October 1-2, 1999
CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
Members of the Council: B. Richter, Y. Petroff, R. Turlay, J. Franz, R. Barber, K. Binder, P. Kalmus, J. Moran-Lopez, G.Yang, H. Yasuoka, E. Zingu
Commission Chairs: C2 B. Petley, C3 K. Binder, C4 L. Drury (vice-chair), C5 H. Godfrin, C6 F. Parak, C8 M. Cardona, C9 H. Yasuoka, C10 c. Murray, C11 P. Kalmus, C12 B. Frois, C13 E. Zingu C14 J. Sahm, C15 I. Martinson, C16 F. Sluijter, C17 R. Lang, C18 D. Rowe, C20 W. Camp
Representatives from Affiliated Commissions: AC1 R. Dändliker, AC2 M. MacCallum, AC3 L. Crum
Guests: M. Blume, J. Dooge
Absentees: J. Nilsson, A. Ardeberg
The Meeting was called to order at 9:00 by President Richter who introduced the Director General of CERN, L. Maiani, who welcomed the group to CERN and expressed good wishes for a successful meeting. He stressed the dependence of physics, and particularly particle physics, on international collaboration and thus the importance of IUPAP.
Richter then welcomed the Councillors and Commission Chairs (CCC), explaining that having an annual joint meeting of this collective group was a new mode of operation started by J. Nilsson when he was president of IUPAP. It has been found to be a more effective way of governing IUPAP. He also mentioned that the formation of several inter-commission groups, such as PANAGIC and the Special Committee on Neutron Sources, was an important new development because physics evolves and the existing commissions don't always follow this evolution. Physics is becoming more interdisciplinary and this requires opportunities to exchange ideas and discuss problems across traditional fields.
Approval of Minutes
Both the minutes of the Council and Commission Chairs Meetings and the minutes of the General Assembly were approved.
Reports of Commission Chairs
C2: Petley reported that C2 was formed by merging two groups, one that was interested in symbols and nomenclature and the other that was concerned with the very accurate measurement of fundamental constants. C2 has the responsibility for the policing of physics for common language with the intent of being helpful rather than irksome. Petley reported that the next issue of the IUPAP booklet, IUPAP:25, on symbols, units, nomenclature, and fundamental constants will be out during the next three years. C2 also maintains a close liaison with CODATA (a committee of ICSU) which compiles and evaluates precision measurements of fundamental constants carried out in all parts of the world. C2 is responsible for awarding the SUNAMCO Medal. Petley pointed out the need for strong interaction with other international groups that are concerned with similar issues and the need for C2 to represent the interests of physics to these other groups. He mentioned the ongoing controversy that revolves around naming new elements and the need for joint efforts between groups to reach an acceptable compromise.
C3: Binder reminded the group of the pervasive and practical aspects of statistical physics. He mentioned that the International Conference on Statistical Physics sponsored by IUPAP occurs every three years and is the most important conference in the world on this topic. The next conference will be in Mexico in 2001. It was moved from Mexico City to Cancun because the National University of Mexico is on strike. The meeting usually attracts 1100-1200 people. C3 also selects the winner of the Boltzmann Medal, which is one of the most prestigious distinctions in theoretical physics The field of statistical physics has become much broader and now includes applications to other fields, such as phase transition-like phenomena in traffic jams or the motion of swarms of fish, or the statistical mechanics of protein folding, and even scaling laws for stock market fluctuations. Because of the many biological applications, Binder said that C3 wants to add an associate member from biological physics.
C4: Drury emphasized the breadth of activities covered by this commission and the number of new discoveries. Cosmic rays and astronomical objects are now investigated using the techniques of particle physics as well as advanced imaging techniques using Cerenkov telescopes at TEV energies. There has been an influx of people from particle physics into this area and the very exciting discovery of the non-zero neutrino mass comes from this field of physics. The biennial International Cosmic Ray Conference is trying to overcome its very traditional past and to evolve to a more modern format with a shorter meeting and purely electronic conference proceedings. Drury reported that the electronic conference proceedings are so much cheaper that he predicts this will be retained for future conferences. The International Conferences on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics, also sponsored by C4, occurs in between the ICRCs. The Commission also gives several awards and prizes and maintains an electronic newsletter and an active website. PANAGIC reports through C4 and it was agreed that the chair of this group would be asked to give a report at the IUPAP meeting next year. Some clarification of the relationship between PANAGIC and the independent Gravitational Waves International Committee is needed.
