President's Third Message

Marie-Geneviève Barthés-Labrousse

President - IUVSTA
(2001-2004) Triennium

Dear Colleagues,

In my first President’s message, I emphasised that one of the major strengths of the Union was the fact that its members are national societies rather than individuals. Of course the major goal of IUVSTA is to benefit to all individuals working in the scientific and technological areas within its remit by promoting international collaboration. Therefore most of the activities organised under the auspices of IUVSTA are directed towards individuals, e.g. conferences, workshops, schools, short courses… However, national societies play a key role in these activities as they can bring both the attention of the international community to local needs and, inversely, provide an efficient link to disseminate locally scientific and technical information.

Most of the scientific and technical activity in the Union is handled by the Divisions which are composed of one representative of each national society member. They provide an efficient platform to identify scientific and technological future needs, to promote international exchanges and collaboration by organising conferences, workshops, schools… and to point out emergent topics.

On the educational front, the Technical Training Course programme provides some support to national societies from Developing Countries to organise technical courses given in the local language by local instructors. This programme was launched last September at the Executive Council meeting held in Smolenice Castle, Slovakia (ECM-91) and the first school will be held in Pakistan, in February 2003.

The situation of IUVSTA is somewhat unique in the sense that, through the Executive Council meetings, there is an opportunity for the representatives of the 31 member societies to meet twice a year. So far, 91 ECMs have been held since the creation of IUVSTA, thus offering regular occasions for exchanging views. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the establishment of an European Vacuum Society, which was debated during the last Long Range Planning Committee meeting held in September, does not appear to provide particular advantage. On the other hand, formation of new National Societies in these geographical areas which are not yet represented within the Union and where many people are involved in science, technology and industry must be encouraged. The main problem is to make contact with these potential members. Therefore I would appreciate any suggestion to get appropriate contacts with relevant people from Latin America, South Asia or Africa, as, I am sure, would Jean-Jacques Pireaux, who has special responsibility within the Executive Council for this matter.

Marie-Geneviève Barthés-Labrousse
October 2002

Bulletin 152