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Founding the Federation

The World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology (WFNMB) was founded in 1970, at the third ALASBIMN Congress in Mexico City, and the First World Congress of Nuclear Medicine was held in 1974 in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan. This meant that new links were now forged between all Americas, Europe and Asia, Oceania, and Africa, and these were gradually strengthened in subsequent years. The WFNMB consists of groups, societies or associations acknowledged as representatives in each country primarily involved with research, education, training and/or practice in Nuclear Medicine and Biology.

One of the features of the WFNMB which should be used to the benefit of the members of the WFNMB, and to Nuclear Medicine globally, is the integration of developed and developing countries. This creates opportunities for shared activities, amongst others in performing research on unique disease profiles in the developing world. Some might argue that people in developing countries should restrict their research focus to diseases that principally affect their countries. If that were generalized to all countries, rich countries would not carry out research on tropical diseases, and the developing countries would do little research on chronic diseases. This strategy would violate two fundamental principles of science. First, connectivity in science is unpredictable: research on one disease or problem often brings conceptual or technological advances that are vital to progress in others; therefore, to the extent possible, every country should support a relatively broad spectrum of research. Second, creative science requires the freedom to pursue ideas. Progress in science is not fostered by restricting freedom of inquiry. There is every reason to believe that scientists in developing countries will create knowledge of value to diseases that primarily afflict people in industrial countries, both because of the convergence of health problems and because scientific knowledge is a public good. It also creates opportunities for training of people either on state-of-the-art equipment, or under the expertise of world leaders in Nuclear Medicine.

The primary role of the WFNMB is the progress and promotion of nuclear medicine throughout the many regions of the world. The WFNMB quadrennial Congresses, since the first congress in 1974 the most important activity of the WFNMB, have become a major international forum for the presentation of all aspects of basic, applied and clinical nuclear medicine research, diagnosis and treatment of various disorders. While the previous activities of the WFNMB were mainly concerned with holding successful World Congresses, this Executive Committee will strive to initiate consistent and systematic activities to promote and develop nuclear medicine practice around the world, especially in the developing world.

The WFNMB is governed by the Governing Council comprised of the leadership of the member societies. Additional members include representatives from other important role players in the field, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The First World Congress of Nuclear Medicine

... was held from September 30 to October 4, 1974 in The Pacific Hotel, Tokyo and on October 5, 1974, in Kyoto Kaikan, Kyoto, Japan. This meant that new links were now forged between all Americas, Europe and Asia and Oceania, and these were gradually strengthened in subsequent years.

The World Congress 1978 in Washington was attended by approximately 1700 people. By that time the attendance from United States was quite low. The next conference in 1982 was organized in Paris with Claude C. Kellershohn as President and Claude Raynaud as secretary general.

During the 1986 conference in Argentina, the Hevesy-Medal was handed over by Aldo Mitta to the then President of the WFNMB, Victorio Pecorini. Prof. Horst from Zurich was the President of the former Hevesy Society.

After the wall came down in 1989, there was a strong move to organize a conference in Berlin. Prof Udalrich Büll decided to run for the 1992 EANM-Meeting in Düsseldorf, so Hans Biersack was left as the only German candidate. The election took place in the of fall 1992, on the occasion of the European Conference in Lisbon. There was one other candidate, Dr Abdel Razzack from Egypt. With strong tailwinds blown by the Glasnost, Prof Biersack got the majority of votes and became President Elect of the 1998 conference in Berlin, with Giorgio Ferlin as Secretary-General elect. Hans Biersack took over the office as WFNMB President during the Sydney Congress in 1994.

In 1996 Giorgio Ferlin fell sick, suffering from a colorectal cancer. Hans Biersack had to combine the offices of the President and of the secretary general. Giorgio developed liver and lung metastases and passed away in 2001.

The 1998 conference in Berlin was a joint meeting of the EANM and the WFNMB because it was felt that two major conferences would suffer severe financial problems. The conference in Berlin, with Frans Corstens as chairman of the scientific committee and European Congress President was quite a success, with more than 4,000 people attending.

The interim meeting to elect the President for 2002 took place in Kyoto, on the occasion of the Asia Oceania Conference of Nuclear Medicine and Biology (AOCNMB), Junij Konishi being the President of this Association. There were two main candidates, namely Myung-Chul Lee from Korea and Horacio Amaral from Chile. The night before the election Myung-Chul Lee withdrew after consulting "Senior" Korean colleagues, so Amaral won the election.

In 2000, Myung-Chul Lee was elected as President of the WFNMB, on the occasion of the Annual European Congress in Paris chaired by Serge Askienazy. Apart from a highly successful congress held in Seoul, Korea in October 2006, the Koreans will be remembered for the Korean Nights which they organised during major Nuclear Medicine meetings around the world.

The meeting in Santiago in 2002 went well. Horatio Amaral (President), Patrizio Gonzalez (Secretary-General) and Pillar Orellana (Treasurer) formed the executive of the WFNMB. Since the meeting took place shortly after the 11 September 2001 catastrophe in the United States of America, the organising committee experienced serious problems attracting delegates, especially from the USA. Ultimately approximately 1000 delegates attended the meeting.

In 2004, during the AOFNMB Congress in Beijing, China, South Africa won the bid to host the WFNMB in 2010, with the executive comprising of Prof Annare Ellmann (President-Elect), Prof Mike Sathekge (Secretary-General Elect) and Dr Gerdus Kemp (Treasurer-Elect).

In 2008, during the AOFNMB Congress in New Dehli, Prof. Enrique Estrada Lobato was awarded to organise the 2014 World Congress of the WFNMB, to be held in Cancún, Mexico, and to compose the Executive Committee of the WFNMB for the years 2011-2014.

In 2012, during the EANM Congress in Milan, Prof. Andrew Scott was elected to organise the 2018 World Congress of WFNMB in Melbourne, Australia and as President of WFNMB, went on to compose the Executive Committee of the WFNMB for the years 2015-2018.

During the EANM annual congress in Barcelona, Spain, one of the tightest elections results possible happened. With only one vote, Kyoto, Japan, defeated Vancouver, Canada, to host the 2022 WFNMB congress. Also the election for the incoming President was decided by one single vote. Prof. Dong-Soo Lee in the end was elected as President-Elect of WFNMB, taking over the President's position on January 1, 2019.

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