European Nutrition Conference, Churchill College, Cambridge July 10 -14 1973
Statement of Income and Expenditure
As we approach the FENS 2019 conference it is interesting to look back at the detailed Statement of Income and Expenditure from the 1973 conference, the first time the meeting was hosted by the Nutrition Society. The balance sheets were produced in line with the Society’s accounting policies and provide interesting comparisons with current management of these large conferences.
The Nutrition Society made a relatively modest contribution to the cost of the meeting (£100 from a total income of £9139), the Royal Society loaned £500, and £950 was donated by 7 industry sponsors (Spillers, Sandoz, Riker, Glaxo, Winthrop, Roche and Servier). The majority of income, therefore came from delegate registrations, being £10 for full members and £4 for associate members, but it is interesting that industry wanted to be involved with the conference, making contributions to the travel costs of international speakers, and other expenses incumbent on the hosting organisation. I wonder how many of these companies would share this view now, and how these companies compare with those sponsoring the 2019 event?
That Mrs C. Chammings, who along with Mrs Jackson and Miss Tabor provided secretarial assistance, was able in 1973 to taxi in Cambridge for 60p is a signifier of costs, which according to the Bank of England Inflation calculator is a fare that would now be in the region of £12.
Eclipsing the Treaty of Prague by five months, Gastroenterologist, dietician, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Institute of Human Nutrition in Czechoslovakia, Josef Masek, flew to Cambridge to speak at the conference. His £92.80 airfare, and the £140.00 that was subbed by Dr Elsie Widdowson for speakers Dr. E. Morava from Institute of Nutrition, and Professor Dr Balass Juhasz, Research Institute for Animal Husbandry, Budapest, Hungary, signifies how the 1973 conference was a forum that appealed to the science communities burgeoning from behind the former ‘Iron Curtain’. Also among this distinguished company were Dr Zlabochova, Research Centre of Metabolism and Nutrition of the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czechoslovakia, Dr G. Burlacu, Institute of Animal Nutrition, Ilfov, Romania, Professor Dr T Tashew, Direktor des Ernahrungs Institutes, Sofia, Bulgaria, and Professor Werner Reiz, Medizinische Klinik der Karl-Marx Universitat, Leipzig, Germany D.D.R.
Conference delegates, along with British Biochemist, Sir Charles Dodds, were entertained by Fellow of the Royal College of Music, Ralph Downes CBE, MA, who performed an organ recital for the fee of £40 and gratuity of £4 paid to the Clerk of St John’s Chapel. (Listen to Ralph Downes performing the music).
Image credit: © Nutrition Society Archives UK and Ireland.
This blog was written by Sheila Mercieca in collaboration with Professor Chris Seal.