By-laws for the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol


1. The name of the Society will be “Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol”.


2. The objectives of the Society will be to promote social and epidemiological research on alcohol and to foster a comparative understanding of the social aspects of alcohol use and alcohol problems. The Society will also promote the spirit of international cooperation among and through its members.


3. To fulfil these objectives the Society will engage in the following activities:

a) It serves as a medium for comparative projects on the social aspects of alcohol use and alcohol problems.
b) It sponsors international seminars on topics of theoretical, methodological or substantive importance.
c) It organizes regular general meetings for the presentation of research papers and discussion of scientific issues in social and epidemiological alcohol research.
d) It engages in additional activities approved by the Coordinating Committee with the consent of the membership.


4. The membership of the Society shall consist of Regular Members and Affiliate Members.

5. All applicants for regular membership must be scientists working on problems related to social and epidemiological research on alcohol. They will be admitted into the Society by majority vote of the Coordinating Committee.

6. The individual will become a member with full voting rights and other privileges of membership upon admittance by the Coordinating Committee and payment of annual dues. Non-payment of dues will lead to loss of membership six months after the final period paid for, unless special arrangements are made. Dues are payable to the Secretary-Treasurer. The amount is decided at the Membership Meeting.

7. Persons not eligible for regular membership, except those excluded by by-law 10 below, are eligible to become Affiliate Members by a majority decision of the Coordinating Committee. Affiliate Members will have no voting rights. In all other respects, they will have the same rights as regular members.


8. KBS is committed to the principle of transparency in matters of conflict of interest and to ensuring that KBS activities proceed without including or benefitting alcohol industry actors.

9. The Conflict-of-Interest Committee (appointed under by-law 20 and 23 below) shall monitor compliance and advise the Coordinating Committee on by-laws relating to the management of conflicts of interest with reference to contemporary standards within public health. It shall serve to ensure, in collaboration with local organisers of events, that attendees, members and presenters provide adequate declarations to enable compliance with the by-laws.

10. A person who is deemed to be an alcohol industry actor, as defined here, will not be eligible for membership of KBS, or to attend KBS events.

An ‘alcohol industry actor’ is defined as a person who has worked for or on behalf of an alcohol industry organisation in the past three years, including serving as an advisor, acting in an advocacy role or providing consultancy services beyond research and dissemination activity to such an organisation. A person who has worked for or on behalf of an alcohol industry body prior to the past three years, may be deemed to be an alcohol industry actor if their prior involvement is deemed significant or substantial. A decision concerning involvement prior to three years ago will be made by the Coordinating Committee. For the avoidance of doubt, a person who has merely been in casual employment in a bar or shop selling alcohol should not be deemed on that basis to be an alcohol industry actor. Similarly, merely receipt of research funding by an alcohol industry organisation is not a criterion for exclusion as an industry actor, but any such funding must be declared in accordance with by-law 11 below.

The term ‘alcohol industry organisation’ is defined to include manufacturers of alcoholic beverages, wholesale distributors and major retailers or importers that deal solely or predominantly in alcoholic beverages or whose primary income comes from trade in alcoholic beverages, but excludes governmental bodies such as alcohol monopolies with a strong commitment to protecting public health and welfare as an operating principle. It also includes business associations or other non-State actors representing or largely funded by private alcohol industry organizations, as well as other business, trade, advocacy, public relations, charity, and social aspects organisations with financial or non-financial ties to the alcoholic beverage trade.

The Coordinating Committee will make the final decision on whether individuals or organisations are deemed to fall under the above definitions, with advice from the COI Committee if necessary.

11. To apply for membership, renew membership, attend a KBS event, or present a paper at a KBS event, applicants must disclose any circumstances which may lead them to be deemed an ‘alcohol industry actor’ as outlined above.

Existing members must notify the Coordinating Committee should any such circumstances arise, and may have their membership of KBS revoked in accordance with by-law 10 above.

Failure to disclose or clarify relevant information may also constitute grounds for participation to be refused or for membership to be declined or revoked.

