Fortran Specialist Group

Membership Report June 2007

In the accompanying tables I have set out my best shot at reliable membership data for the group for the last four years.

The total number of members of the group as listed in Table 1 has shown a modest increase, from 248 in 2004 to 272 in 2007 while the proportion of BCS members has fallen slightly since 2004 from 58% to 56% but the increase in numbers since 2006 is made up almost entirely of BCS members, I am pleased to see. The proportion of female members of the Group is below the average for the BCS as a whole, 14%, but has increased this year to almost 13%. The proportion of our members who hold the CITP grade has increased from 57% in 2004 to 61% in 2007. In addition we have over 60 members who are Chartered Engineers.

One inconsistency which I have not yet followed up is why so many of the members are shown as being on the Group List server when they don't have an e-mail address listed. The proportion has varied from 29% to 21% of the total names on the List Server over the last three years.

Turning to Table 2, the number of members with addresses outside the UK has remained almost constant over the last four years but a worrying trend is the number of members for whom the address is Not Known. Of the current seven members in this category one had his BCS membership lapse in 2000, two more lapsed in 2001, one lapsed in 2002 and another in 2006. The remaining two members were never members of the Society but joined the Group in March 2003. But it does not appear that their postal addresses were captured or were not transferred to the Catalyst membership system. We have e-mail addresses for three of the seven so it may be possible to contact them electronically.

The numbers of BCS staff differ between the various categories because I have counted all BCS staff in the SG Membership grade category but only those who are not BCS members in the non-BCS members category. The current BCS staff on the FSG list are Mandy Bauer, Phil Dyson and John Stephens, the last two are both members of the Society. My grateful thanks goes to all of them and to Lynne Sturgess, Head of BCS Forums and SGs, for their cheerful help in answering my persistent questions.

As you will recall from previous AGMs, my main concern has been to establish exactly who on our membership list is a paid-up member of the Society and who is not. Thanks to the efforts of the SG staff at HQ I am now happy this has been done, as you can see by comparing the detailed breakdown of the non-BCS members for June 2007 with the much sketchier figures for the earlier years. It is interesting that over 80% of those Group members who are currently not members of the BCS are former members of the Society - is it something we said?

I believe we are now ready to implement our long agreed strategy of asking all the non-BCS members to join the Society as Affiliates for a subscription of £25/annum. I have already forewarned the members about this in my e-mail reminders of this AGM over the last few weeks. I hope to be able to draft a letter to be posted to all the 112 non-BCS members for whom we have a postal address and circulate it to the Committee for their comments and approval before the end of June. I also want to write to all the BCS members to ask them to ensure their details held by the Society are up to date and to remind them that as the Group now relies on e-mail for communication we would like them to provide an e-mail address and to have it put onto the Group List Server.

Peter Crouch
Acting Membership Secretary
12th June 2007

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