C5: Godfrin stated that C5 is at the center of the low temperature physics community throughout the world. The International Conference on Low Temperature Physics (ICLTP) is held every three years. The last one was in Helsinki and had an attendance of 1300. The conference covers such areas as quantum fluids, Bose-Einstein condensation, superconductivity, quantum tunneling, topological defects, phase transitions, and cryogenic techniques. The London Award is sponsored and presented by C5. For the first time the conference produced a pre-conference CD and placed all materials on the Web. This was not the final form of the conference proceedings because it contained all papers submitted, some of which were rejected and others changed. They also produced a paper proceedings after the conference which gave the final form. This was a compromise for the transitional period between electronic and paper proceedings. C5 has received a proposal from distinguished members of the low temperature community suggesting that the (zero magnetic field) superconducting transition temperature be called the Onnes Temperature and this is under discussion. The next ICLTP will take place in Hiroshima in 2002. C5 maintains a website and would like to have more contact with the commissions on atomic physics, statistical physics, semiconductors and particle physics.
C6: Parak reported that biological physics, the physics of bio-materials on the molecular level, is very interdisciplinary, but has a different focus than IUPAB (biophysics). The scientists represented by C6 want to do normal physics with bio-materials. This is a different point of view, which is not in competition with the work of IUPAB but is complementary. The physical thinking and all methods of physics can be applied to proteins and membranes to study dynamics and relaxation in these materials. The next Symposium on Biological Physics will be in 2001 in Kyoto and new topics will include the brain and neural networks. Richter expressed surprise that C6 conferences have been so small. It was agreed that the conferences need to be broadened to attract a larger, more diverse group of people.
C8: Cardona mentioned that the field of semiconductors covers a very wide range from industrial applications to many-body physics and the quantum Hall effect. The last International Conference on Semiconductor Physics was held in Jerusalem just after a rash of terrorist activity. C8 worked hard to achieve the required security, and the conference was a great success with approximately 800 attendees (instead of the usual 900-1000). The proceedings of the conference was designed with a very thin volume of plenary talks accompanied by a CD. Unfortunately the CD, produced by World Scientific, was very poor quality and there were a lot of complaints. C8 sponsors prizes for young scientists with funds coming from the interest from a grant that was originally donated by IBM.
C9: Yasuoka reported that the activity of C9 was well described in the booklet on the Reports of the International Commissions of IUPAP and the Inter-Union Committees. He made three points. First, there have been some problems with the large International Magnetism Conference, but these are being dealt with. The 2000 Conference will be in Recife, Brazil, and it will be in Rome, Italy, in 2003. Second, a magnetism award was established in 1991 and since then four people have received the award with nominees coming from US and Europe. C9 hopes to have worldwide nominations in the future. Third, neutron scattering is very important for the field of magnetism and this was emphasized at the working group meeting in Budapest; the next meeting of this group will be next year in Japan..
C10: Murray explained that the C10 has a very broad mandate, covering all of structure and dynamics and overlapping with all other condensed matter commissions. She showed a table indicating the relationships between these commissions. Murray emphasized that C10 focuses on experimental tools and facilities and there is an increasing use of large-scale multiuser facilities such as synchrotron light sources, neutron scattering sources, high-field magnets, free-electron lasers, and high resolution electron microscopes. The major issues are the need for new sources, upgrades, availability, access, increasing use by industry, instrumentation, and the financing of user beam lines. The need for long- range planning on the international scale is important for all of these issues and more international cooperation and coordination will be needed.
C11: Kalmus reported that C11 sponsors two major conference series on alternate years, each with approximately 600-1000 participants. The differences between the physics topics covered by the two series have largely disappeared. The main difference is now one of format with one having more parallel sessions and the other all plenary talks. Both formats have much to offer; the first allows many more opportunities to speak and thus offers better opportunities for younger people to get funding, while the other gives a wonderful overview of the field. C11 gets many requests to sponsor other conferences, but because there are so many, C11 has not recommended them for IUPAP support. C11 meets once a year at the major conference and the rest of business is done by email. ICFA has been very successful at taking a broad look at the international situation for facilities. It meets regularly with the directors of major facilities and attempts to plan the accelerators of the future. Kalmus mentioned that some critics have questioned whether C11 and ICFA are necessary, and whether particle physics would suffer if C11 didn't exist. Richter said that if ICFA didn't exist, it would have to be invented because it really does try to look 10 years ahead and do strategic planning at the international level. Richter emphasized that we need to have the physicist's voice heard by government in the planning and construction of all facilities. The C11 member from India has resigned from the commission and it was suggested that G. Mikenberg from Israel replace him.