All decisions shall be at the discretion of the Coordinating Committee, which may seek advice from the COI Committee.

12. Anyone who believes they have been unfairly excluded on the basis of by-law 10 may appeal to the Coordinating Committee by writing to the President, and provide clarification of their circumstances or outline why an exception should apply in their case. Their appeal will be referred to the CoI Committee for assessment. The CoI Committee will fairly and transparently assess eligibility in any cases where such a declaration is made, and make recommendations to the Coordinating Committee which shall make the final decision on all matters.


13. A declaration of potential conflicts of interest must be included in submitting an abstract for a presentation at a Society meeting, included in the full paper submitted to the symposium, and disclosed at the start of the presentation. The declaration should include the nature and amount of any funding received in the previous 3 years from any organisation within the categories in by-law 8, or from industry-funded research councils, such as ERAB, ABMRF, and DrinkWise. “Funding” includes research costs, salaries, speaker fees, accommodation, transportation, and meals, but is not restricted to these. In case of such funding, any role of the funder in design, implementation and write-up of the research should be specified. In case there is no such interest to declare, the declaration can be “No conflict of interest to declare”.

14. The declaration of interests must include:

[Relating to the submitted work]

a)    the nature of any funding or other support received for or indirectly supporting the submitted work or the project of which it is part, including a statement outlining the role of the provider of funding or other support in the design, implementation and write-up of the research. A declaration of funding is required regardless of funding source.

b)    where funding or support has come from an alcohol industry organisation as defined in by-law 10, a clear indication of what the funding or support was used for.

[Relating to the authors]

c)    any other circumstances including (but not limited to) funding or other support relating to or benefiting authors, arising in the previous three years, that could be perceived as a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest.

The above declarations must take care in particular to declare any circumstances involving or relating to an alcohol industry organisation (as defined in by-law 10) and including industry-funded research councils or charitable foundations.

In making declarations, the term ‘funding or other support’ by an alcohol industry body should be interpreted to include financial contributions to research costs, salaries, speaker fees, accommodation, transportation, meals or in-kind contributions such as the receipt of data that is not publicly available or technical support.

Declarations are not normally expected to cover a period earlier than the previous three years, however, authors should declare any circumstances that could be perceived as a conflict of interest of sufficient significance or size that they are likely to be embarrassing to the individual or to KBS if not declared and later come to light.

In case there is no such interest to declare under the above, the declaration should state “No interest to declare”. If in any doubt about whether or not a particular circumstance falls under this by-law, a declaration should be made and details of the circumstances should be provided.


15. The property and business of the Society shall be managed by a Coordinating Committee consisting of a President, a President-elect and a Vice-President and nine other members. The members shall represent a minimum of six different countries. The President, President-elect and Vice-President shall be from three different countries. Each member of the Coordinating Committee shall be considered to represent the country of his or her primary research affiliation, regardless of country or birth or citizenship. The Coordinating Committee will be elected from and by the membership.

16. The President, President-elect and Vice-President of the Society shall serve for a two-year term, and may not be re-elected to the office in which they have served without a break in service. After serving two years as President-elect, this officer shall then serve another two-year term as President. The term of office of each other Member of the Coordinating Committee shall be four years. No Member shall serve for more than eight years without a break in service.

17. At least six months before the end of the current term of office for officers elected directly by the members, the Nominations Committee will issue a call for nominations. In addition to such nominations by members, the Nominations Committee will make nominations, taking note of the requirement for geographical representation of the officers, which shall be distributed to all voting members. Nominations for officers shall be organized into two lists, one for President-Elect and Vice-President, and one for other Members of Coordinating Committee.

Candidates are required to complete a declaration of conflict of interest with respect to the alcohol industry, in the standard KBS format to be included with candidate information for members.

Each voting member is entitled to vote for two candidates on the President-Elect and Vice-President list, and for as many candidates on the Coordinating Committee list as there are seats known to be open for election at the time the ballot is prepared. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes on the President-Elect, and Vice-President list is elected as President-Elect. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes from the remaining candidates who are not from the same country as the President-Elect is elected as Vice-President.

