Adopted December 29, 1946, Boston; Revised December 29, 1947; December 27, 1949; October 15, 1953; April 8, 1955; September 2, 1958; November 27, 1959; April 28, December 29, 1960; August 1, 1961; August 19, 1965; June 20, October 1, 1968; June 21, 1985; January 1, 1986; January 1, 1991; January 1, 1992; June 20, 1998; June 23, 1999; January 1, 2000; June 23, 2006; March 1, 2007, February 15, 2009, June 12, 2009, July 7, 2016, January 1, 2018.


Article 1, NAME AND OBJECT. The Society shall be called "The Society for the Study of Evolution." The object of the Society shall be the promotion of the study of organic evolution and the integration of various fields of science concerned with evolution.

Article 2, MEMBERSHIP. Any person interested in the study of evolution is eligible for membership. There may be multiple categories of members, each of which carries electronic access to the Journal of the Society, the right to vote in Society elections, and all other privileges of membership.

Article 3, OFFICERS. The officers of the Society shall be a President, a President-elect, a Retiring President, an Executive Vice-President and two Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, and an Editor-in-Chief. The President-elect shall be elected annually, and shall automatically become the President for the next year. The Vice-Presidents shall be elected biennially and are eligible for the same office one year after expiration of their previous term. The Executive Vice-President, Secretary, and Editor-in-Chief shall be elected for terms of three years and may be re-elected.

Article 4, COUNCIL. The Council shall be the governing body of the Society between the annual meetings.  It shall consist of the President, President-elect, Retiring President, Executive Vice-President, the two Vice- Presidents, Secretary, Editor-in-Chief, six elected Councilors, and two representatives (Chair and Past Chair) of the SSE Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC). Two Councilors shall be elected each year to serve a three-year term.  Former Councilors shall be again eligible for election one year after the expiration of their previous term. GSAC representatives shall serve three-year terms on Council, and are selected by GSAC.

No individual shall simultaneously hold two positions on Council.  In the event that a sitting Council member is elected or appointed to a second position, their prior position will be considered vacant.  

In the event of a vacancy on Council, the nominating committee will be charged with nominating one or two candidates to fill the vacant position for the remainder of the term.  The interim appointment will then be made by majority vote of Council and will begin immediately following the election.  Vacancies of less than one year may remain vacant if so agreed by majority vote of the Council.

The Council shall determine matters of publication policy, formulate and modify program rules, fill temporary vacancies among officers, appoint Editors and Associate Editors, authorize all expenditures, and conduct other business as required. Between meetings the Council may vote and transact its business by email through the office of the Secretary.

Article 5, ELECTIONS. The President shall appoint a Nominating Committee not less than six months before the election. The committee shall consist of three members, one appointed each year for a three year term. The committee shall be chaired by the senior member. It shall be the duty of the Committee, after receiving by mail from the membership proposals for nominations for each office (including vacancies on the Council), to nominate two candidates for each office, except for the offices of Executive Vice-President and Secretary, for each of which a single nomination shall be made, and the office of Editor of the Journal, who shall run unopposed and be nominated by an independent search committee. In selecting candidates, due consideration shall be given to representation of the various fields of interest to the Society. The committee shall transmit its nominations to the Secretary at least three months before the election.

All members in good standing at the time of the mailing of ballots shall be eligible to vote. The member and associate member in a family shall have separate votes. Nomination of the candidate for the position of Editor is the responsibility of a nominating committee consisting of the President, one member of the Editorial Board and one member of Council (both appointed by the President). The Editor shall be elected by the Council by secret ballot prior to January 1 of the year of editorial transition.

Article 6, MEETINGS. The time and place of the annual meeting of the Society shall be determined by the Council. Special meetings may be called by the President with the approval of the Council. The Council may arrange for joint programs with related scientific groups and for the presentation of invitation papers.

Article 7, AMENDMENTS. Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed in writing by any member to the Secretary, who shall submit them to the Council for consideration and vote. Such proposed amendments as have been approved by nine members of the Council shall be submitted to the members for a mail ballot and may be adopted by a favourable vote of the majority of the members voting. Bylaws may be amended by the Council by majority vote.