C12: Frois said that the goal of nuclear physics is to understand the properties of nuclear matter, atomic nuclei and how nuclei are built from elementary constituents. Some of the fundamental challenges are : What are the constituents of matter, how do they interact, and how do they form nuclei? What are the limits of nuclear stability? C12 attempts to foster the exchange of information, focus on the future of the field, and plan regional facilities. In 1998 the major conference by IUPAP, the International Conference on Nuclear Physics, was held in Paris and celebrated 100 years of nuclear physics. During the past three years, a working group on nuclear physics discussed the long range opportunities of this field at the OECD Megascience Forum. Their report was presented in January 1999 at the Megascience Forum and recently published. The long term perspectives of this report had a significant impact both at government level and in the scientific community. One of the main avenues for future research will be focused on the use of high-intensity radioactive beam facilities. Most applications of nuclear physics are developed by industry and private companies, but the working group found that some larger and more far reaching technologies might benefit from coordination at the international level: accelerator-driven transmutation of nuclear wastes, medical imaging and cancer therapy. Links between physicists and industry should be more important. Frois believes that a major challenge for physicists is to communicate with society and give a better image of physics. He thinks that IUPAP can play a fundamental role in such things as well as with the planning of future facilities.
C13: Zingu reminded the group that everyone can participate in development. However it is difficult to stimulate development without a clear focus since the term development is vague and has a number of different meanings. C13 has held a conference every two years on physics and industrial development; the next one will be in 2000. A major challenges for C13 is networking with and among physicists in developing countries since the internet is not readily available in all countries. In 1997 C13 started to put together a database of physicists in developing countries but hasn't gotten very far as yet. Face-to-face interactions are also important for physicists, but this happens less for those in developing countries. It is not always even possible to get all the members of the commission together at the biennial conferences on development. It will be important to have the commissioners more involved. This is difficult because half of the commissioners come from the developed world and don't always have the knowledge about what developing countries need, but this half of the commissioners have the resources to be able to travel while the others find it much more difficult to travel. A number of physics conferences in developing countries are regional and thus do not usually receive IUPAP support. C13 needs stronger links to all the other commissions. The goals of C13 overlap strongly with those of ICSU and other general international science groups. These others groups are important and links to them are key because physics by itself does not have a high priority within developing countries. Richter commented that he learned a lot at the recent ICSU meeting about the needs of developing countries. Agriculture and medicine are most important for poor countries and for these physics can only play a supporting role.
C14: Sahm stated that the booklet on Reports of International Commissions of IUPAP and Inter- Union Committees has a full report of C14's activities. Their particular focus has been on developing countries and they thus need good communication with C13. C14 collects information about physics education and tries to distribute it worldwide. To do this, C14 publishes a newsletter twice a year and makes it freely available on the Web. While Paul Black was chair of C14, he started a book on physics for the new millennium and solicited information from each commission. This will be available on the web very soon. Sahm also mentioned that Len Jossem has organized the preparation and distribution of a book, " Connecting Research in Physics Education with Teacher Education," which will be translated into different languages. The C14 website also contains links to many other educational items including notification of conferences on education and encouragement for people to organize conferences particularly in developing countries. C14 joins one of these conferences each year for its commission meeting. Next year it will be one of the conferences will be in Brazil or Spain. Richter asked whether there is a need to develop tutorials on various topics for developing countries. Sahm replied that C14 needs to think about this.
C15: Martinson explained that three years ago the mandate for C15 was broadened to include optical physics. The intent was not to compete with the field of optics, but to do a better job of covering lasers as they are used in connection with atomic physics. C15 supports two major conference series that meet in alternate years so there is an IUPAP supported conference each year. The next one will be in Florence, Italy in 2000 followed by Boston in 2001. In recent years there has been a real revival of atomic physics with many exciting new developments and facilities. There are no real problems right now. C15 plans to improve its links with other commissions.
C16: Sluijter reported that there is considerable uncertainty about fusion research and whether it should move in the direction of inertial or magnetic confinement. There are highly developed plans for both, but there is competition between them rather than cooperation. However, low temperature plasma physics is flourishing and connections with astrophysics, solid state physics, surface physics, and industrial deposition and etching techniques. Plasma accelerators are also being discussed; these would use high field gradients to accelerate particles. Also undulators and wigglers, and thus free electron lasers, are of interest to plasma physicists who can offer techniques that could lead to shorter wavelengths. High and low temperature plasma physicists are beginning to work more closely together and C16 can play a role in this. There are some organizational problems for the next International Conference on Plasma Physics. Discussions are under way to hold it jointly with the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics, but the two meetings traditionally have very different formats. The connections of C16 with C19 and C15 are strong and this should be maintained.
