Note that the following is the Constitution as approved in 2015.
Two previous versions of the Constitution are available online: those approved in 1999 and
1971. In addition, interim constitutions may be accessed by Council members through the file management system.
Paragraphs in red denote those altered since 2009.
BSR Constitution (2015)
The Society (formerly known as The British Rheologists Club) shall be
called The British Society of Rheology.
The objects of the Society shall be the promotion of scientific inquiry
and the diffusion to the public of knowledge connected with the
advancement of pure and applied rheology defined as the science of the
deformation and flow of matter.
In furtherance of the objects herein before defined the Society
purchase or otherwise acquire or procure to be written and print
copies, issue and circulate gratuitously or otherwise any reports of
periodicals books pamphlets or other documents provided that any sums
received from sales under this sub-section shall be applied solely for
the charitable purposes of the Society;
arrange and provide for or join in arranging and providing for the
holding of exhibitions meetings lectures and classes;
assess promote encourage undertake or organise research;
affiliate or become affiliated to any body having similar objects to
those here before defined and acquire and undertake all or any part of
the assets liabilities and engagements of any such body which the
Society may lawfully acquire.
Any person interested in rheology shall be eligible to apply for
membership of the Society but no application for group membership will
Application for membership of the Society shall be made in writing and supported in writing by a member of the Society, if possible, in a manner to be approved from time to time by Council (see 5 (a)). The Entrance Fee (see below) and first subscription shall be sent with the application for membership. Council shall consider any such application and if a majority of Council members present at a meeting approve the application, then notice shall be given to the applicant of his election. The applicant shall then be enrolled as a member and be entitled to all the benefits and privileges of membership, and shall be bound by these rules
If an applicant elected as aforesaid shall not have paid his
subscription within one month of being notified of his election then
Council may at its absolute discretion declare the election of such
applicant to be void.
Council shall have power to elect to honorary membership any person who has attained distinction through scientific attainment or by reason of service to the Society. A member retiring from employment, normally after more than 20 years membership, is eligible, at the discretion of Council, to become an honorary member.
Any member may resign his membership by giving to the Membership
Secretary notice in writing to that effect. Every such notice shall,
unless otherwise expressed, be deemed to take effect as from
1st January next following receipt thereof and the member
shall cease to be a member from that date.
Council may if at any time it shall be of the opinion that the
interests of the Society so require by letter invite any member to
resign from the Society within a time specified in such letter.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding sub-clauses hereof the
resignation of a member so resigning shall be deemed to take effect
immediately it is received. If the member does not resign within the
time specified then Council shall consider his expulsion. The member
shall be given an opportunity to offer an explanation of his conduct
verbally or in writing and if thereupon Council shall by a two-thirds
majority of those present and voting decide to expel him he shall
thereupon cease to be a member of the Society.
Any person shall upon ceasing to be a member of the Society forfeit all
right to and claim upon the Society and its property and funds.
An Entrance Fee of £5 shall be paid by anyone applying for
An annual subscription of such amount as the Annual General Meeting may
decide shall be paid by each member.
All subscriptions for a given calendar year (except the first subscription of a new member as provided by rule 3) shall be payable on the first day of the previous October.
If the subscription of any member shall be three months in arrears,
notice shall be sent to him calling his attention thereto and if he
does not pay the amount within 21 days of such notice the Society may
forthwith cease to send him any of the Society's publications. If the
annual subscription of a member shall still be unpaid at the expiration
of 12 months from the date it was due, then a further notice shall be
sent calling his attention thereto and if the subscription be not paid
within one month of the posting of such further notice then he shall be
removed from the list of members. Any person who ceases to be a member
under this rule may be re-elected to membership, but only after
re-application and payment of a further Entrance Fee.
Council and Executive Officers
The affairs of the Society shall be managed by a Council of 12 members
which shall include the President and five executive officers of the
Society, namely a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Membership Secretary, an Editor (Web), an Editor (Bulletin). The members of Council are deemed to be "Trustees" as defined by The Charities Act 1993 and shall manage the affairs of the Society in accordance with the requirements of that Act.
A President shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting to serve in
that office for two years and all other members of Council shall be
elected at each Annual General Meeting to serve for one year.
Candidates for the Presidency or for any executive office or as
ordinary membership of Council may be proposed and seconded (i) by two
members of the Society giving the Secretary written notice at least
three days before the Annual General Meeting or (ii) by two members
verbally at the Annual General Meeting before the election takes place.