Article 8, FISCAL YEAR AND TENURE OF OFFICE. The Executive Vice-President shall operate the books of the Society on an annual basis, from I January to 31 December. At each annual meeting the report of the Executive Vice-President shall consist of a statement for the last preceding fiscal year and an informal interim report for the current year. Official terms shall commence on I January of the year following the election, except that the term of the Editor shall commence at the next Annual Meeting of the Council following the election.


Article 1, DUES. Annual dues shall be determined by the Council and will include subscription to the Journal. Payment shall be due January 1. Members who have not paid their dues by January 1 shall be dropped from the rolls. Members can belong to different categories (Students, Postdocs, K–12 Educators, Emeritus members, Family or associate members in addition to regular members), each with the right to vote and with annual dues determined by the Council. The dues for life membership shall be twenty (20) times the membership rate.

Article 2, PUBLICATION. The Society shall publish a Journal in the field of evolution and such other publications as authorized by the Council. The membership dues include a subscription for the Journal. Non-members and institutions may subscribe to the Journal at a subscription rate determined by the Council.

The Editor-in-Chief shall form an Editorial Team consisting of himself/herself as well as Editor(s). The Editors are nominated by the Editor-in-Chief in consultation with the nominating committee for Editor-in-Chief, are appointed by a majority vote of council, and serve at the pleasure of the Editor-in-Chief. Appointees to the Editorial Team should represent the diversity of the membership of the Society, in so far as this is compatible with the acquisition of excellent and committed personnel. The term of the Editors coincides with that of the Editor-in-Chief. Editors may serve multiple terms if nominated by the next Editor-in- Chief and reappointed by vote of Council; they may serve immediately following a term as Associate Editor. Only the Editor-in-Chief is a member of Council. If the Editor-in-Chief is unable to attend the annual Council meeting, another member of the Editorial Team may serve as a voting member in his/her stead.

The Editors shall be assisted by editorial assistants and a Board of Associate Editors. Editorial assistants shall be nominated by the Editor-in-Chief, appointed by the Council, and serve at the pleasure of the Editor-in-Chief. Board members shall be nominated by the Editorin- Chief and appointed by the Council for a term of three years. Retiring Associate Editors are again eligible one year after expiration of their previous term.

An Editor or Editor-in-Chief may be relieved of their duties by a 3/4 vote of Council. Associate editors can be removed by a more than 3/4 vote of the Editors, Editor-in-Chief, President, and Executive Vice President.

Article 3, DUTIES OF OFFICERS. The President shall preside at scientific sessions, at the business and Council meetings, and shall appoint such committees as directed by the Council or prescribed by the Constitution and Bylaws.

It shall be the privilege of the President to plan and arrange one symposium to be held at the annual meeting of the Society. The President also assists the Executive Vice-President and the Council in planning other symposia, including those to be co-sponsored by the Society in collaboration with other societies.

The Secretary shall keep records of the Society. At least one month before the election the Secretary shall send to members the official slate of the nominating committee and biographical information on the nominees. The Secretary shall tabulate the votes and transmit names of elected officers to the editor of the Journal for publication. The Secretary shall mail the Constitution and Bylaws to all entering Council members, informing them of the expectation that they shall read and adhere to its Articles. The Secretary shall also officially inform committee members that they have been asked to serve on a Standing committee or a nominating committee. Following the nomination of an Editor-in-Chief by the editor’s nominating committee, the Secretary shall call for a secret ballot of the Council to elect the Editor-in-Chief. The Secretary is authorized to employ clerical assistance when necessary.

The Executive Vice-President, in consultation with the President, shall be responsible for the administration, management and operation of the Society in accordance with the existing constitution, bylaws and policies. The Executive Vice-President, in conjunction with the Chief Meeting Organizer, shall conduct negotiations for sites for the annual meeting, appoint local committees, and distribute announcements of the meeting to members. The Executive Vice-President shall receive proposals for symposia at the meeting and distribute them to the Council one week prior to the annual meeting. The Executive Vice-President shall provide a report to the Council one week prior to the annual meeting summarizing the current status of the Society's business, programs and activities. The Executive Vice-President is authorized to employ clerical and accounting assistance when necessary.