C17: Lang reported that there is a great deal of activity in the quantum electronics within the areas of laser cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation. He stated that these exciting activities are claimed by many commissions but they are central within C17. Unfortunately, the last International Quantum Electronics Conference wasn't sponsored by C17 because the deadline for conference approval was accidentally missed. It is a strength of the quantum electronics field that many of its scientific achievements have led to very successful industrial applications. To maintain this happy relationship between science and technology in this field, C17 will make efforts to intensify the communication between the pure and applied segments of the community. Exciting developments are expected to continue with solid state and semiconductor lasers used in many new applications. Very short pulsed lasers are finding a remarkable range of applications in biological and chemical systems. Relations with these communities need to be strengthened. In addition, relations with C15 are very important as are connections with the International Commission on Optics.
C18 Rowe reported that C18 has been rather inactive, but it is now revitalized and plans to continue in this mode. The new members took over prematurely because the C18 contribution to the IUPAP book on the new millennium was already overdue. In spite of the central role of mathematical physicists in laying the foundations of physical theory, there is still a need to define the subject and emphasize the importance of rigorous mathematical formulations of successful theories. There is a tendency for faculty in mathematics departments to tackle their own problems, while theoretical physicists, unaware of what mathematicians have done, often reinvent the wheel. The need is for much more effective communication between the two groups; C18 will work on this challenge. The next conference will be in London and will have parallel sessions with tutorials. It is hoped that the tutorial sessions will help bring young people and those entering a new area quickly up to speed. C18 has established strong contacts with the International Association of Mathematical Physicists and hopes to develop ties with industry. It would welcome suggestions on how to accomplish the latter.
C19: No report
C20: Camp reminded the group that C20 is a new commission but they are already sponsoring either annual workshops or conferences. These are an amalgam of conferences that existed before C20 was formed. The last Conference on Computational Physics was held in Atlanta in March 1999 and had over 500 attendees. High on C20's agenda is the initiation of a new prize for computation physics, either one for young researchers or for best papers by students, or one for single outstanding or sustained achievements; and a $100,000 endowment is currently being sought. Discussions are ongoing on organizing a series of summer schools, but a decision is needed on who the schools would be aimed at, world experts and senior graduate students or advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students. One proposal would be to hold them in central Europe or in less developed countries. One problem for C20 is the lack of an accepted definition of field. As the computational physics exists today, it is largely not a primary discipline but more a way of approaching problems that can be used not only in physics but also in many neighboring fields. The field is very democratic since anyone can buy a sufficiently good computer very cheaply. Computational physicists have shown that problems viewed as intractable by computer scientists can become tractable. This is because computer scientists look at the worst possible case, but statistical physics has shown that this often isn't the important case.
Reports of Affiliated Commissions
AC1: Dändliker reported that the International Commission for Optics is continuing many of its activities but changing its structure. Optics is a field that is inherently interdisciplinary and that has many industrial applications. AC1 has traditionally had territorial committees in all geographical regions where there is optics work. It was felt that there was also a need to establish a more formal connection to organizations like OSA, SPIE and IEEE, which are based in the US but active internationally, so ICO will now have international organization members. ICO's new statues were accepted by the General Assembly in San Francisco and ICO already has the European Optical Society and OSA as members. ICO's new statutes were presented to IUPAP in Atlanta but were not formally approved at that time. D„ndliker stated that optics has trouble being considered as a field in itself because it is so essential to so many other things. He pointed out that this could happen to physics as a whole. It is possible that if physics becomes distributed in other fields, the need for physicists will remain, but no one will talk about it as a separate discipline.
