© IMBS - June 2012 contact : laurence.seidel@chu.ulg.ac.be 
 
 
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1. The Adolphe QUETELET Society
 
The Adolphe QUETELET Society was founded on December 3, 1952, as the result of personal contacts of Léopold MARTIN with Chester BLISS, Secretary of the Biometric Society, Gertrude COX, first Editor of the journal Biometrics, and David FINNEY. The Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers of the QUETELET Society were as follows:

Years Presidents Secretaries Treasurers
1952-53 P. SPEHL L. MARTIN C. PANIER
1954 M. SIMON L. MARTIN C. PANIER
1955 E. CORDIEZ L. MARTIN C. PANIER
1956 D. DEMEULEMEESTER L. MARTIN A. ROTTI
1957 R. LAURENT L. MARTIN A. ROTTI
1958 P. DE NAYER L. MARTIN A. ROTTI
1959-60 J.M. HENRY L. MARTIN A. ROTTI
1961-62 M. WELSH L. MARTIN P. GILBERT
1963-64 A. LECRENIER A. LENGER P. GILBERT
1965-66 A. VANDEN HENDE A. BARY-LENGER J. OSLET-CONTER
1967-68 R. CONSAEL A. BARY-LENGER J. OSLET-CONTER
1969-70 L. MARTIN G. ROUSSEAUX J. OSLET-CONTER
1971-72 R. BONTEMPS G. LAMBELIN G. ROUSSEAUX
1973-74 P. DAGNELIE G. LAMBELIN G. ROUSSEAUX
1975-76 P. BERTHET G. GERARD D. PAELINCK-STEVENS
1977-78 A. ROTTI G. TORREELE D. PAELINCK-STEVENS
1979-80 G. GERARD E. LE BOULENGE F. HEBRANT
1981-82 J.J. CLAUSTRIAUX E. LE BOULENGE E. LE BOULENGE
1983-84 R. OGER E. LE BOULENGE E. LE BOULENGE
1985-86 P. BERTHET E. LE BOULENGE E. LE BOULENGE
1987-88 E. FEYTMANS E. LE BOULENGE E. LE BOULENGE
1989-90 J.J. CLAUSTRIAUX E. DEPIEREUX E. DEPIEREUX
1991-92 E. LE BOULENGE E. DEPIEREUX E. DEPIEREUX
1993-94 R. OGER E. DEPIEREUX E. DEPIEREUX
1995-96 H. CALLAERT E. DEPIEREUX E. DEPIEREUX
1996-98 A. ALBERT P. LAMBERT N. VERAVERBEKE
1999-2000 E. GOETGHEBEUR P. LAMBERT N. VERAVERBEKE
2000-2001 E. GOETGHEBEUR B. VRIJENS G. MOLENBERGHS
2001-2002 M. BUYSE B. VRIJENS G. MOLENBERGHS
2002-2003 G. VERBEEK B. VRIJENS G. MOLENBERGHS
2004-2005 W. MALBECQ T. LOEYS G. MOLENBERGHS
2006-2007 L. BIJNENS T. LOEYS F. VANDENHENDE
2007-2008 L. BIJNENS T. LOEYS L. COLLETTE
2008-2009 A. ROBERT T. LOEYS L. COLLETTE
2009-2010 A. ROBERT T. LOEYS A. VANDEBOSCH
2011-2012 L. DUCHATEAU T. LOEYS A. VANDEBOSH
2012-2013 C. LEGRAND C. LE BAILLY DE TILLEGHEM A. VANDEBOSCH

 
It should be stressed that Lépold MARTIN was Secretary of the Society during a 10-year period, until the end of 1962. With the help of Anne LENGER, Associate Secretary, he really was the driving force of the Society.

During these years, many meetings were organized, including three biometry days. Many renown biometricians and statisticians were invited to give lectures, among others: C.I. BLISS, R.A. BRADLEY, G.M. COX, G. DARMOIS, D.J. FINNEY, R.A. FISHER, C. GINI, H. GRIMM, S. LEDERMANN, H.L. LEROY, A. LINDER, H.L. LUCAS, P.C. MAHALANOBIS, N. MANTEL, J. NEYMAN, S.C. PEARCE, N. RASHESVKY, D. SCHWARTZ, A. VESSEREAU, F. WEILING, F. YATES, and W.J. YOUDEN.

During the same period, the number of members raised from 53 in 1953 to about 130 in 1959 and 1960.

The two pioneers, Paul SPEHL, first President, and Léopold MARTIN, Secretary from 1952 to 1962 and President in 1969- 1970, were elected Honorary President and Honorary Member of the Society, respectively.

From 1963 until today, similar activities were organized, on a more or less regular basis. M.J.R. HEALY, J.N.R. JEFFERS, J.D. LEBRETON, P. LEGENDRE, J.E. MOSIMANN, G.P. PATIL, G. TEISSIER, R. TOMASSONE, and J. TRANCHEFORT were other foreign invited speakers. Several meetings of the QUETELET Society were also co-sponsored with other scientific societies, such as the Belgian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Belgian Royal Botanical Society, and the Belgian Royal Zoological Society.

The number of members was scarcely mentioned in the annual reports and accounts of the Society. It is nevertheless clear that it went down after 1960, and it then fluctuated between a minimum of about 70 and a maximum of about 110.

A possible explanation for the rather reduced interest in the QUETELET Society activities during these years could be the increasing number of biometric and statistical seminars and meetings organized in the various Belgian universities, or on an inter-university level, including the National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS - NFWO) so-called contact groups. The publication of the journal Biométrie-Praximétrie (Section 3.2) and the involvment of Society members in international activities (Sections 3.3 and 3.4) are counterparts to the reduction of the number of meetings of the Society.

