Communication is a vital cornerstone of any efficient organisation. The fact that the European Physical Society [EPS] has now – in addition to its traditional journal, Europhysics News [EPN] – a digital newsletter, e-EPS, is a sure sign that the EPS is both efficient and rooted in today’s digital world. In e-EPS, readers can find up-to-date news from the EPS and beyond, conference announcements and much more.
EPN provides highlights of hot publications in European research journals, news about the EPS and its divisions and groups, the best about past conferences and symposia, interesting features about cutting-edge research, information about education and science policy, opinions, and amusing pieces about the physics of daily life. It is published every two months, has 27,000 printed copies and is available online.
The successful launching of e-EPS in 2011 leads to some changes in the EPN structure towards a more magazine-style journal, that is, a journal essentially freed of ‘instant’ or ‘short-lived’ information. It is not equipped to deal with such information considering its periodicity, while e-EPS is made just for that purpose. EPN will devote its content to long-lasting information, worth being kept at hand and even shelved for years.
EPN should also be a forum where EPS members can express their opinions on whatever subject concerning EPS and science or science policy. We intend to open such a 500 to 600 words ‘opinion column’ to be written by invitation, while keeping the so far appreciated ‘physics in daily life’ page.
The ‘news’ section has to report on the life of the EPS and its members: political statements, position papers, reports on Council meetings, reports on Executive Committee activities (meetings, members, etc.), reports on Divisions and Groups activities (EPS prize laureates, scientific meetings), National Societies events of European interest, etc. Calls and announcements are not published in EPN and are automatically transferred to e-EPS.
The ‘highlights’ section should be kept in EPN because the name(s) of the author(s) of the highlighted articles deserve to be memorised. This distinction can be used in the authors’ CVs and must remain easy to be found. It means that the information can also be given elsewhere, with EPN remaining the formal reference just as for prize laureates.
The ‘history’ section will be formalised, the word ‘history’ being taken in its widest sense. Besides famous physicists’ biographies, it will also include the history of National Societies, Associate Members, journals… There are not so many places where such sections can be found, and we know that the EPN readers appreciate such features.
Finally, the ‘science features’ section is at the heart of EPN, and should be further improved and diversified. A modest adjustment of space for the ‘science features’ will likely be introduced to ensure the coverage of domains where physics plays a major role (biophysics, geophysics, astrophysics, medical physics, etc.)
In conclusion, the European Physical Society now has two complementary tools of communication. We expect that they will serve the EPS well, and we hope that the readers will enjoy them both.
Claude Sebenne & Jo Hermans