AC2: MacCallum reported that the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation is small (400 members), but has members all over the world. Every three years ISGRG has a conference that attracts 600 people. The conferences are less theoretical than they used to be. As GPO systems and gravitational waves detection systems have become important, the conferences have attracted many more experimentalists even though they don't tend to be members of the Society. Numerical simulations of processes that emit gravitational waves have now also become important due to the need for theoretical estimates to help separate signal and noise. ISGRG publishes a journal that has become much more selective than it used to be. It also includes "golden oldies" in translation. ISGRG also administers the Xanthopoulos Prize. ISGRG maintains a website at www.maths.qmw.ac.uk/hyperspace/ which has over 1300 subscribers.The Albert Einstein Institute of the Max Planck Society has initiated "living" reviews on the Web which are updated every six months. The interaction between ISGRG and IUPAP has been at arms length, and this needs to be improved. AC2 is represented on PANAGIC. AC3: Crum reported on the International Commission on Acoustics. He said that acoustics means different things to different people. Because of this, ICA needed to recreate itself and reach out more effectively to the engineering community. Crum expects really exciting developments from this new connection of physics and engineering, including such things as new instruments for ultrasonic surgery. The annual meeting of ICA now includes all the national acoustic societies of the world; 32 of these were represented at the last meeting. The elected board now includes representatives from these societies which has enabled ICO to assess a fee. This provides some money that allows ICO to be proactive. The ICO website has links to all national societies and a calendar of events for all acoustics activities. They also have a small grants program, mostly for young scientists from developing countries.
Turlay asked the commissions to send their recommendations for Associate Members to him by the end of the calendar year. These will then be approved by an email vote in January or February and the new people will start next August.
The issue of what to do with inactive commission members and associate members was raised. It was agreed that one can ask them to resign. However, if they are unwilling to resign, there is little that can be done.
A number of delegates from IUPAP to various inter-union committees were approved at the General Assembly. Turlay now requested names to fill in the remaining slots. At the General Assembly it was decided not to appoint a delegate to IU6, Committee on Capacity Building in Science, but with the new ICSU initiative, the Council should rethink this decision. It was decided that the vice chair of C13, Ana Maria Cetto, should be asked to be the delegate to IU 4, Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries. No commission had expressed interest in having a delegate on IU11, the International Brain Research Organization. Parak agreed to communicate with Go, the past chair of C6, to see if he would like to be the delegate or appoint someone else. If Go is not interested, then there will be no IUPAP delegate for IU11. Binder, on behalf of C3, agreed to find a delegate for IU12, the IUPAC Macromolecular Division. It was noted that Petley is the delegate to two Inter-Union Committees, IU14 and IU16.
Sponsorship of International Conferences
Richter called attention to the IUPAP budget to show how poor IUPAP is. He reminded the group that there has been no increase in member fees for nine years. This means that IUPAP can support less than half of the conferences that have been proposed. Richter then asked Barber to review the criteria for conference approval which he did. This information is all posted on the IUPAP website. A question was raised about the maximum allowed registration fee and Barber reminded the group that it is Swiss francs 450. If meals are included, the maximum registration fee may be increased to cover the cost of those meals. Another question was raised about having lower fees for students. It was agreed that if at all possible conference organizers should try to raise additional money that would be used to subsidize student fees.
The group then reviewed all the proposed conferences and decided which conferences would be approved for IUPAP sponsorship and how much financial support each would receive. The list of approved conferences and the level of support is given on Attachment #1.
Moran-Lopez reminded the group that if physicists in developing countries want to have their country join IUPAP, they have to convince their governments to pay for the IUPAP dues. Therefore, IUPAP needs to have activities that are attractive to the governments of these countries. Supporting regional conferences in developing countries would do this, but IUPAP guidelines don't allow this. After considerable discussion of this point, it was agreed that exceptions to the guidelines could be made for good reasons and that supporting physics in developing countries was a good reason. Barber was asked to suggest wording for a new guideline that would allow support for broadly based regional conferences from the less developed world.
Richter said that ICSU has become much more than a Union of Unions. Countries and UNESCO look to ICSU for advice. ICSU has recently restructured and is now rebuilding. They now want to improve relations with the Unions. One problem in the relationship between IUPAP and ICSU has been the lack of continuity in IUPAP representation at ICSU General Assemblies, with a different IUPAP president attending each of these meetings. For this reason both Petroff and Richter attended the recent ICSU meeting. Richter reported that they were very impressed with some aspects of ICSU and very unimpressed with others.
Richter mentioned that he presented an initiative to form a joint-union committee on science education similar to one that had existed before. The call for such a committee was started by IUPAP/C14 and gained the support from seven additional Unions. As a result of Richter's request, a temporary committee was created that will have a representative from each Union and one from the ICSU Committee on Capacity Building, currently chaired by Shirley Malcom. In addition, the Presidents of all unions will meet with the ICSU leadership in approximately 18 months to discuss common problems.
