Minutes of the IUPAP Council and Commission Chairs Meeting

October 7-8, 2002
Berlin, Germany


Present: R. Barber, K. Binder, M. Cardona, G. Daigle, J. Franz, B. Frois, T. Gaisser, H. Godfrin, P. Kalmus, I. Martinson, P. Monceau (for C. A. Murray), J. L.Moran-Lopez, J. Nilsson, F. Parak, Y. Petroff, F. Sluijter, B. Richter, D. Rowe, J. Sahm, K. Sharma (for B.W. Petley), H. Yasuoka, E. Zingu

Absent: A. Ardeberg, W. Camp, M. MacCallum, R. Lang, G-z. Yang

Guests: Ze Zhang (representing G-z. Yang), A. Kaminskii (representing R. Lang)

IUPAP Staff: E. Ridgway

President Burton Richter called the meeting to order at 9:00 and reviewed the agenda. With the correction of a few typos, the minutes from the 2001 meeting in Mexico City were approved.


The first item of business was the review of the nomination slates for the Commissions and the Executive Council. Great care was taken to try to balance the slates geographically. Roughly each IUPAP Member should have the same number of representatives on the commissions as its number of shares. After considerable discussion the Commission slates were approved for recommendation to the General Assembly.

Richter then asked all the candidates for Vice President to leave the room while these nominations were discussed. Five Commission chairs and three additional candidates were selected for recommendation to the General Assembly for the eight Vice President positions. They were:

Sergei Bagayev, Russia
Juergen Sahm, Germany
Sergio Rezende, Brazil
Hidetoshi Fukuyama, Japan
Maurice Skolnick, UK
Pal Ormos, Hungary
A. Sen, India
Edmund Zingu, South Africa


Barber reviewed the applications for IUPAP support and endorsement of conferences, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses. He reminded the group about the difference between A, B, and C type conferences. Petroff commented that when there are good opportunities for industrial support, IUPAP support is not needed. Concern was expressed about the violation of the maximum registration fee by one 2002 conference. It was agreed that each conference organizer should have to agree to the maximum fee in writing before receiving the award. The IUPAP Secretariat will change procedures to make this happen.

There was again strong support for trying to give some aid to regional conferences in developing region as long as the conference is international in character and is held in different countries from year to year. There was concern that such conferences seem to be decreasing in number, and it was agreed that we should encourage more conferences of this type. One conference, "International Workshop on Optics and Laser Applications," which had been proposed to be held in Namibia, was discussed in some detail. It was decided not to approve it as presented because it appeared to be insufficiently international; however, the group urged Zingu to work with the organizers and bring the proposal back in a revised form.

It was decided that Type A conferences would receive $10,000 plus travel grants of $4,500, Type B conference would receive $6,000 with travel grants awarded to those from C13 and C14. Several conferences requested advanced approval for 2004 and 2005. The advanced approval carries no guarantee of any money award. Several conferences were given advanced approval (see list under conferences); others will be considered at the next meeting in January.

Member Affairs

The group reviewed the status of Members that were delinquent in their dues. It was agreed that Kenya and Georgia would lose their membership at this General Assembly. Dismay was expressed that France was so far behind in its dues. Richter agreed to write a letter to the French Minister of Research expressing concern about this. The group voted to recommend membership for Cyprus to the General Assembly upon payment of the first year's dues.

Financial Affairs

Franz reviewed the financial situation for 2002 and presented a proposed budget for 2003. The budget was approved as presented. (Attachment A)

Review of Resolutions

The Council and Commission Chairs reviewed the resolutions that had been prepared for presentation to the General Assembly. Resolution No. 1 was approved, changing the dues from 2500 CHF to 1700Euros per share on November 1, 2002. Resolution No. 2 on the revised Statutes and By-Laws had been discussed previously and approved at that time.

There was considerable discussion of Resolution No. 3 on maximum conference fees. It was decided to increase the maximum fee to $400 and to use general language urging "special financial consideration for unsupported young scientists and scientists from developing countries."

Richter opened the discussion on Resolution No. 5 on Women in Physics by explaining that it was an abbreviated form from the resolutions that had passed unanimously at the IUPAP Paris Conference on Women in Physics. Richter tried to include all the essential ideas while simplifying the format. He then went through the different pieces of the resolution. Concern was expressed that existing affirmative action programs would seem to violate the resolution. Alternate wording was discussed and agreed upon for these sections. Parak expressed concern about section 7 on family oriented policies and practices. However, the resolution asks institutions only to "reexamine their practices" and this was felt to be appropriate. In the charge to IUPAP itself, the group felt uncomfortable "requiring" women as members of program committees, but agreed to the wording that the General Assembly "expects" this to be the case.

Resolution No. 7 was on the Working Group on Facilities for Condensed Matter Physics was then discussed. Parak requested that the resolution express concern about the dearth of neutron sources with the early closure of some older facilities and delays in the construction of new facilities. It was agreed that the resolution would be extended to express this concern.

Richter and Petroff suggested that an additional resolution be formulated concerning the need for an IUPAP Working Group on Energy. The International Council for Science (ICSU) has identified energy as a priority area for interdisciplinary activities and IUPAP should play an important role in this. The group agreed to recommend this additional resolution to the General Assembly.


Zingu was asked to make some remarks about the work of the Commission on Development. He expressed concern that the number of conference applications to IUPAP for conferences on development had decreased. He asked IUPAP to encourage more conferences but to ask countries to show that they have made some progress before another conference grant is made. He mentioned that forming networks in Africa and South America is very helpful but not expensive and maybe IUPAP could help with these networks, at the very least giving moral support and guidance. He suggested that it would be useful to have a member of each other Commission on C13 to help make progress with development. It was noted that this would take time to achieve, but that in the meantime, C13 could ask each Commission to appoint a liaison to C13.

ICSU General Assembly

Petroff gave a brief report on the ICSU General Assembly that was held in September in Rio de Janeiro. He commented that the meeting was very well organized and much better than the previous one. However, he expressed dismay that basic science was not included in any of the priorities for ICSU. Petroff stated strongly that ignoring education in the basic sciences in developing countries would be detrimental to their long-range progress. Richter suggested that wording urging the need to "build up scientific infrastructure so that developing countries could take advantage of opportunities" would be a good way to put basics science back into the priorities.

Nuclear Power

Frois gave a brief report on the forum on energy that he participated in at the ICSU General Assembly in Rio. He had presented a talk there on nuclear energy. He urged IUPAP and physicists in general to speak out on energy and climate change issues. We must supply good data and try to help people look into the future. Richter stated that we need a broad-based group to look at these issues. The new Working Group on Energy, if approved, will be very important.


The meeting of the Council and Commission Chairs was adjourned at 12:00 on October 8.

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