2. The Biométrie-Praximétrie Journal
 
The publication of a scientific journal was a concern for the QUETELET Society Council right from the very beginning. This journal was initially thought to be a European journal, and the title Acta Biometrica Europeana was even considered.

This idea was nevertheless discarded, and the formal decision to publish Biométrie-Praximétrie as the Society journal was taken by the Council in June 1959. The first issue appeared in March 1960.

The Editors of the journal were successively:

L. MARTIN, in 1960-63;
P. DAGNELIE, in 1964-68;
P. BERTHET, in 1969-70;
P. SMETS, in 1971-75;
J. DELINCE, in 1976-78;
J.J. CLAUSTRIAUX and R. OGER, in 1979-85;
G. BOUXIN and R. OGER, in 1986-93;
R. OGER, in 1994.

With financial support, during many years, from the University Foundation and the Ministries of National Education and of French Culture, 89 issues, amounting to a total of almost 6,000 pages, were published from 1960 to 1994. Besides delivery to Society members, the journal was sent to more than 100 subscribers, mostly in foreign countries. Unfortunately, due to financial problems, the Society had to discontinue the publication of the journal at the end of 1994.

Many members have wondered what was the meaning of the word Praximétrie. Here is the answer. In their first editorial, J.M. HENRY, Society President in 1960, and Léopold MARTIN wrote [HENRY and MARTIN, 1960]:

"The activity of the members of the Adolphe QUETELET Society swings between two poles: knowledge and action. Biometry puts the accent on the building of models leading to a deeper insight of biological phenomena, in a large meaning, while Praximetry aims all practical rules leading to an action or a decision in given conditions."

3. The International Biometric Society
 
In September 1947, the Biometric Society (now the International Biometric Society) replaced a Biometrics Section formed in 1938 as part of the American Statistical Association.

The Biometric Society was, and still is, organized in Regions (with a minimum of 50 members) and National Groups (with a minimum of 10 members). The first Regions were the Eastern North American Region (ENAR), formed in 1947, the British Region and the Western North American Region (WNAR), formed in 1948, the Australasian Region, the Indian Region, and the French Region, formed in 1949 [BLISS, 1958]. Then came the Belgian Region, in 1952, the Italian Region, in 1953, etc., the Belgian Region being currently the 7th out of 32 Regions and National Groups.

Quite naturally, many members of the QUETELET Society were involved in the management of their "Mother Society". Two of them were elected Vice-President and President of the International Society:

L. MARTIN, President in 1960-61 and Vice-President in 1962; P. DAGNELIE, Vice-President in 1983, President in 1984-85, and Vice-President again in 1986.

Eleven members of the QUETELET Society were elected members of the Council of the Biometric Society:

L. MARTIN, in 1953-55, 1956-58, 1963-65, 1969-71, and 1972-74;
A. LENGER, in 1959-61;
R. BONTEMPS, in 1962-64;
P. DAGNELIE, in 1966-68, 1975-77, 1980-82, and 1994-97;
P. BERTHET, in 1976-79;
G. GERARD, in 1980-83;
E. FEYTMANS, in 1983 and 1988-91;
J.J. CLAUSTRIAUX, in 1984-87 and 1990-93;
R. OGER, in 1986-89;
E. LE BOULENGE, in 1992-95;
E. DEPIEREUX, for 1996-99;
A. ALBERT, for 1998-2001.

Several members of the QUETELET Society were also elected or appointed as members, and sometimes chairpersons, of the main committees of the Biometric Society: Awards Fund Committee, Editorial Advisory Committee, Finance Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Programme Committees of the International Biometric Conferences, as well as the Editorial Board of the journal Biometrics and the Editorial Board of the Biometric Bulletin. At present, the QUETELET Society has representatives in almost all such committees and boards.

4. The 1988 International Biometric Conference
 
In May 1984, a group of members of the QUETELET Society proposed to the Biometric Society Council to organize the XIVth International Biometric Conference in Namur, in July 1988. The members of this group belang to the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, in Namur, the Faculté des Sciences agronomiques of Gembloux, and the Université Catholique de Louvain, in Louvain-la-Neuve.

The proposal was approved by the Biometric Society Council, during its Tokyo meeting in September 1984, and confirmed later on by a mail ballot.

The following Local Organizing Committee was set up:

E. FEYTMANS, Chairman;
J.J. CLAUSTRIAUX, Secretary;
A. LEUNIS, Business Manager;
P. DAGNELIE, E. DEPIEREUX, G. GERARD, J.M. GOHY, G. KELNER, E. LE BOULENGE, R.OGER, and J. PARIS, Members.

Three Subcommittees were especially in charge of Registrations and Social Program, Scientific Program and Publications, and Finances and Budget. The Chairpersons and Secretaries of these Subcommittees were respectively:

G. KELNER and E. DEPIEREUX, G. GERARD and E. LE BOULENGE, and J. PARIS and E. DEPIEREUX again(E. DEPIEREUX took the place of J.M. GOHY, who tragically died before the Conference).

The challenge was enormous, and the work hard, but the Conference turned out to be a great success.

The Conference was held at the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, from July 18 to July 22. Over 450 delegates from 38 different countries, 38 sessions, about 160 oral presentations, several poster sessions, two volumes of invited and contributed papers (more than 500 pages), statistical software demonstrations, numerous council and committee meetings, countless unformal discussions, excursions through the whole country, and a gorgeous closing banquet were the ingredients of a most successful conference [PERRY, 1988].