Richter then introduced Jim Dooge from Dublin, Ireland. Dooge, a civil engineer by training, is a past president of ICSU and has a strong background in governmental and international affairs, having served as a member of the Irish cabinet as foreign minister. He is currently serving as chair of ICSU's Committee on Freedom in the Conduct of Science. Dooge said that he understood that the Union's were not entirely happy with the new ICSU organization and that he had come to the IUPAP Council meeting to discuss concerns. He explained that there has always been some degree of tension between ICSU's two types of members, the Unions and the National Members, but this had increased in the last decade as ICSU got more involved in global scientific programs.
Dooge said that there were three issues that he would like to discuss: the place of the Unions within ICSU, capacity building, and the World Conference on Science. He said that communications between ICSU and the Unions have been bad and that both sides were at fault. Questionnaires had been sent out to the Unions to solicit their views and very few were returned. But ICSU has also had problems. The ICSU Secretariat is small with only 8 staff members, 4 of whom are part-time. The previous executive director's contract had not been renewed, but a new executive director has now been hired and this should help.
Dooge commented that he thought that the goals of the Committee on Capacity Building in Science had been overblown and had ignored previous history. There was a good discussion about this in Cairo and a resolution written by Richter and Malcom was passed by the General Assembly that would coordinate the activities of this committee with those of the Unions. As part of the agreement to hold joint meetings, the Unions had said they would pay their own travel if ICSU would pay for the hotel expenses. However, the resolution approved by the General Assembly makes no mention of the contribution of expenses.
Dooge stated that he thought that the idea for a World Conference on Science had been initiated by UNESCO, and that UNESCO had asked ICSU to join as co-sponsor. After some hesitation, the ICSU Board had said yes. Dooge said that the result was better than he expected. He believes that the conference can be a jumping off point for future positive efforts. He and others had worked hard to make the Action Plan as good as they could, and now ICSU could use the best parts of this to build upon for future actions. (See Attachments #2 and #3.) At the ICSU General Assembly, Richter made a strongly negative statement about the World Congress. (See attachment #4.) Many disagreed with his statement. However, on the issue of "traditional and local knowledge systems" there was sufficient concern that a motion was passed that attempted to make the distinction between such knowledge and anti-science and pseudo-science.
Discussion ensued about the future of UNESCO and its relation with ICSU. Frois asked what do we want as scientists? Crum said that we need to do a better job of convincing governments and people that we are working on important problems. One way of starting this would be to have public lectures associated with IUPAP-sponsored conferences as is currently done by the European Physical Society.
Franz asked Dooge what he saw as the future role of IUPAP in ICSU, and when he hesitated, Richter changed the question to: What would be the role of an ideal Scientific Union? Dooge said that Union leaders should consider seriously donating some of their time to ICSU committees, and that it would be good to "get into the inside of ICSU" and show that there is a physics presence in ICSU. In this way, they could bring the concern of the physicist to ICSU and bring back ICSU's concerns. The suggestion was made that ICSU could consult with the Unions about who should be appointed to committees and commissions. Dooge agreed that this doesn't happen, and said again that it looks like there is a communication problem. He also said that system for elections to the ICSU Board doesn't take account of disciplinary balance with the result that more than half the members are from biology. The ICSU Board is aware of the problem, but since there are so many biological Unions, they can block proposals for change; they have a majority of the votes. Some discussion followed about how this situation might be changed, but no definite action was planned.
Report from the IUPAP Special Committee on Neutron Sources
Murray reminded the group that the first meeting of the Special Committee, arranged by Rudolf Klein and Franz, was held during the APS March Meeting in 1998. At that time the Committee heard from the Megascience Forum Working Group on this topic. As a result of this meeting a short report was written giving an assessment of the Forum recommendations on behalf of the international scientific community. This report, later approved by the IUPAP Council, is on the IUPAP website. There continues to be serious concern about the dearth of neutron sources with almost no new nuclear reactors planned. The Special Committee met again recently in Budapest, with Klein as chair, but no substantive actions were taken. (See Attachment #5.) Murray said that she was disappointed in the progress that had been made on formalizing the role and procedures for a Working Group on Neutron Sources, and now it appeared that all decisions had been put off for another year.
Petroff said that much could be done to improve existing neutron sources, but it is often easier to get money for new facilities than for upgrades to existing ones. People working in existing facilities or on planning new facilities are worried about their future. National and international politics may prevent some facilities from being approved; it was thought that more would be known about this next year when the Special Committee plans to meet in Japan. Parak said that Germany is suffering politically from the decision to use highly enriched fuel; he believes that IUPAP should say that this is justified by the good science that will be accomplished. Richter asked Murray to consult with fellow commission chairs and lead a discussion the next day on how a more permanent inter-commission committee such as PANAGIC could be set up.