Any member of the Society shall be eligible to be elected as President
or as an officer or as an ordinary member of Council, and any officer
or Council member shall be eligible for re-election except that
(i) a member shall not be eligible to fill the office of President for more
than two years successively
(ii) a member shall not normally be eligible to fill the same office for more than four years successively: in the exceptional situation that no nomination for a particular office has been received by the AGM a member may continue in the same office for a fifth year and
(iii) a member shall not be eligible to serve on Council for more than four years successively without filling an executive office.
The election of the President, the executive officers and the other members of Council shall be by those present at the Annual General Meeting and in the event of a contested election shall be by each member of the Society present having one vote for each position to be filled. The vacancies on Council shall be filled by the candidates up to the number of vacancies who shall receive most votes and they shall be declared elected. If two or more candidates receive an equal number of votes either for an office or for a vacancy on Council the election to such office or vacancy shall be decided by drawing lots.
Council shall have power to appoint any member of the Society to fill
any casual vacancy among the executive or on the Council until the next
Annual General Meeting. Any member so appointed shall retire at the
next Annual General Meeting but shall be eligible for election at that
At the end of the two-year term of office, the outgoing President automatically assumes the role of Immediate Past President for a further two years. The Immediate Past President may attend Council meetings and advise Council, but ceases to be a Trustee and does not have voting rights.
The accounts of the Society shall be subjected to financial scrutiny in
accordance with the requirements of The Charities Act 1993.
Council shall meet at least three times during the year. Four members
of Council shall form a quorum except that a quorum of eight members of
Council shall be required when Council is considering the expulsion of
a member who has not resigned at Council's request. Council shall elect
each year a Chairman from among its own members (excluding the
President) who may take the chair if the President is absent or does
not wish to do so. In the event of an equality of votes the Chairman of
the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held in the Spring of each year upon a date and at a time to be fixed by Council. The business at such meeting shall include the
the election of officers and other members of Council;
to receive a report and accounts from Council;
to deal with any resolution or special matter which Council desire to
bring before the members or any member wishes to raise and receive
suggestions from the members for consideration by Council.
Notice convening the annual General Meeting shall be sent to the
members not less than three weeks before the meeting. The notice shall
specify any proposed change in the rules and where possible it shall
also specify the other matters to be dealt with provided that nothing
in this rule shall prevent matters (other than a change in the rules
the winding up of Society or the severance of the Society's connection
with a Branch) from being considered by the Annual General Meeting
solely because notice of such matters has not been circulated to the
members. This notice shall normally be by email to members with the same information being displayed on the Society's website, but individual members may request a paper version of notices by writing to the Secretary.
At the request of four members of Council or of twenty members of the
Society, the Secretary shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting
within two months of receiving such request. Such an Extraordinary
General Meeting shall have the full authority of an Annual General
Meeting to consider only the business for which the meeting was called.
Notice convening an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be sent to all
the members not less than ten days before the meeting and shall specify
the matters to be dealt with.
The quorum at all General Meetings shall be 20 or 8% of the total
membership of the Society whichever shall be the less, including votes
cast by post on any resolutions which have been formally notified to
members by means of the notice referred to in clause 7(b). Postal votes
will only be valid if they have been received by the Secretary before
noon seven days before the date of the General Meeting in the form of a
voting slip signed by the member. In the following the word "voting" is
taken to mean both "voting in person" and "voting by post, fax or electronic mail". All decisions at General Meetings shall be made by a simple majority of the members voting except that a change in the rules shall require a
two-thirds majority of the members voting provided that the members
voting in favour of such a change must number at least 20 or 8% of the
total membership of the society whichever shall be the less.
The President shall take the Chair at Annual and Extraordinary General
Meetings of the Society and at meetings of Council. If the President is
absent or does not wish to take the Chair at any of these meetings then
the Chairman of Council or failing him, another member elected at any
such meeting shall take the chair.
Powers and Duties of Executive Officers and Council
Council shall manage the funds and affairs of the Society in accordance
with the requirements of the Charities Act 1993 and shall do all such
acts as may appear to them necessary or desirable for carrying into
effect the objects and views of the Society.
Council may engage remunerate and dismiss any servants as may be deemed necessary or expedient.
Council may appoint any sub-Committee which it may think necessary or
expedient for carrying out its business. Any number not exceeding
one-third of the members of any sub-Committee may be persons who are
not members of Council. Council may delegate any of its powers to a
sub-Committee and may give general or particular directions as to the
exercise of such powers to which directions the sub-Committee shall
conform. Council may at any time add any member to or remove any member
from any sub-Committee but need not in any such case assign a reason
for such action.
Subject to the provisions of this constitution, Council may regulate
its own procedure.
