Mycotic and Protozoan Infections denied after objection from Division F. New name is Microbial Pathogenesis

South Florida Branch becomes Florida Branch

Civil Service Affairs Committee moves from AAM to PSAB


Dues increase to $57: $8 for membership services, $8 for dues, journal credit remains $41 (Increase associated w/ planned building purchase)

Abbott Laboratories Award in Laboratory Diagnostics

Behring Diagnostics Award in Clinical Virology-Rickettsiology

Report of AAM Sunset Committee (coupled w/ Board S.C.); recommendations include Public Relations office, establishing a board of Certification

BET establishes core curriculum for baccalaureate programs in microbiology

ad hoc Committee on Public Relations established

Foundation Lecture program to expand to offering two lecturers/year to each branch; additional funding from ASM

Committee on Awards created to supervise all aspects of ASM-associated awards, and to recommend procedures for transferring this function to AAM

Bylaws amendments: change in procedure for nomination by petition for elective officers; procedure for handling accusations of ethics violations

Center for the History of Microbiology established (jointly with UMBC)

Civil Service Affairs Committee moves from AAM to PSAB

Ethics Committee's Ethical Review Process approved by Council

"Direct Line," closed-circuit TV program, is piped into hotel room TVs at the Annual Meeting and ICAAC


Issue of ASM response to needs of clinical microbiologists is raised; President Schaechter creates ad hoc Commission on Clinical Microbiology (Dowdle Commission)

First Gallup Survey of membership is conducted

ABMM revises eligibility requirements and exam procedures

West German Branch (founded 1974) dissolves; members become members of Association of General and Applied Microbiology

Division name changes: Pathogenesis of Bacterial, Mycotic and Protozoal Infections becomes Microbial Pathogenesis; Bacteriophage Biology becomes Bacteriophage

Due to space restrictions, Departments of Public and Scientific Affairs and Education and Professional Development moved to leased space

Alexander Sonnenwirth Memorial Lecture established

First ASM Biotechnology Conference

Minority Student Science Career Support Program established


Bylaws changes: division councilor terms to alternate (to achieve 50% rotation); legal liability protection provided by Society for employees and volunteers; term limit changes (Secretary and Treasurer, from 10 to 9 1/year terms; Board Chairs from 2 5/year terms to 3 3/year terms)

As a result of a dispute between Southeastern and Florida Branches, Council sets policy for resolving inter-branch disputes. Policy revised following year

Canons of Ethics and Ethical Review Process revised

PSAB appoints task force to examine PSAB-related findings of Dowdle Commission report (see 1986)

Scherago-Rubin Award begun


Page charges reduced: $55 to $35 for JV, MCB; $35 to $20 for all others

Clinical Microbiology Reviews appears

"ASM Update," pilot videocassette, is distributed to 7000 members

Cetus Corporation Biotechnology Research Award begun

First CPC Strategic Planning Sessions; Council approves Mission Statement and Strategic Goals

Bylaw Amendments: mail vote allowed for future amendments; ASM Foundation becomes subcommittee of Finance Committee; Biotechnology Conference established

Council denies petition to establish Education Division by declining to amend the Constitution to permit creation of nonscientific divisions

Standing committees on Divisions and Public Relations established (previously ad hoc)

Academy organizes first Critical Issues Workshop

Department of Information Management and Analysis established at Headquarters

ad hoc Committee on Sustaining Membership established

PSAB establishes Task Force on Biotechnology

First Education sessions at Annual Meeting (BET Committee on Annual Meeting Planning)

Last Behring Diagnostics Award


New Headquarters Building at 1325 Massachusetts Ave. is purchased

Division V name change: from Diagnostic Immunology to Clinical and Diagnostic

Publications Board to allow Letters to Editor in all journals; requires all authors reporting DNA sequences of genes to get acquisition number from GenBank; votes to test CD-ROM publication of some journals; posts contents of some

Continued concern about service to clinical (Division C) members: see minutes, ASM

Annual Meeting Program, though still free to members, no longer sent without specific request

