Minutes of the IUPAP Council Meeting

Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
October 16, 2004


Present: Y. Petroff (President), J. Franz (Secretary-General), A. Astbury (President Designate), R. Barber (Interim Associate Secretary-General), J. Sahm, S. Rezende (Vice Presidents elected at large), H. Fukuyama, P. Ormos, A. Sen, E. Zingu (Vice Presidents elected from the Commission Chairs).

1. Call to Order

Petroff called the meeting to order at 1:45 pm.

2. Business matters

2.1 Approval of audit report

The financial report was circulated previously with the agenda. Franz explained that the numbers in audit differed in minor detail from those given in the budget because there were year-end effects.

Moved by Franz, seconded by Astbury, that the auditors report be approved. Carried unanimously.

Franz indicated that it was possible that the secretariat might wish to switch auditors.

2.2 Approval of 2005 budget

The 2005 proposed budget was also circulated previously with the agenda and was amended during the Council and Commission Chair meeting. Franz suggested that projected income should be estimated at k$ 450.

Agreed on amended budget unanimously.

2.3 Policy on air travel

The text was considered in the form recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the Council and Commission Chairs.

Carried unanimously.

2.4 Member affairs - Status of membership

It was proposed that IUPAP reduce shares, retroactively to 2001, to one share. The fees would be recalculated on that basis. Agreed.

Rezende thought that the Physical Society should lobby the government. He will approach the president of their physical society.

Rezende assured the meeting that their back dues would be paid.

Franz will write to them and give them six months to pay. If they do not, they will cease to be a member. She should offer the possibility of reinstatement.

Franz will send a letter.

Franz will send a letter.

Petroff or Franz will send a letter.

2.5 Policy on prizes

It was proposed that IUPAP should give small prizes for early career scientists in each area of physics. These would be given on the nomination of the commissions. These would have to be approved as new prizes. For medals the size should be standardized and the medal identified as an IUPAP medal.

The Council will ask the commissions to consider such a proposal. Astbury suggested that this would provide some incentive for a country to join.

2.6 IUPAP representatives to AC2

IUPAP nominates representatives to the AC2 committee. Two new people needed to be appointed. IUPAP approved the appointment of Prof. Odylio Aguiar of Brazil and Prof. Alexei Starobinskii from Russia.

2.7 Requests from Commissions

Franz reported that C3 had requested k$ 2 in 2004. Generally the budget allows for commissions to request k$ 3 per triennium for commission expenses. Since commissions C13 and C14 have difficulty in meeting at conferences and have unusual needs, it was agreed that they each could request up to k$ 6 per triennium. An extra k$ 1 for C3 was also approved.

2.8 Conference fees

The Council confirmed that the conference fee limit would remain at 410 euros for conferences held in 2005.

3. Acceptance of Conference and Working Group reports

3.1 World Conference on Physics and Sustainable Development

There was discussion about whom we wish to address with this conference. It was agreed that it was important to involve government leaders at the ministerial level, but it is unlikely that they will stay for the conference sessions. We want their attention, but recognize that we are more likely to have their bureaucrats actually attend in the best-case scenario.

It was asked whether the members of the conference’s international advisory committee would actually attend. It was recognized that some would not be able to. In particular, it was suggested that it would be important to have someone from China.

3.2 Statement on Ethics in Publishing.

It was agreed that the draft statement circulated with the agenda be presented to the General Assembly with a few amendments arising from earlier discussion.

3.3 Energy

The report in its present form is written for scientists. It will be made available on the IUPAP web site (Username: IUPAP, Password: Energy).

We need a revised text to be done by a professional science writer for consumption by non-physicists. Petroff or Heinloth should talk to a professional journalist to draft the paper and circulate to the energy group. By beginning of the next year we should have a version ready to go to the General Assembly. Petroff will approach a journalist.

4. Discussion of new affiliated commission

It was agreed that the Council recommend that an affiliated commission on Medical Physics be approved. This should be done early in the General Assembly so that they have a vote for the balance of the meeting.

5. Visa question

Petroff will draft a letter to go to the other scientific unions with a request that they co-sign it. The letter should be addressed to Marburger. It should address the problems around visas.

Astbury asked if IUPAP should thank anyone for moving things along so as to achieve the improvements that have been seen to date. Franz will convey this message to the APS. The US National Academy of Sciences has also been very active in this regard.

6. Conference Procedures

The Council confirmed the changes in procedure to give earlier approval to both Type A and Type B conferences, as given in detail in the Minutes of the Council and Commission Chairs (October 2004). They also confirmed the move to allow consideration of travel grants to Type Cc conferences.

7. Conferences

It was agreed that the conference grant for a Type A conference would be $ 10,000, with a travel grant of $ 4,500. For a Type B conference the grant would be $ 6,000 and the travel grant for a Type C conference could be up to $4,500.

The Council approved the conference sponsorship and grants as given in detail in the separate list. It was agreed that Barber would e-mail the approved list to the chairs and that the chairs should inform the conference organizers. The secretariat would also inform the organizers so as to be sure the message was not lost. The list of sponsored conference, without grant information, would be posted on the IUPAP web site.

8. High Magnetic Field Report

It was agreed that the report be accepted and that it be posted on the web. It was also agreed that it should be e-mailed to all liaison committees and that the liaison committees be urged to use it in a productive way. It should also be sent to OECD, EU, ICSU, UNESCO, etc.

Petroff agreed to look after circulating the report to the European agencies.


The request for money for a professionally designed web site was rejected unanimously.

10. ICSU matters

Franz and Petroff will protest the statement that all science is applied science.

11. Approval of plans for GA 2005

In discussion of the proposed agenda for the General Assembly, it was suggested that a session for Friday afternoon could be scheduled, if needed. It was desirable that there not be a Saturday session.

12. New business

12.1 Proposal for a Working Group on Synchrotron Radiation and Neutron Sources

It was agreed that such a working group be organised under C10, with Monceau to propose a maximum of 7 or 8 people. A charge for the working group is needed.

12.2 Proposal for a WG on Nanoscience

It was agreed that a Working Group on Nanoscience be organised under C15, with Van Wijngaarden to serve as chair and to contact the commissions for members and to draft a mandate.

In particular the group should address the following questions:

  • What do you need as a community?
  • What should IUPAP be doing?
  • What are the interfaces with other fields such as the study of cold atoms?

12.3 Virtual library

It was agreed that the idea should be investigated, but it was thought that it was unlikely to be possible. In particular we must see what is already available through ICTP

13. Meeting Adjourned

Contact IUPAP   |   Search IUPAP   |   IUPAP Home