News Item 9 (March 27, 1999)

Richard Smith and Karen Hunter to Open Plenary Programme

The first plenary session of the congress will feature two eminent figures from the world of scholarly publishing:

Dr Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ and chief executive of the BMJ Publishing Group, and Ms. Karen Hunter, senior vice president of Elsevier Science.  As well as being an eminent medical writer on his own account, Richard Smith has overseen the radical transformation of the British Medical Journal, which has moved from being an entirely paper publication to being a medical resource whose primary incarnation is now online. Fundamental changes are also occurring in the BMJ Group's range of specialist medical journals and in the book publishing programme. Dr Smith will look at the future of scholarly publishing and can be relied on to avoid the easy and the predictable.

Karen Hunter has responsibility within Elsevier Science for guiding library policy and strategy and as such she is a hugely influential figure in the world of commercial scholarly publishing. An accomplished speaker and author, her ideas will help shape the development of health and medical libraries. In accepting ICML's invitation to speak Ms. Hunter commented that she found her brief both challenging and exciting: I suspect that a year+ from now we will have seen many, many more new initiatives which will not be mere bumps in the road.

There will be five plenary sessions during the congress, each featuring two outstanding speakers.