European Society for Domestic Animal Reproduction (ESDAR)

ESDAR – how it started

The development within several areas, not least within reproduction, biotechnology and other
new techniques revolutionized the possibilities for science, and as a consequence a growing
need of new meeting places for the scientific community. Parallel with existing international
congresses/conferences on animal reproduction like ICAR, species related international
conferences were established for equine, ruminant, pig etc in the seventies and eighties, being
held every 3 or 4 year. Scientific societies like SSF and SSR are since long time organizing
annual (or more) scientific conferences and workshops on reproductive biology in Europe and
North America, respectively. In North America a Society for Theriogenology was established
– this society is organizing both scientific meetings and continuing education on subjects
related to domestic animal reproduction.

In Europe, country- or region based societies/associations organized since long time ago
conferences on reproduction (fertility, sterility etc), e.g. in France, German speaking
countries, Italy, Hungary, Nordic countries, Spain etc. Many of these conferences became
over time less attractive for the scientific community, and developed more and more to take
the role of continuing education.

With this background professor Aart de Kruif from Belgium and myself had an informal
discussion in Uppsala in November 1995 – Aart lectured at a Swedish conference. – I always
make some handwritten notes after meetings, telephone calls etc with important people, and I
have looked into them when preparing this report – both of us felt a need of an European
Society of Theriogenology /Animal Reproduction that could bring together people, active
and interested in animal reproduction from all European countries. I must admit that I
was very happy when saying good-bye to Aart – this very enthusiastic and progressive man!

In February 1996 Aart and myself started to contact some key persons in a few European
countries to investigate their attitude/interest of an European Society of Animal Reproduction.
The response was in most cases very positive – but some hesitated - do we need another
. The next step was to bring together some key persons to make up preliminary
plans. ICAR, held in Sydney July 1996 could be such a meeting point – however 3 of the key
persons (professors Aart de Kruif from Gent, Bert van der Weijden from Utrecht, and
Eberhard Grunert from Hannover) should not attend the congress at Sydney. I myself
organized a small informal meeting July 4 in Sydney for some key persons from the Nordic
countries. Their attitude and feeling was very positive – go on!

September 30 a meeting finally took place in Gent. Present were Aart de Kruif, Stig
Einarsson, Torben Greve, Bert van der Weijden, and Jörg Aurich (sent by professor Grunert).
A very constructive and positive discussion in a warm atmosphere ended up in a decision to
establish an European Society for Domestic Animal Reproduction designated ESDAR.
An interim board was established: President Aart de Kruif, vice president Stig Einarsson,
secretary Torben Greve, treasurer Bert van d. Weijden, program secretary Jörg Aurich.

In September 1996 a Central European Conference on Animal Reproduction (CECAR) was
held in Olsztyn, Poland. Adam Ziecik, Josef Ratky and Laszlo Solti were 3 of the key persons
behind the conference. I myself was member of the programme committee as well as of the
international scientific committee of the conference. Adam summarized at the opening
ceremony the aims of CECAR: 1 High scientific quality, 2 Tighten the bond between people
from all countries within the new Europe, 3 organize the conference every 2-3 years. It was
decided that the venue of the 2nd CECAR conference should be Hungary in 1998.

Negotiations started already during the autumn 1996 between ESDAR and CECAR. In
December 1996 an agreement was accepted in Vienna by board members of these two bodies
resulting in the constitution of a Pan-European society which is ESDAR. Adam Ziecik and
Laszlo Solti became additional members of ESDAR board. As there was a great interest of a
platform for publications and information, contacts were taken with the editor-in chief of
Domestic Animal Reproduction, dr. Detlef Rath. Detlef was from the very beginning positive
to the proposal and was adjourned to the board. Venue of the first ESDAR conference was
Mariensee, Germany, in November 1997 with Detlef Rath as local organizer. At the board
meeting at Mariesee Torben Greve announced his withdrawal as secretary, and professor
Hilary Dobson from Liverpool was elected secretary of ESDAR.

It was with great pleasure I participated in the 10th ESDAR conference at Portoroz-Lipica,
Slovenia, 7-9 September 2006 hosted by professor Marjan Kosec and dr Primoz Klinc.
ESDAR is stronger than ever under the presidency of Laszlo Solti. I wish the Society the very
best for years to come.

Stig Einarsson