Election scandal at the Bioelectromagnetics Society

Today, Friday, April 29th 2016 at 12:01:53 EEST I received, as all members of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS), e-mail message announcing the result of election for new President Elect and new Member of the Board. The message was as follows, copied here in its entirety:


In November 2015, the Nominating Committee asked for nominations or suggestions for candidates for two Board positions, each with a 3 year term.

  • President (first year in office as President-elect)
  • One (1) Board Member

No direct nominations were received and one name only was put forward for each position. The Committee’s view was that both were excellent candidates, that holding an election with only one candidate to vote for in each office would be unnecessary and duly proposed both names to the BEMS Board. The successful candidates are:

President: Andrew Wood (Australia)
Board Member: Azadeh Peyman (UK)

Their biographies are available from the link https://www.bems.org/node/15234. Alternatively, the documents can be found on the BEMS Society Business page, at www.bems.org, under Society / Society Business / 2016 Election Announcement.

Congratulations to our two new Board members. We welcome them and thank them for serving the Society.
Philip Chadwick
Past President and Chair of the Nominating Committee”


This is election scandal and election farce of the highest caliber.

This message means that the democratic election process in BEMS was hijacked by the current Board of the BEMS. The Nominating Committee of BEMS did not do the job it is designed to do – to find suitable members of BEMS, interested and willing to participate in the governing activities of the Society. Instead, the Nominating Committee arbitrarily selected two members of the Society to be the only candidates for the two open positions. Then, the Nominating Committee decided that the candidates are such excellent choices that there is no need for the election. Board of BEMS decided that there is no need to ask members of BEMS for their opinion.

This is a complete farce made of what it was to be the democratic election process.

The both “elected” scientists are qualified for the positions. This is not the problem.

The problem is that, by participation in “election” farce of BEMS they approve the pseudo-democratic dealings of the current Board of BEMS. In my opinion, they both should act responsibly and respectfully towards the whole membership of BEMS and duly not accept the “election” result.

Is Board of BEMS turning out the Society into their “private club”, ICNIRP, or worse, North-Korea-like dictatorship?

As member of the BEMS since the St. Paul, MN, meeting, as the two term past member of the Board of Directors of BEMS, as Co-Chair of the BioEM2009 in Davos, Switzerland and Co-Chair of BEMS in Seoul, South Korea, I feel deeply offended by this “election” farce of the current Board of BEMS and I duly call for the prompt annulment of the “election” result.


9 thoughts on “Election scandal at the Bioelectromagnetics Society

  1. Pingback: What next, after the election scandal at BEMS? | BRHP – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  2. Not correct Tom.
    First of all, acclamation procedure is not specified in the BEMS by-laws.
    Second, acclamation might be done by the meeting of members of the Society, not just by few members of the Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee puts forward candidates for the whole membership of the Society to vote. In this particular case they had candidates but they did not present them to the membership. They just arbitrarily decided that the candidates are fitting and no need to bother further…
    This is wrong.

  3. The process of electing a person to a post in the absence of other nominees is called acclamation.

    That is what happened here. It is not undemocratic at all – it’s just plain common sense; as well as a common practice in political races throughout democratic societies.

  4. Alasdair, what you say is no excuse for the Nominations Committee to not do their job. They are there to find members suitable and willing to serve. What the BEMS did now clearly violates BEMS own election procedures stated in the by-laws.

  5. The problem really lies with people not making direct nominations themslves or asking suitable collegues to propose them. It is common practice in the UK not to hold elections if there are not more candidates that positions to fill. The new people are co-opted instead.

    I suspect that is mostly because all the people that don’t hold old-paradigm views about EMF/RF effects on living systems realise that BEMS is really a pro-industry no-serious-EMF/RF-effects organisation and there is not much point trying to re-steer the Titanic. So we get two more ‘no-effects’ people proposed and co-opted by the existing ‘no-effects’ board. Plus ca change.

  6. Pingback: Election scandal at BEMS – election by-laws were violated | BRHP – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  7. This is unfortunately In line with BEMS’ other “selections”.

    d’Arsonval Award Winner 2016 is Mr Foster. His chidren exposure paper is financed by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum. His Wi-Fi review is financed by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

    How can we trust the BEMS organisation any more?

  8. We are seeing the eroding of democracy (and civilization) in so many ways and it’s a grave concern. The Nominating Committee certainly saved themselves extra effort and application by not communicating more openly beforehand with the BEMS members. Hope this will be rectified and the correct procedure followed.

  9. Parliamentary Procedure is not optional! When an issue is not covered in the organizations bylaws then a Parliamentary Authority must be used to determine the proper procedure such as Robert’s Rules of Order as is most commonly used in the U.S. So why are we not making Parliamentary Procedure a required subject in high school. Because some want to ignore the rights of the minority , the individual and those not present at meeting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.