The Editor shall be responsible for the editing and publishing of the Journal and for the care of the reserve stock of the publications of the Society.

Article 4, STANDING COMMITTEES. The Finance Committee shall consist of the Executive Vice-President, the past Executive Vice President, and two additional members of the Society elected for two year terms. The additional members shall be nominated by the President and elected by the Council at the annual meeting of the Society. The Finance Committee shall be responsible for monitoring all aspects of the Society that affect financing. Proposed major changes in expenditures and/or income should be reviewed by the Finance Committee, following which the committee will make specific recommendations to the Council for its approval.

The Dobzhansky Prize Committee shall consist of the Secretary and Vice-Presidents. The Committee shall select the recipient of the Prize, who shall be a young evolutionary biologist (Ph.D. or equivalent degree awarded within four (4) years prior to May 1 of the year in which the Prize is awarded.) The cash value of the Prize will be determined by the Executive Vice- President and approved by the Council.

The Fisher Prize Committee shall consist of the current President (chair), the Past President, and the President-Elect. The Committee shall select a recipient of the Prize, who has published a paper in the journal Evolution during the previous calendar year. The paper must be based on graduate work of the primary author. The cash value of the Prize will be determined by the Executive Vice-President and approved by the Council.

The W. D. Hamilton Award committee shall consist of seven (7) members including a chair appointed by the President. The committee shall select a group of finalists to present at the annual society meeting, and the Award recipient shall be chosen from among these finalists by the committee and a panel of judges. Current graduate students who have been enrolled in a graduate program for at least two (2) years and recipients of a Ph.D. within twelve (12) months of the date of the annual meeting are eligible to compete for the Award. Applicants must also be SSE members in good standing. The cash value of the Award will be determined by the Executive Vice-President and approved by the Council.

The Stephen J. Gould Prize committee shall consist of four (4) members including a chair and vice chair, appointed by the Chair of the Education Committee, and the two third-year Councilors. This annual prize emphasizes the importance of an understanding evolution to scientific literacy in the general public. The pool of potential awardees will be composed of research scientists and academics (including those in the fields of history, philosophy and sociology of science) as well as K-16 teachers and popular-science authors. The committee is responsible for reviewing and ranking all nominations and selecting a winner. The Gould committee chair notifies the chair of the Education Committee and the SSE Council which ratifies the decision. The Gould committee chair notifies the winner and confirms availability to present at the annual meeting. The cash value of the Award will be determined by the Executive Vice-President and approved by the Council.

The Lifetime Achievement Award Committee shall consist of the SSE Council. The Award will recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of evolutionary biology through either their own research contributions, mentorship of trainees, service to the evolution community, or some combination thereof. Nominations will be solicited from members of the Society. The Nominating Committee, after possibly soliciting additional information from members, will choose up to six persons nominated by members and forward an unranked list to the Council, who will choose the awardee from this list. There is no cash value for the prize, but the awardees will be reimbursed for costs to attend the annual meeting at which the award is presented.

Other committees shall be appointed by the President at the authorization of the Council, as the occasion arises.

Article 5, RULES OF SUCCESSION. If for any reason the President is unable to carry out the duties of the office, the position shall be filled by the President-Elect, who shall serve as President for the remainder of the current term and the following term. If for any reason the Editor-in-Chief is unable to carry out his/her duties, the three Presidents (past, acting, and president-elect) shall appoint an acting Editor-in-Chief until such time as a new nominating committee for Editor-in-Chief may be struck and identify a successor. The Council may, by majority vote, fill vacancies in other offices until the next election.

Article 6, ELECTIONS. In the event that an SSE election for councillor or officer results in a tie, the three Presidents presiding before the election (past, acting, and president-elect) shall decide upon the outcome by majority vote.

Article 7, COMMUNICATIONS. Throughout the constitution and bylaws, “mail” refers to postal or electronic correspondence, and “vote” refers to a paper or electronic vote.

Article 8, "In the event of dissolution or termination of the Society, title to and possession of all the property of the Society shall pass forthwith to such organization, dedicated to similar purposes and qualified for exemption under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, or under such successor provision of the code as may be in effect at the time of the Society's dissolution or termination, as the Council of the Society shall deem best qualified to carry on the functions of the Society."

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