Sometimes we are so busy working on tasks at hand that we forget to look backwards to see how much we have achieved. In a sense, this is exactly the way it should be, because looking forward keeps us focused on moving in new directions! But in this last editorial of 2014, it’s perhaps the right time to go through exactly what EPS has achieved concretely over the last 12 months.
Council in 2014 was held in April at the beautiful location of the ICTP in Trieste. Council saw the election of Christophe Rossel who will take over as EPS President from April 2015. Christophe has worked closely with David and I since his election, particularly focussing on developing a coherent strategy for effective political engagement via EPS’s new office in Brussels. The new Executive Committee has begun work in earnest, with two meetings already held in Mulhouse and in Lausanne. Developing EPS’s publications EPL and EPN is a high priority and EPN’s new electronic online flip-page version has proven very popular. EPS has continued its participation in EU projects, and look out in the next e-EPS for some very good news on this front!
Ongoing activities in divisions and groups with respect to conference organization continue to be very successful, and EPS managed or co-organised 15 conferences during 2014. A highlight here was the VI EPS Forum Physics and Society in Belgrade. We also declared 5 Historic Sites, welcomed 3 Fellows and 2 Honorary Members, and awarded 20 prizes. Supporting the community of European physicists in this way is an essential element of EPS’s mission.
Preparing for the International Year of Light [IYL2015] which kicks off in January 2015 has of course occupied much of our time. EPS initiated the proposal for IYL2015 back in 2009, and we have been at the centre of things ever since. During 2014 we have worked closely with all the other scientific partners (including many EPS member societies) in planning events, raising funds and developing resources. As a result, EPS has strengthened its existing relationships with other societies, and established new and exciting links with many new partners. Things are shaping up to be spectacular, and we will see the fruits of all this work from January next year. You can check out updates on IYL2015 progress elsewhere in this issue, and there will of course be a special editorial in view for the next edition of e-EPS as well!
2014 also saw the first calls of Horizon 2020, European elections and the confirmation of new Commissioners. The underlying rationale of Horizon 2020 reminds us that funding opportunities for physicists can be found in many different areas of science and technology, and EPS is working hard to establish links in Brussels not only in research and innovation, but also in fields such as communications and technology. This will be very important as we begin to engage more strategically to work to influence long term policy to support research and researchers in physics.
EPS certainly shows no sign of slowing down in 2015, but I know that we can rely completely on the efforts of its Members and staff to ensure our continued success. Let me take this chance to express to everyone in the community of European physics my most sincere thanks for a remarkable year behind us, and all my best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year ahead.