Editorial – It is thanks to you

By . Published on 22 May 2017 in:
Editorial, May 2017,

The annual Council Meeting of the European Physical Society was held on 31 March – 1 April 2017 at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany. The EPS Council is composed of representatives of the 42 EPS Member Societies and the chairpersons of the 12 Divisions, 6 Groups, and 6 Committees. Individual Members and Associate Members are each represented by 5 elected delegates. A more extensive summary of the Council meeting can be read in the report by G. Gunaratnam.

The Council meets for a variety of reasons: to review the activities and finances of the previous year, to discuss and approve strategic initiatives, and look at the plans for longer term activities, and to recognise individuals who have made significant contributions to the EPS.

As a learned society, the EPS relies heavily on the volunteer contributions by its members. Council is also a way to create and engage in a constructive dialogue with EPS members. Keeping the members interested and motivated is an essential task of the EPS Executive Committee. Successful initiatives require the support of a community that is willing to devote the time and effort to the projects that interest them. Motivated volunteers can count on the EPS and the secretariat to provide experience and support for their projects.

The creation of the Gravitational Physics Division is one example. This new Division has been created under the direction of Mairi Sakellariadou together with a group of motivated researchers in the field. They will meet at the EPS Secretariat in June to plan their first series of activities. A second initiative worth mentioning is Young Minds. Created in 2011, Young Minds has grown to 40 section in 22 countries. The Young Minds Leadership meeting, held in Naples, IT on 12-13 May brought together more than 30 young and talented physicists to exchange best practice on outreach and education projects. I would also like to highlight the project “Physics for Society in the Horizon 2050”. Carlos Hidalgo initiated this project, which will look at physics developments for understanding nature as global human enterprise, as well as physics developments to tackle major issues directly affecting the lives of citizens. An extensive document is planned for the end of 2018.

In order to make Council a more dynamic meeting, the EPS Executive Committee decided that in 2017, EPS Members would be invited to submit projects for new activities for the EPS. Of the 16 projects received, 7 will receive EPS support. Reports will be made to the EPS Council meeting in 2018.

EPS meetings, including Council are important because they allow for the efficient exchange of information and the planning of activities. But they are also a way for a set of individuals to weld themselves into a community, with a shared vision. It is thanks to you, the members of the EPS and the motivated volunteers that the EPS is an active and successful learned society representing the European Physics Community.

David Lee,
EPS Secretary General

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