The following day after evening discussions, Murray proposed that a more formal Working Group on Facilities for Condensed Matter Physics (WGFCMP) be set up on an ad hoc basis with herself as chair and Parak as vice chair. The other members would be the chairs of C3, C5, C8, C9, Blume, who has expertise on synchrotron light sources, and others as needed. It will remain in place for three years and could be renewed after that. The Working Group will spawn and oversee committees that will act to: 1.) promote international collaboration for planning, construction and exploitation of facilities for condensed matter. This will include the need for new sources and upgrades to existing sources, instrumentation requirements, availability access, and long range planning. 2.) organize international meetings for the exchange of information on future plans for regional facilities and the formulation of advice for joint studies and uses. 3.) organize international workshops for the study of problems related to large facilities and to foster research and development on necessary technology.
The WGFCMP's first effort will be to appoint an International Committee on the Future of Neutron Sources. The Committee will be charged with learning from ICFA and PANAGIC, and its members will include members of IUPAP Commissions plus representatives of regional user groups, appropriate labs, developing countries, and other involved organizations. The plan is in the following year to set up a similar committee, the International Committee on the Future of Electromagnetic Radiation Sources, which would be concerned with synchrotron light sources, free electron lasers, etc. A third committee on medium-sized facilities might be set up during the third year.
Committee on Bylaws and Statutes
Richter stated that there needs to be a general overhaul of the bylaws and that he wanted to get information from the commission chairs on the form this should take. He hopes to have a zeroth order draft before the next Council meeting. The issue of the terms for commission chairs was raised and Sluijter said that it would help to have people progress automatically from vice chair to chair. Drury said that in C4 the secretary automatically progresses to chair, and the previous chair is invited to attend meetings to give continuity. Barak said that in C6 the former chair becomes a formal member of the commission. Cardona pointed out that if the vice chair is now from industry, he or she often doesn't want to become chair. Several commission chairs said that they would prefer not to have any automatic progression from one office to another. There was no consensus on this issue. Rowe was concerned about the total length of terms of commissioners; he thought that currently one could remain on a commission for 18 years. He is in favor of a maximum of 9 years. Several people thought that commission chairs should give brief talks about IUPAP at their commissions' IUPAP- sponsored conferences to help inform scientists about IUPAP.
There was then a discussion about whether requiring an industrial member on each commission was feasible. Richter said that the need for an industrial member has not been considered as important as the need for geographical distribution. Camp said that commissions like C20 should have no trouble getting industrial members and C20's conferences do include applied aspects. Richter suggested that the IUPAP bylaws should state that "it is expected that each commission have at least one member from industry." It was agreed that this need for industrial members should be communicated to all IUPAP liaison committees.
The need to bring new members into IUPAP was mentioned, and Turlay noted that Nilsson had planned to propose something on this issue, but he was unable to attend this meeting.
Working Group on Women in Physics
In response to the resolution of the General Assembly, Richter had requested that Franz draft a charge and propose candidates for membership in the Working Group on Women in Physics (WGWP). Franz presented the following charge to the CCC.
Council Charge to the Working Group on Women in Physics:
At the 1999 IUPAP General Assembly, the concern was raised that women are greatly under- represented in the field of physics in most countries. Because of this imbalance, many bright young people do not receive the opportunity to learn about physics and to prepare themselves for a physics career, and others are discouraged from doing so. Recognizing that all fields of science progress most rapidly when they draw from the complete available pool of talented people, the participants of the General Assembly passed a resolution to form a Working Group on Women in Physics. This Working Group has the following charge:
To work with physicists in IUPAP member countries to gather information about women in physics. To analyze and report the data, identify barriers to entry into the field, and difficulties in maintaining and advancing careers for women in physics, and to recommend ways to improve the situation. To suggest ways that IUPAP can ensure that women are fully involved in IUPAP- sponsored conferences, and to propose ways that they can become more active participants in IUPAP itself, including the Liaison Committees, the Commissions, the Council, and the General Assemblies. To report all findings at the General Assembly in 2002.
In carrying out the above charge, it may prove useful to organize and convene an international conference on women in physics. If such a conference occurs, it should be planned so that a full account can be provided with the report at the General Assembly in 2002.
It was agreed that the WGWP could add additional people as needed from other areas such as social science with the approval of the president. In addition to the WGWP, Franz said that it is her hope to add a contact person in each IUPAP country to provide local information, since in some countries useful data already exists. It was noted that in Europe, participation by women in physics was large in the southern countries but was much lower in the northern ones, clearly indicating that social, educational and political factors are relevant to understanding what is going on. The draft charge was accepted with the understanding that the details of the charge might be modified later by the Council on the advice of the WGWP.
