The European Peptide Society was founded in 1989, primarily in order to ensure that the valuable but informal European Peptide Symposia should be continued on a sound basis. In March 2012, a Scientific Society termed European Peptide Society (also known as EPS) was constituted (based in Prato, Via Francesco Ferrucci n.203 / C). According to the EPS Statutes, the European Peptide Society is a non-political and non-profit organization with the objective of coordinating, promoting and representing to other similar entities and / or institutional organisms at the international level, in order to promote the advancement of research and training in the peptide sciences in Europe and in other extra-European countries.
Its most important activity is the organisation in Europe of the biennial international symposium which regularly attracts about 1000 participants from all over the world. The Proceedings are published biennially. Although the early symposia (from 1958 onwards) were necessarily devoted largely to the development of chemical methods for the synthesis of peptides, the programmes now extend to the biology of peptides, and include, for example, structure-activity relationships, conformational studies, peptide vaccines, and the immunology of peptides.
The Society also supports financially smaller local meetings and workshops. The governing body of the Society is the Council. Each constituent country which has the required minimum number of members the Register of the Society has one representative on the Council. Council elects from ordinary members of the Council or from co-opted members of the Council a Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer each for a period of four years. Council also appoints an Executive Committee consisting of the Chairman of the Council, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Scientific Affairs Officer and one ordinary member. The Society has a membership of about 1600 (from some 30 countries) who pay no subscription at present. The principle was established at the outset that there would be no subscription in order to ensure that all peptide scientists in Europe would be able to enrol.
The Council introduced the following rules in 2002. For the acceptance of application for membership one full paper published in peer-reviewed journal or two publications in Proceedings of International meetings related to peptide science or one accepted patent are required. Members are receiving the Newsletter and have the right to nominate/elect National Representative of the country. For the acceptance of application for temporary membership no written record in the field is needed, but the applicant must be supported in writing by a member of the Society. Temporary members are receiving the Newsletter. Temporary membership will be automatically cancelled after 3 years or renewed upon written request. For consideration of travel grant application at EPS meetings or at EPS supported meetings there is no EPS membership required.
The only current income to the Society is from sponsorship contributions, a small per capita contribution from the registration fee of the biennial symposia, and advertising in, and with, the Society’s Newsletter. Of these sources, sponsorship is the most important, and indeed the continued viability of the Society as currently organised is completely dependant on the support of Sponsors.The Society’s outgoings at present comprise production and circulation expenses connected with its six-monthly Newsletter, expenses of its annual Executive Committee Meeting (which are very modest), other administrative expenses (which are minimal), and the subsidy of small scientific meetings in the field. It does not contribute to the costs of the Journal of Peptide Science: although this is the Society’s official journal, it is published by John Wiley & Sons as a financially independent operation. None of the Society’s Officers receive any benefit from their offices; the Society has no employees or administrative overheads apart from postage etc; its accounts are professionally audited and are available to any interested Sponsor or potential Sponsor.
Society members may subscribe to the Journal of Peptide Science at a greatly reduced rate. In addition, the Society circulates a Newsletter which contains brief reports of meetings and other news, book reviews, and lists, and a calendar of relevant symposia. The Society administers the Josef Rudinger Memorial Lecture Award and the Leonidas Zervas Award, and a fund to assist younger members to attend symposia. It has close and cordial relations with the other Peptide Societies. At present membership is free to academic and individual industrial applicants giving evidence (by listing published papers or patents) of their commitment to scientific research in this field.