The Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol (KBS) was established in 1987 and is an independent organization open to all scientists working on problems related to social and epidemiological research on alcohol. The aim of the Society is to promote social and epidemiological research which fosters a comparative understanding of the social aspects of alcohol use and alcohol problems. In line with this the Society also aims at promoting a spirit of international collaboration. The Kettil Bruun Society is based on individual membership and, by 2003, has 197 fully paid-up members, representing 34 different countries over five continents. The main activities include an annual meeting as well as thematic meetings. In these meetings, discussions are emphasized by having precirculated papers and assigned discussants. The KBS also serves as a basis for organizing international collaborative projects. Project meetings or work-shops are often organized around the annual meetings, and the projects tend to run over several years. The Society's primary influence is through the mutual influence of its members on each others' thinking, the work of the projects that KBS sponsors and the influence its members have collectively on the development of the field.