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President’s Message
Dear Colleagues,
I address myself to you, for the first time, as President of this Society. I have been involved in weed science throughout different regions of the world for many years, and I am very proud to have seen IWSS grow and become stronger with time. This was achieved through the leadership of great colleagues who have sought to foster professional relationships, facilitate the sharing of information and encourage the initiation of young individuals to our discipline. I am much honored to serve in a society that gathers such outstanding scientists committed to the advancement of weed science worldwide, and I wish to thank you all for having given me the opportunity to be President of IWSS.

At this time of transition, I want to thank our Past President Dr. Baruch Rubin for his outstanding service of many years to IWSS. Baruch has bestowed upon us leadership, friendship, good humor and contributed gallant hard work at all times. I also want to recognize the outstanding services of Dr. Nilda Burgos as Secretary-Treasurer and Dr. Bernal Valverde as Past-President. I wish to congratulate our new Vice- President Dr. Nilda Burgos, the new Treasurer Dr. Franck Dayan and the new Secretary Dr Samunder Singh. The Executive Committee at its meeting during the last IWSS Congress in Hangzhou decided that the position of Secretary Treasurer would be best served if the duties were shared. Thus Dr. Samunder Singh, who has served as our Newsletter Editor accepted to undertake the Secretary’s duties. IWSS members were very supportive of both Dr. Dayan and Dr. Singh with their votes in the recent election and it was very rewarding to have the unanimous approval of the General Assembly to split the position and to have them both as Board members. Dr. Singh will continue to be our Newsletter Editor. During the same occasion, our Past President Dr. Bernal Valverde, was invited to remain as Ex-Officio member of the Executive Committee. Dr. Valverde has served the IWSS for more than 16 years now; his institutional memory and insight have always been of great value to IWSS and we are thankful of his willingness to continue his collaboration.

The organization of the International Weed Science Congress (IWSC) every four years is one of IWSS main tasks. This year, under the banner of “Dynamic Weeds, Diverse Solutions” and in collaboration with the Weed Science Society of China (CSPP), we successfully held our VI th International Weed Science Congress in the beautiful city of Hangzhou, China. This was a memorable event, both for the quality of the scientific program and for the outstanding local organization. I wish to thank Dr. Per Kudsk and the Main Topic Organizers for assembling and implementing an excellent Scientific Program. I most especially also want to recognize Dr. Chaoxian Zhang for the outstanding performance of the Local Organizing Committee he presided; our colleagues in China displayed a tireless will to make this event a great success and were able to set up an unforgettable venue, infusing all participants with warm hospitality. Many thanks also to Miss Mengdi Guan of the China International Conference Center for Science and Technology (CICCST) for her efficiency, patience, and outstanding work. For this meeting 512 participants registered from 47 countries. Both the Finance Committee, headed by Drs. Marco Quadranti and Helmut Walter, and the Local Organizing Committee raised funds to support student participation, most of whom were from developing countries, and awards of excellence to outstanding international scientists. These resources increased participation and diversity, making the meeting better for everyone. Graduate students and junior faculty represent the future of weed science. Encouraging their participation in an international meeting fosters their interaction with renowned scientists worldwide and is a great step towards keeping these bright young scientists in our discipline. We thank the many organizations that provided funding to support this activity.

We were saddened by the passing away of the bright student Elena Sánchez Olguín on 28 July 2012, in Hangzhou, China. She became ill while attending the VI International Weed Science Congress. Elena was a recipient of an IWSS student award to participate in the congress. Elena was a native of Costa Rica and a PhD candidate in the Weed Science Program at Oregon State University (OSU) in the USA. We extend our sincere condolences to her family. We also wish to praise the outstanding support Elena received during her hospitalization from her Professor, Carol Mallory-Smith, her OSU fellow graduate students, particularly Mingyang Liu and Bianca Martins, from her country-mates, Past President Bernal Valverde and Griselda Arrieta, and from the many colleagues and students from China who accompanied her at all times. We also thank all the Congress attendance for their outpouring of support, both monetary and other forms, for Elena and her family.

Weeds are still a great problem and there is a clear need for weed science. But weed science needs to keep evolving to maintain the high profile it deserves. Members of our society are instrumental in elevating the scientific level of our discipline, in contributing sound and innovative solutions to the diverse and dynamic weed problems, but also need to be able to attract those who can make meaningful contributions to weed science. The IWSC meeting provides weed science a great deal of enthusiasm and momentum that should not be lost. The organization of our next meeting in Prague, the Czech Republic, has already begun under the leadership of Prof. Josef Soukup of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague with the scientific support of the European Weed Research Society. We wish Dr. Soukup and his IWSC organizing committee great success in their endeavor, which takes four years of work and preparation. With the collaboration of all of us, the VII th IWSC will be another memorable event.

I look forward to serving as your new President during the next four years. The IWSS Executive Committee will be seeking to improve communication among weed scientists and to reach our stakeholders worldwide. For that, we encourage your increasing participation and we may be asking many of you to contribute in these activities. I will welcome your suggestions, and encourage you to send us your ideas and contributions.

Albert J. Fischer
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