Candidates on the Members list are elected in order of the number of votes received, except that candidates shall not be elected if their election would violate the provision that Coordinating Committee membership must be drawn from at least six different countries. If positions with different terms are open, candidates receiving higher vote-totals will fill the longer-term positions. All Coordinating Committee positions known to be open when the election is counted will be filled at that time, including the position of a newly elected President-Elect or Vice-President who would have held a continuing Coordinating Committee seat.

At the Society’s initial election, 5 Coordinating Committee seats will be filled for 4 years and 4 for 2 years. In subsequent elections, the full term of each seat shall be 4 years, and those elected to fill a seat vacated in mid-term shall serve only until the end of the original term.

Terms of office of directly elected officers of the Society will begin at the commencement of the next Membership Meeting following their election. Incumbent officers will remain in office until this time.

18. Meetings of the Coordinating Committee may be held at any time and place to be determined by the Committee, provided that 60 days’ notice of such meetings shall be sent in writing to each member of the Committee. No formal notice shall be necessary if all members are present at the meeting or waive notice thereof in writing. A meeting of the Coordinating Committee will be held without further notice in conjunction with each Membership Meeting. On the initiative of the President, the Coordinating Committee may make decisions on any matter of business by mail.

A quorum for any decision of the Coordinating Committee will be one-half of the current members of the Committee including the President, President-Elect or Vice-President. All decisions of the Coordinating Committee will be by majority vote of those voting.

19. The Coordinating Committee shall take such steps as they may deem requisite to enable the Society to receive donations and benefits for the purpose of furthering the objectives of the Society.

The Coordinating Committee may seek associations with other organizations in order to further the objectives of the Society. Any such association requires majority approval of voting on a mail ballot to the membership.

20. The Coordinating Committee may appoint from the members of the Society a committee or committees, including the Nominations Committee and Meeting Organizing Committees.

21. The Nominations Committee shall comprise three members. The members shall be appointed by the Coordinating Committee. This committee will be responsible for preparing the list of nominations for the Coordinating Committee and for conducting the election.
The members of the Nominations Committee will be ineligible for nomination for any election that they conduct.

22. The Meeting Organizing Committees shall carry out the organization of meetings in collaboration with local members. Together with the Secretary-Treasurer, the Meeting Organizing Committees shall organize the finances of the meetings.

23. The Conflict of Interest Committee (COI Committee) shall comprise between 3 and 6 members, and shall act as a resource for the Coordinating Committee and KBS membership in matters related to funding transparency and conflict of interest and will monitor and advise on the enforcement of relevant KBS by-laws.


24. The purpose of the Ole-Jørgen Skog Award for Early Career Scientists is to recognize the excellence of papers presented by early career scientists at the annual symposium. The award is a cash prize, two years of membership in the Kettil Bruun Society and a certificate.

The best paper presented by an early career scientist (no more than 5 years in alcohol research) will be selected by the Ole-Jørgen Skog Award Committee and be based on its contribution to advancing knowledge in alcohol research and on its theoretical and methodological quality. Specific selection criteria, developed by the Committee, are available on each year’s conference website.

The Ole-Jørgen Skog Award Committee shall consist of 5 members of the Society who represent both qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches. The Committee shall consist of a chairman and 4 regular members. Members shall serve terms of 2 years and shall be appointed by the Coordinating Committee. Memberships shall be staggered with 2 members appointed in one year and 3 members appointed in the following year. It is desirable that at least one member of the Committee come from a low or middle income country.


25. The purpose of the award is to recognise outstanding and exemplary contributions to the advancement of international collaborations on social and epidemiological alcohol research. The scope of this field is broadly defined to include, for instance, historical and policy studies, public health research, studies of the ecology and functioning of treatment systems, and studies in ethnography, economics, psychology, sociology and other social sciences carried out in the interest of public health and welfare.  The contributions should include sustained efforts in building cross-national research networks or collaborative studies, as well as a substantial publication record as an author or co-author in the field.  The collaborations will not necessarily have been within the Kettil Bruun Society, and an awardee is not necessarily a Kettil Bruun Society member.

