Editorial – EPS Young Minds in the Council Meeting

By . Published on 19 June 2017 in:
June 2017, ,

Young Minds (YM) is an excellent opportunity for physics students to develop skills and contacts that will be useful in their careers. Public engagement through the activities in the YM sections demonstrates the importance of dialog, for the public to appreciate the work done by researchers, and for researchers to share their passion for science. Each YM section is managed by volunteers, planning activities, balancing budgets, organising events… This experience will make Young Minds members more effective leaders. With sections and members all over Europe, YM provides a network of motivated young physicists to share ideas, and best practice.

As part of the European Physical Society, the chair of the YM project attended the annual Council Meeting of EPS at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany. Like in the last 7 years, the YM project presented a report on the project progress during the last year. One of the main novelties of year 2016 was the creation of a public Facebook page, where most relevant content of each section is published, offering a new platform to share ideas and activities.

Moreover, in 2016 the growing trend of the number of sections of YM continued. At the moment, the project includes more than 400 young scientists from over 44 Sections in 23 countries: Spain, Italy, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, Ukraine, France, Switzerland, Turkey, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Denmark, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, Morocco, Finland, Romania and Egypt. Now, the project not only includes European countries, but also Egypt, Morocco and hopefully soon Palestine. The incorporation of these new countries poses a challenge for the project, as well as a boost to new opportunities.

During the Council, Antigone Marino received the EPS Achievement Award 2017 for her outstanding leadership skills and her active promotion and development of the YM Project. Antigone is a researcher in soft matter optics at the Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems of the Italian National Research Council. Since the beginning of the project in 2010, she has been a member of the YM action committee, becoming its chair from 2013 to 2016.

The plans for the future of YM are not only to continue increasing the number of sections around Europe, but also to increment the impact and activities of the current ones. To that end, as an innovation for this year, the annual leadership meeting of YM sections was organized by a local section. From the four sections that applied to host it, the winner was PONYs from Naples. Next year, we will again give the opportunity to all sections to apply to organize this event and we expect a similar success.

Eva Salvador
chair of the EPS Young Minds

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