International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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18th World Vegetarian Congress 1965
Swanwick, England

From The British Vegetarian, Nov/Dec 1965:


First Report from the Secretary, S.C.I.V.U., Jack Lucas, Thane House, Kirkbead Road, Keuts Bank, Grange-over-Sands, Lancs. [UK]

1. Introduction. A series of informal meetings between doctors and scientists was held during the Congress week at Swanwick, England.

There was unanimous agreement that a Science Council should be formed and the recommendation was approved by Congress at a specially convened meeting on Thursday, 2nd September, 1965. This report provides a record of::-

  1. the statement of the aims and proposed organisation of S.C.I.V.U. as agreed at the preliminary series of meetings;
  2. the proceedings of the special Congress meeting at which the statement was submitted and formally approved;
  3. the minutes of the first official meeting of the Council.

2. Original Statement re Formation of a Science Council.

  1. After discussion at a series of meetings the following members have agreed to apply for constitution as a Science Council:-
    Dr. Karl-Otto Aly (Sweden).
    Drs. E. & F. Begoihn (Germany).
    Dr. R. Bircher (Switzerland).
    Prof. W. Brockhaus (Germany).
    Dip Ing J. Fleischanderl (Austria).
    Mrs. Isabel James (Gt. Britain).
    Dr. Barbara Latto (Gt. Britain).
    Dr. Gordon Latto (Gt. Britain).
    Dr. Jean Nussbaum (France).
    Dr. G. Schmidt (Germany).
    Dr. Alan Stoddard (Gt. Britain).
    Dr. Frank Wokes (Gt. Britain).
    Mr. Jack Lucas (Gt. Britain).

  2. The members have recommended that the proposed Council shall be known as the Science Council of The I.V.U. (SCIVU).

  3. The members recognize that an immediate task of the Council will be to collect and to classify scientific information bearing on vegetarianism. This should be made available in the form of:-
    1. abstracts of scientific articles;
    2. critical reviews of newly published books; and
    3. review articles on topics of special importance, e.g., proteins, food contaminants.

  4. The above members have agreed to prepare abstracts in English, French, or German, of articles of vegetarian interest appearing in selected scientific journals.

  5. Members have agreed that the abstracts shall be prepared in duplicate: one copy shall be sent to Dr. R. Bircher in Zurich, and the other to Dr. Frank Wokes, of the Vegetarian Nutritional Research Centre at Watford. They will be filed according to an approved system, and those of sufficient interest will be considered for circulation and possible publication.

  6. Members agreed to use a format suggested by Professor Brockhaus as a basis for the standard form on which the abstracts will be prepared.

  7. Members suggest that the detailed implementation of these proposals shall be effected by an Executive Committee elected by the Council, but with the approval of The I.V.U. Committee. It was felt to be very necessary that the members of this Committee be well-qualified in either the scientific or medical fields. The Committee should have power to co-opt either to itself or to the Council.

  8. It is hoped that scientific papers presented at this Congress will provide some of the initial information and that the active research work which is being done by the V.N.R.C. and others can be used to support the work of the Council.

  9. Members suggest that the Council shall provide a report of its activities at each subsequent Congress of The l.V.U.

3. Special Congress Meeting, 2nd September, 1965. The proceedings were conducted by The I.V.U. General Secretary and the recommendation was introduced by Dr. Gordon Latto. The statement of the previous section was then read by Jack Lucas; it was explained that a scientific abstract was a summary of an article or paper containing the results of original scientific research and accompanied by an adequate bibliographic description to enable the article or paper to be traced.

The importance of the work of the Council was explained by Dr. Frank Wokes: "Vegetarianism was founded on moral principles. However, from the beginning it has also had a strong scientific basis. This has gradually increased in importance, and since World War II has rapidly developed into its present leading position with enormous potential applications. All scientific progress is based on the findings of previous workers. These are recorded in the vast scientific literature, comprising journals published by scientific organizations, official publications from Government Departments, text-books, and monographs from many different authorities. Scattered through thousands of volumes are articles containing much information of importance to vegetarians. The abstracts which we propose to prepare will summarize this essential information in a concise and readily available form and will endeavour to survey fresh information as it is published. Members of the Council, and other vegetarian scientists and doctors, who it is hoped to enrol in the work, are in an excellent position to survey a substantial part of the literature on an international basis. A considerable nucleus of information is already available at the V.N.R.C. and it is hoped that this will be available for the use of the Council. Research on a greatly expanded scale is urgently needed for the development of new vegetarian foods and their testing by clinical trials, and for their large-scale production. In recent conversations with Dr. Sukhatine, Head of the Statistics Division of F.A.O., he expressed an interest in our work, and a sympathy with our aims. Experts studying world food problems are concentrating mainly on vegetable protein foods designed to replace as efficiently as possible the limited supplies of animal foods. The Science Council, which we propose should be established by The I.V.U. must, therefore, collect and summarize the information providing the essential basis for these developments, and in which it should aim to play an active part."

A supplementary statement regarding financial support for the project was made by Jack Lucas. It was pointed out that the Council was most fortunate in that much of the work would be undertaken voluntarily, and that Centres for handling and processing the abstracts already existed at Zurich and at Watford. Additional secretarial assistance and facilities would, however, be essential at the two centres, and it was estimated that an initial annual budget of some hundreds of pounds would enable a modest but important start to be made in the work. The Council and its Committee would take all possible steps to secure the accuracy and reliability of its service, and it was hoped that the abstracts would have some commercial value in the future. They would certainly be of value to international organizations such as F.A.O. and voluntary bodies such as Oxfam, and the possibility of some financial support from such organizations would be investigated at the opportune moment.

A number of members expressed enthusiastic support for the venture and the recommendation was accepted without dissent.