The award will be conferred with a Plaque, and with other concomitants of the award as determined by the Coordinating Committee. It will be conferred annually or less often, following the decision of a Selection Committee. The award selection committee shall consist of at least three members representing diverse disciplines and nations, and shall be named by the KBS Coordinating Committee for staggered three-year terms, starting with a committee with one member named for a 1-year, one for a 2-year and one for a 3-year term.

Nominations for the award will be solicited from KBS members starting with an announcement at each annual meeting of members. Nominations should include a statement of the candidate’s contributions to the advancement of international research collaboration in the field, and a curriculum vitae of the candidate.  The selection committee should communicate its decision on the award to the Coordinating Committee by the following February 1, with the award made at that year’s annual KBS meeting.


26. The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research (IJADR) is the scientific journal of the Kettil Bruun Society. The Journal will have one or more Co-Editors-in-Chief, and an Advisory Board, appointed by the KBS Coordinating Committee. The Co-Editor(s)-in-Chief and Advisory Board members will be appointed by the Coordinating Committee for a fixed term, with the appointment renewable. Other members of the Senior Editorial Board for the journal will be recommended by the Co-Editor(s)-in-Chief and appointed by the Advisory Board. The accounts of the Journal will be kept separately from the main KBS accounts. They will be kept in terms compatible with the Treasurer’s accounting for the Society, and will be supervised by and regularly reported to by the Treasurer to the Co-Com and the Membership at the annual Business Meeting.

27. Since offering a publication outlet for researchers from low- and middle-income countries and early-career researchers is an objective of the KBS and the IJADR, such researchers may apply for all or part of costs for an article’s publication to be paid by KBS. Decisions on such applications will be made by the Co-Editor(s)-in-Chief. The KBS Coordinating Committee will each year decide an allocation from KBS membership fees for a fund from which such publication costs can be paid, informed by the financial situation of the society.


28. The President, as chief executive of the Society, will preside at the meetings of the Society and its Coordinating Committee.
The President will initiate and carry out policies in conformity with the Society’s purpose as specified by the Coordinating Committee.

29. The Vice-President will assume the duties of the President if the incumbent President resigns or dies and will perform such duties until a new President is elected and assumes office.

30. The Secretary shall be elected every two years by a majority of Coordinating Committee members voting.
The Secretary is responsible for communicating Society activities and plans to the members (via the website or e-mail) no less often than once a year. These include the time and place, as well as the organizers of seminars and workshops sponsored by the Society.

31. The Treasurer shall be elected every fifth year by a majority of Coordinating Committee members voting.
As financial officer of the Society, Treasurer receives the dues of the members and makes disbursements under the supervision of the Coordinating Committee to which he/she presents an annual report, available on request to any member.
The Treasurer shall prepare a membership list to be used for election purposes and announcements of annual meetings/thematic meetings.

32. The data management officer shall be elected every fifth year by a majority of Coordinating Committee members voting.
The data management officer coordinates the collection and storage of the members’ and symposia participants’ data and is responsible for the enforcement of the Privacy Statement of the Kettil Bruun Society (see separate regulation).


33. A general meeting of members shall be held at least once a year in conjunction with an international meeting decided upon by the preceding Membership Meeting. At the Membership Meeting a discussion will be held of the future activities of the Society.
Announcement of the Membership Meeting will be made to the members at least three months in advance, together with a tentative agenda of business.


34. The Membership Meeting can, by majority of those voting, institute a mail ballot to the membership on any issue.

Upon a written petition of twenty members to the President within six months after the Membership Meeting, concerning any issue presented at the general meeting, the issue must be submitted to the members by mail ballot.

The Coordinating Committee, by majority, can also institute a mail ballot to the membership at any time.


35. Upon written petition of twenty members to the President or by a decision of the Coordinating Committee, an article or articles of these By-Laws can be submitted to the membership for revision. Revision requires majority approval of those voting on a mail ballot.

Last amended 16 March 2023