The size of the WGWP was proposed to be 9 women and 2 men. It was suggested that the distribution be as follows:
2 North America
2 Central and South America
2 Men who are in leadership positions at large laboratories.
It was agreed that the membership should be drawn from IUPAP countries and that the initial concentration of effort should be on studying the situation in IUPAP countries.
Franz reviewed some of the details of the CVs that were appended to the agenda for the meeting. The desirability of appointing some younger women to the WGWP was discussed and agreed on, and Richter asked Yang to recommend a younger women from China. The CCC agreed that Franz and Richter should proceed to name the actual personnel, which would include most of those whose CVs were given. Franz should convene the initial meeting of the WGWP within a year.
Working Group on Communication in Physics
Blume gave a preliminary report on the efforts of the Working Group on Communication in Physics (WGCP), which has the following membership:
M. Blume, American Physical Society, chair
I. Butterworth, Imperial College, secretary
F. Laloe, ENS
H. Cerdeira, ICTP
S. Ushioda, Tohoku University
The Charge to the WGCP was the following: It is the primary mission of the working group to make a set of recommendations on important issues in the international aspects of physics communication, especially electronic publication, that are appropriate for IUPAP action.
The WGCP met in Atlanta on March 21, 1999, and identified six potential topics.
- International internet availability and reliability for scientific publications: Butterworth will take primary responsibility for this topic and may suggest the organization of a group to monitor this. Richter mentioned that there is an ICFA group that could help with this.
- Linking and mirroring for publications of different societies and publishers: Ushioda will lead this effort but a role for IUPAP is not yet clear as these efforts seem to be underway already.
- Availability of publications in (electronically) remote areas: This will be investigated by Cerdeira and IUPAP may convene a workshop of societies and publishers to work on this. IUPAP may be able to exert moral suasion to get more publishers to make materials available at low cost.
- Long term archiving and availability of electronic publications: Blume and Butterworth will work jointly on this and hope to hold an international workshop on this topic. This problem is more political than technical.
- Peer review and e-print archives: Laloe will take responsibility for investigating this topic. It is possible that a consortium of physical societies could take over the management of an international e-print archive.
- International intellectual property questions: Butterworth and Cerdeira will consider whether there is a role for IUPAP in this area. Here the problem is most acute in Europe due to database protection laws. Fair use laws are important to maintain.
Blume summarized his report by saying that IUPAP can play a significant role in fostering important interactions throughout the world in many aspects of electronic publication. The convening of several international gatherings of societies and publishers as well as the possible passing of a resolution on copyright, are the principal actions recommended at this time.
Following Blume's report there was discussion of the problems of archiving and the need to help developing countries improve their internet connectivity. Blume said that a written report from the WGCP would be ready by the end of the year.
The recommendations from Y. Yamaguchi were discussed. It was felt that all of these had already been raised as part of the regular agenda. The new Working Group to be chaired by Murray will provide a way for the condensed matter commissions to work together in a new way, so that no restructuring of commissions will be considered for now. Yasuoka supports this approach, has talked to Yamaguchi about it, and will report back to Yamaguchi on the decisions made at this meeting.
Franz said that earlier in the week she had met in London with representatives of the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the German Physical Society (DPG), and they had discussed new projects that IUPAP could take on. The first was an online database of policy statements and documents from physical societies around the world that would allow others to make use of the work already done. The CCC agreed that this would be useful. The second project was an international databank of statistics relating to physics research, physics teaching and physics funding. The CCC thought that this would only be useful if the context of the statistics was given sufficiently clearly that comparisons could be made between countries. The third idea was a compendium of statements of support form national governments for physics in their own countries. The CCC did not think that this would be useful as many of these statements are made for political motives at a particular point in time and don't have any lasting validity. Franz said that she would report these decisions back to the IOP and DPG for further discussion.
Site for 2000 Council Meeting
The CCC recommended that the next meeting take place at the same time of year either in Asia or North America. It was also suggested that we try to meet with the local liaison committee to learn about physics locally.
A motion was approved unanimously to thank Helga Schmal and Sandrine Buttay for their help in making all the arrangements for our meeting at CERN. The CCC then adjourned.
- List of approved conferences
- World Conference on Science "Declaration on Science"
- World Conference on Science "Framework for Action"
- Richter's remarks at the ICSU General Assembly
- Report from the Budapest Meeting on Neutron Sources