Academy Board of Governors retreat leads to creation of 8 ad hoc committees to examine issues facing the Academy

PSAB establishes State Network


BET begins audioconference program

Council approves PB proposal to publish textbooks, and to pay royalties on all types of books, excluding symposium proceedings

New Brunswick Lecture becomes President's Forum at Annual Meeting

Conference Development Committee folded into Conference Committee (MB)

Second Gallup Survey of membership

ad hoc Committee on Biotechnology (this year only)

Book Publication Division established in Headquarters


Dues increase to $75. $10 increase split $8 for Publications, $2 for Membership Services. Student dues to $15

JB published twice monthly

New Sustaining Member program: Gold ($1000), Silver ($5000), and Platinum ($10,000) levels of membership established

Annual Meeting now called General Meeting

Administration of all awards transferred to AAM

Instructions to authors for journals include requirement that authors make newly described strains, cell lines, etc. available for non-commercial purposes

New procedure established for election of Councilors

Council of Past Presidents established

ASM organizes National Life Science Education Summit Conference, which leads to formation of Coalition for Life Science Education (CELS)

Division N name change: from Aquatic & Terrestrial to Microbial Ecology

Academy Newsletter revived (previously published 1957-68)

NRM opens certification exams to international microbiologists

BET reorganization proposed

Implementation of guidelines for industry-sponsored events at ASM meetings

Science Journalism Program established

PB declines to institute journal in Veterinary Microbiology (also 1992)

Fisher Award (see 1977) becomes ASM Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

First ABMM Professional Recognition Award


Increases in member rates for JB, JVI and MCB take those rates beyond journal credit amount included in dues

Audit Committee now standing Committee

Division J name changed to Ultrastructure and Functions

ASM Distinguished Service Award established

Baxter Diagnostics Microscan Young Investigator Award established

Ortho/McNeil Minority Predoctoral Fellowship established

Garden and bust of Kitasato dedicated at Headquarters

PB establishes ad hoc Ethics Committee

CPC's International Affairs Coordinating Committee established

Abbott Award changed in purpose and scope; now Abbott Laboratories Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology

First ASM-organized workshops offered at International meeting (3rd Western Pacific Conference on Chemotherapy and Infectious Diseases, in Bali)

ad hoc Committee on Volunteerism appointed

BET Committee on Continuing Education discontinues joint sponsorship of CME programming: will sponsor only General Meeting and ICAAC workshops (1st Retrovirus Conference in 1993 is exception). Joint sponsorship w/ Branches withdrawn in 1993


Microbial Literacy Project initiated

Proctor and Gamble takes over sponsorship of ASM Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (formerly Fisher Award)

Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program established

ASM and IDSA agree to hold ICAAC and IDSA Annual Meeting contiguously through 1995

Education Division (Division W) approved

Academy Bylaws revised (Williams Committee?)

Award Administration restructured: Honorifics to AAM; fellowships to BET; Travel Grants to Meetings

Books Division renamed ASM Press

ad hoc Committee appointed to review Divisional Structure

Chiron takes over support for Cetus Biotechnology Research Award

Sonnenwirth Lecture becomes bioMerieux Vitek Sonnenwirth Memorial Award

All journals become available on CD-ROM

BET establishes Task Force on Minority Education


Bylaw revision concerning election of honorary members

Branch Organization Committee begins comprehensive review of purpose, structure and function of Branches

Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology appears

PSAB Manpower Committee and Westat, Inc. begin national manpower survey

Plan approved to restructure divisions

BET begins to administer National Center for Infectious Diseases postdoctoral Research program

Headquarters now accessible by email


Dues increase of $5, allocated to public affairs, communication and education programs

Constitution/Bylaw revision:

-Membership Board established

-changes in Council/CPC composition: division & branch representatives;

-Books Committee chair member of PB

Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award in microbiology established

ASM Public Communication Award established

CPEP no longer recognized as accrediting agency by the U.S. Dept. of Education


This timeline of important Society landmarks was prepared as a reference document to help with preparations in the years leading up to the Society's Centennial in 1999, at which point it was discontinued.