Johanna Stachel took office as president of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft [DPG] on 16 March this year. Stachel, a professor of experimental physics at the University of Heidelberg, is the first female physicist to head the DPG since its founding in 1845.
Stachel presented her presidential agenda during her inaugural speech, which took place in the Magnus-Haus Berlin. Besides the promotion of fundamental research, the main concerns of the new president are education, the training of physics teachers and the encouragement of women in physics – with focus on equal opportunity.
Furthermore, Stachel is planning both to expand the programs for physicists in industry and to emphasise the role of the DPG in advising governmental policy.
Stachel succeeds Wolfgang Sandner, who now assumes the position of vice-president from his predecessor, Gerd Litfin. The presidency of the DPG is a voluntary position, with a two year term.
The DPG is the oldest physical society and – with over 61,000 members – the largest in the world.