For the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall, faults and fractures are opening up in the political landscape of Europe which pose severe threats to science and scientific cooperation. The Brexit is only the most spectacular development to this day; populist, isolationist, and anti-European movements are on the rise in other European countries, or are in power already. A continued erosion of European cohesion will violate fundamental values and undermine best practices which all physicists take for granted today: free cross-border collaboration, unrestricted communication and mobility of researchers and students, and equal access to European funding and infrastructures.
The European Physical Society Accelerator Group (EPS-AG) has announced the winners of the 2107 Accelerator Prizes, to be presented on 18 May during the International Particle Accelerator Conference, IPAC’17, which will take place in Copenhagen (DK).
Lyndon Evans of CERN, Geneva (CH) will receive the Rolf Wideröe Prize for outstanding work in the accelerator field (without an age limit). He is rewarded for his many major professional accomplishments in the field of accelerator design, construction and operation.
The 2017 Alfvén prize is awarded to Ksenia Aleksandrovna Razumova, from the Kurchatov Institute (Moscow, Russia). The 2017 Innovation award is going to Michel Moisan, from the Université de Montréal (Québec, Canada).
The European Solar Physics Division (ESPD) has decided to raise awareness in the work and achievements of the European and international solar physics community by establishing three (3) distinct prizes: a PhD Τhesis Prize, a Postdoc (Early Career Researcher) Prize and Senior Prize. Nominations are invited for each of them. The selection of each prize awardee will be made by the ESPD Board and by an external committee of experts.
During a session of the EPS Executive Committee, the Committee of European Integration of the European Physical Society (CEI-EPS) organised a meeting of physical societies of the EPS that are on the periphery of the European Union, or are members of the Balkan Physical Union. The purpose of the meeting was to share information among each of the societies and identify common issues affecting the societies and physics in their respective countries. Following the presentations, ideas for action by the EPS would be explored.
In February, the foundation work for all accessible areas of the European Spallation Source (ESS) facility in Lund (SE) was declared complete. More than 6,000 pilings of varied composition, diameter and depth have been hammered into the bedrock of southern Sweden, creating a foundation designed to protect the linear accelerator, target station, neutron beamlines, and the array of more than two dozen sensitive instruments from all conceivable seismic and man-made interruptions.
The dedication ceremony for the second-generation European gravitational interferometer was held on Monday the 20th of February 2017. The ceremony took place at the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) in Cascina PI, Italy, the site at which Advanced Virgo is located. The ceremony took place in the presence of the presidents of the institutions that have funded the project (INFN, IN2P3, Nikhef) and of representatives of the governments of the six nations whose laboratories are members of the Virgo Collaboration.
At a ceremony held in Darmstadt, Professor Paolo Giubellino was introduced as the first joint Scientific Managing Director of GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH and Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR GmbH). The festive inauguration ceremony was held at the Darmstadtium science and congress centre in Darmstadt (DE). The guests included numerous politicians, university representatives, and partners from the organisation’s international scientific collaborations.
The Belle II project at the Japanese research centre KEK is making great strides forward. The detector is being upgraded in international collaboration and must be tested thoroughly before it start taking data with the similarly upgraded SuperKEKB accelerator.
On 22 December 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution to establish an annual International Day to recognise the critical role that women and girls play in science and technology communities: “Girls continue to face stereotypes and social and cultural restrictions, limiting access to education and funding for research, preventing them from scientific careers and reaching their full potential. Women remain a minority in science research and decision-making”, wrote Irina Bukova, Director-General of the UNESCO. A celebration event took place on February 9th 2017 morning at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, focusing on Building capacity and Empowering women and girls and on various actions on Women, Science and Society.
The International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) is a network of scientists, science educators and communication specialists working across the globe in informal science education and outreach for particle physics. Particle physics is the science of matter, energy, space and time. IPPOG brings new discoveries in this exciting field to young people and conveys to the public that the beauty of nature is indeed becoming understandable from the interactions of its most fundamental parts – the elementary particles.
The next annual meeting, hosted by CERN, will take place from 21 – 25 August 2017 in Geneva (CH) at two different locations. Starting at CERN on the 21st with internal meetings of some of the participating societies, the 22nd will be dedicated to plenary and invited talks and more. The meeting will continue in the Centre International de Conférences de Genève (CICG) from 23 – 25 August where further plenary talks and all topical sessions will take place.