After 8 years of hard work, Claude Sébenne’s term as editor of Europhysics News [EPN] has come to an end. The EPS welcomes his successor, Victor R. Velasco from the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid [ICMM]. e-EPS spoke with him. Find out his ambitions for the magazine.
In few sentences, what is your background in science?
I studied Physics at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid [UAM], and got my Ph.D in 1979. I did Post-Doctoral fellowships at Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, and at Institut Supérieur d’Electronique du Nord in Lille, France. My scientific interests concern the vibrational and electronic properties of surfaces, interfaces and multilayer systems, the physical properties of aperiodic systems and the mechanical and vibrational properties of nanostructures.
What is your relation with the EPS?
I became a member of the EPS as Individual Member in the 80′s, being a member of the Italian Physical Society. Later on I joined the Royal Spanish Physical Society [RSEF] and being a member of the RSEF Executive Board (from October 1997-December 2005) we increased our cooperation with the EPS. In 2006 I was elected member of the Executive Committee of the EPS. In 2008 I was re-elected and acted as Secretary of the Executive Committee. In 2013 I was elected EPS Fellow.
From the creation of EPS in 1968, EPN is the official magazine of the EPS. How can you describe the role of the magazine in the society?
Since 1968, Europe and the EPS have undergone very important changes. EPN being the official magazine of the EPS has changed accordingly. Through its pages one can follow this evolution. EPN contains the history and memory of past events. It provides the information that is not always readily and easily available in all European countries. It offers the possibility of members to stay in touch, and announces and supports activities.
There have been different ways to do this in the different periods of existence of EPS and EPN. I think that a very important way to show that all the members, individual or collective, belong to this multinational European endeavour is through the journals and magazines.
How is the content of EPN produced?
Since EPN is the magazine of the EPS, its content is devoted to long-lasting information, worth being kept at hand and hopefully shelved for years.
It opens its issues with the voice of the society in an editorial, under the responsibility of the EPS President.
EPN must also be a forum where EPS members can express their opinions on whatever subject concerning EPS and science or science policy. This is done in the “opinion column” written by invitation. This column also acts as an incentive for readers to send comments (“letters to the editor”), thus creating more of a dialogue within the EPS community.
The “News” section reports on the life of the EPS and its members.
The “Features” section is the scientific heart of EPN, and is the result of the specific input of the Science Editor, assisted by an Editorial Advisory Board [EAB]. The contributions are by invitation only.
Then we have the “Highlights” section, which features interesting papers from European Journals. These are selected and provided by the Editors-in-chief of the journals. Recently we also started a column that looks just a bit beyond pure physics: “Crossing Borders”. Finally, we occasionally have items on History of Science.
How do you think EPN will evolve within few years?
Being the magazine of the EPS, the evolution of EPN must follow that of the EPS. The field of scientific publishing has been evolving in the past years, and it will continue to evolve in the near future. Nevertheless I think that the evolution of EPN has been in the line of publications with similar aims and objectives, such as “Physics Today” and “Physics World”, and will continue to do so.