Constitution

As approved by the Members of the John Snow Society at an Annual General Meeting on 11 September 2014.

I. Aims

The John Snow Society was founded in 1992 and aims to promote knowledge of the life of John Snow and of his works, to encourage communication and collaboration between specialists of the many disciplines that have benefited from Snow's work and to ensure that John Snow's memory and legacy continue to be celebrated, for example in the pub bearing his name, at the site of the famous pump - and also to have fun and benefit from the networking opportunities.

II. Membership

The Society shall consist of the five Founders, Members and Honorary Members. The number of Members and Honorary Members will be without limit. Eligibility to join the Society is defined as wishing to celebrate the memory of John Snow. The Society welcomes all those with a serious interest in John Snow and related research, and those who wish simply to share its activities, network or gatherings at the pub bearing his name. Membership is for life, on payment of the current joining fee, providing that the Member continues to respect the memory/legacy of Dr. John Snow's work and that the membership card and mug remain intact. Honorary Members shall be selected by the John Snow Society Steering Committee (J3SC) from amongst those who have eminently distinguished themselves in specialties related to the work and memory of John Snow, such as Pumphandle lecturers, Nobel Prize winners and those of similar merit.

III. Governance and administration

1. General

The Society is supported by both the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). It is administered by the RSPH with regard to membership, finance, referring information requests, assistance with planning events and producing the news updates on the website or via a newsletter. The Society runs an annual Pumphandle lecture, which is hosted by the LSHTM.

2. John Snow Society Steering Committee (J3SC)

  • The J3SC shall comprise: up to 12 volunteer and unpaid Pumphandle Trustees ('Trustees'), all of whom must be Members of the Society, including the five Founders of the Society as permanent Trustees; and up to seven who are elected for three year terms, which can be renewed for further subsequent terms, though regular and planned change of Trustees is encouraged. The number of vacancies will be announced on the website and in an annual email to Members and nominations sought by September 1 each year, consisting of a statement of 54 words describing commitment to - and vision for - the Society. Applications will be considered by the J3SC for ratification by Members present at the AGM, unless it is necessary to conduct an email poll if suitable applicants exceed vacancies. Candidates should normally attend the AGM, where each will have the opportunity to speak for a maximum of two minutes, although in unavoidable absence, their statement may be read to the meeting.
  • A Chair, Secretary and Treasurer (and others if required) shall be elected from among the Trustees.
  • Representatives for particular roles (such as meetings, anaesthesia, water, history of medicine and international chapters) shall be Members of the Society and will be appointed as seen fit by the J3SC but shall not become Trustees by virtue of their appointment as representatives.
  • All Trustees are expected to attend the annual Pumphandle lecture and AGM and to encourage new membership of the Society. The Founders' role is to maintain the ethos and institutional memory of the Society, in addition to assisting with J3SC development.
  • The J3SC's tasks shall include but not be limited to:
    • deciding on the Annual Pumphandle Lecturer and occasional events;communications and social media;
    • membership liaison;
    • the Society's website;
    • advising on design of further additions of the John Snow mug and other commemorative items that may be produced;
    • responding to requests for information.
  • A minimum of two Trustees, in addition to the Chair and Secretary, should be consulted for decisions that have to be made between meetings of the J3SC. Subcommittees will be formed as necessary to assist with particular activities such as work on the database and arranging commemorative items. The need for subcommittees will be reviewed on an annual basis.
  • The J3SC will also encourage the RSPH and LSHTM to maintain the traditions of the Society and review progress of any events and publications related to Dr John Snow.
  • The J3SC will meet at least once every year, and more often if necessary, in addition to making attendance at the AGM a priority.

IV. Finance

  • The finances shall be administered by the RSPH on behalf of the Society, in accordance with their Standing Financial Instructions and in line with Charity Commission advice and guidelines.
  • The joining fee shall be reviewed at least every 3 years by the J3SC and will be maintained at the lowest financially feasible rate.
  • Members joining the Society are entitled to a John Snow mug and membership card. Postage/carriage for those who cannot collect the mug personally must be paid by the Member at the time of joining and will be set to cover current postage costs. Replacement of broken mugs incurs a replacement fee, the amount to be reviewed from time to time.

V. Activities

  • The Society shall run an Annual Pumphandle Lecture, topic and lecturer chosen by the J3SC and held, where possible, on or near the anniversary of the removal of the pumphandle, 8th September.
  • The AGM of the Society will normally be held in the John Snow Pub following the Pumphandle lecture.
  • From time to time the J3SC may organise other events, including a Blessed Chloroform Lecture, on or near 7th April, to commemorate John Snow's work in anaesthetics and other activities.
  • The Broadsheet, the newsletter of the Society, is an occasional production, which will normally be sent by email or as a link to the website in July in order to announce the forthcoming Pumphandle Lecture, in addition to carrying news of potential interest to Society Members.
  • The Society will not provide its membership list to individuals or to other organizations.
  • The Society will keep emails to Members at a minimum, for example to send the Broadsheet or to inform of particular events related to Dr. John Snow.
  • The Society will endeavour to develop its website and to pursue links with other commemorative websites referring to Dr John Snow or the Snow tradition. It will also develop and make use of other social media, as appropriate.
  • Members of the Society are encouraged to establish informal groups, chapters (divisions) and meetings in their own countries and localities. Local groups may levy an additional fee to finance their local activities.
  • A John Snow Society meeting can be declared wherever and whenever at least two Members of the Society are present. A photographic record of meetings and events may be sent to the Secretary for inclusion in the Society's archives.

VI. John Snow Public House

  • The John Snow Society shall maintain, wherever possible, its connections with the John Snow Pub, Broadwick Street, Soho, where the visitors book may be signed; and also, as appropriate, with the brewery responsible for the pub.
  • The John Snow Society will aim to ensure that the reputation of John Snow is strengthened by memorabilia on display in the pub and replacing the visitors' book as necessary. Facsimile copies of previous guest books will be placed in the Society's cabinet, in the pub.

VII. Culture

The John Snow Society plays a serious role, in commemorating John Snow's work and in helping to preserve the site of the Broad Street outbreak. It also aims to provide a network for epidemiologists and others trained in the Snow tradition, who work across the world and who might, in the tedium or strain of their labours, lose sight that epidemiology and anaesthesia should also provide fun, an interest in new ideas, and the memory of the rich history left by John Snow and those who followed him. A mixture of serious intent and informality should thus be preserved.

VIII. Dissolution

  • If the majority of Members present at an AGM resolve to dissolve the Society, the Trustees will remain in office and be responsible for winding up the affairs of the Society in accordance with this clause.
  • The Trustees must collect in all the assets of the Society and must pay or make provision for all the liabilities of the Society.
  • The Trustees must apply any remaining property or money by transfer, in equal amounts, to the RSPH and LSHTM.

IX. Amendment of Constitution

This Constitution may be amended by resolution passed by no less than two thirds of the Members present at an AGM.