The Secretary shall be responsible for the general conduct of the
Society's correspondence and other day to day business. He shall
prepare the Agenda for each meeting of the Society and of Council and
shall give notice of meetings and invite nominations for any elections
on the Agenda. He shall take the minutes at all meetings of the Society
and at meetings of Council and enter them in a Minute Book.
The Membership Secretary shall be responsible for all matters relating
to membership of the Society, other than the receipt of
The Treasurer shall receive all sums of money due to the Society
transact all its pecuniary affairs and keep a proper account of
receipts and payments. The financial year of the Society shall end on
The Editor (Web) shall be responsible for the preparation and posting of material to the Society's website and other online forums and the Editor (Bulletin) shall be responsible for the preparation and circulation of the Society's Bulletin.
Council shall present to each Annual General Meeting a written report
and accounts of the Society for the preceding year.
Non-members may be admitted to any of the Society's Conferences at the
discretion of Council. Council shall have the power to charge a fee for
such admission if it considers this desirable.
Representatives of the Society on other bodies or at Conferences of
other organisations shall be elected from among the members of the
Society by Council.
A Branch of the Society may be formed in any area outside the United
Kingdom subject to the approval of Council. The activities of a Branch
shall be governed by the rules of the Society and by the rules of the
The rules of a Branch shall be approved by Council. Such rules shall
provide for the election of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and
Committee and when the rules have been approved the officers and the
Committee shall be elected and the Branch shall commence to
The Committee of a Branch of the Society shall be subject to any
directions given to it by council but so that neither Council nor the
members of the Society (other than members of the Branch) shall be
responsible for any action taken by the Branch Committee.
An application for membership of the Branch shall if approved by the
Branch Committee in accordance with the rules of the Branch be treated
also as an application for membership of the Society and shall be sent
to the Membership Secretary of the Society for consideration in the
normal way by the Council. If the applicant is elected to membership of
the Society he shall be given notice of his election and shall be
requested to pay his first subscription in accordance with the next
following rule to the Treasurer of the Branch. Upon payment of his
subscription he shall be enrolled as a member of the Society and of the
Branch and be entitled to all the privileges of membership of the
Society and the Branch and shall be bound by these rules and by the
rules of the Branch.
The subscription payable by the Branch Member shall be decided from
time to time by the Branch Committee and shall be due on the first day
of January in each year; a Branch Member shall not be called upon to
pay any subscription in respect of his membership of the Society apart
from his Branch subscription. Part of the subscription of each Branch
Member shall be sent with a list of names of paid up Branch Members to
the Treasurer of the Society before the last day of March of each year.
This part of the subscription shall be decided from time to time by
The Council may sever any connection between itself and a Branch if
such severance is supported by two-thirds majority of the members
present at a General Meeting of the Society. The Branch shall be
notified forthwith of any such decision and shall thereupon cease to be
a Branch of the Society but the members of the Branch may at the
discretion of Council remain members of the Society.
The Society shall not be liable for any damage or loss to the persons
or the property of members howsoever caused whether the Society has
been negligent or not. Provided nevertheless that Council may in its
absolute discretion make an ex gratia payment out of the Society's
funds in respect of any such damage or loss if it thinks that such a
payment is appropriate.
Every member of the Society shall from time to time communicate to the
Membership Secretary his address and all notices posted to such address
shall be considered as having been given on the day following the date
Alteration to Rules
These rules may be added to repealed or amended by resolution at any
Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting provided that no such
resolution shall be deemed to have been passed unless:
it be carried by a majority of at least two thirds of the members
voting thereon; and
the votes in support of the change number at least 20 or 8% of the
total membership of the Society, whichever is the less. In this clause
"voting" has the meaning defined in clause 7(d).
A resolution for the dissolution of the Society may be proposed at any
General Meeting where at least four weeks' notice has been given to the
members of the intention to propose such a resolution. If the
resolution for the dissolution of the Society shall be passed at such a
General Meeting by a majority of two thirds of the members voting
thereon (including postal votes) and the members voting in favour of
the resolution number at least 20 or 8% of the total membership of the
Society whichever is the less Council shall thereupon or at such future
date as shall be specified in such resolution, proceed to realise the
property of the Society and after the discharge of all liabilities
shall apply the same for charitable purposes approved by the Secretary
of State for Education and Science and upon the completion of such
application the Society shall be dissolved.
Council shall be the sole authority for the interpretation of these
rules and the decision of Council upon any question of interpretation
or upon any matter affecting the Society and not provided for by these
rules shall be final and binding on the members.
Last amended April 2011.
The Society was registered as a charity in September 1966.