2002 - 2003
How would you characterize your presidency in terms of actions taken and decisions made?
There were a number of controversial policy issues that were addressed during my term as president. A major burden in addressing these issues fell on Nancy Rigotti who chaired an ad hoc committee to recommend policies on competing interests and procedures for drafting and approving SRNT policy statements. Cindy Pomerleau took the lead in drafting a formal policy statement on grants and investments. Questions were raised concerning appropriate topics and tone for listserv postings and a number of heated exchanges occurred. There was discussion of appropriate sources of funding both for individuals and the Society and consideration of types of current funding and past financial support that should preclude eligibility for elected office. There were concerns that SRNT was too closely aligned with the pharmaceutical industry.
How would you describe your presidency in terms of the overall growth and trajectory of SRNT?
SRNT has been on a major growth trajectory both in terms of membership and the annual meeting especially during the past 3 years. Certainly this positive trajectory was evident during my term. I believe that SRNT gained greater recognition and visibility especially in the public health community and is now seen as an important meeting and resource for public health researchers with tobacco interests. There was growth in other areas as well, but I am less personally familiar with those other areas.
What do you consider your most important contribution to SRNT?
My own key initiative was to work toward SRNT becoming a more truly global research society. In that context I took the lead in organizing a Global Initiatives in Tobacco Research pre-conference immediately prior to the 2003 annual meeting. This pre-conference was successful in attracting more than 200 registrants. In addition, the first meeting of the Fogarty International Center tobacco research network was held in conjunction with SRNT immediately prior to the global pre-conference. I believe that I have contributed to the international focus and visibility of SRNT. However, I deserve limited credit. I was the beneficiary of the incredible talent, energy, and enthusiasm of the volunteer planning committee and of our membership as a whole.
In your opinion, what are the most notable developments in the field of nicotine and tobacco research over the past ten years?
In my view some of the most notable developments over the past ten years in the field of nicotine and tobacco research have been increased interest in transdisciplinary approaches and increased funding available for nicotine and tobacco research. I have been most impressed with the growth of the field and with the growth of our Society. I believe that SRNT itself has been an important influence on the field of nicotine and tobacco research over the past 10 years. Our organization is highly respected and has considerably greater influence than the size of our membership might suggest.