We all agree that EPS is a European Society for European physicists and that there is certainly more to be done to further improve its structure and its impact on scientific excellence and science policies.
On 2nd October a well-attended meeting with the presidents or representatives of about 25 National member societies took place in Brussels. It was an opportunity to share mutual information and concerns, listen to excellent talks on the role of EU organizations and on lobbying for science. Nevertheless all this commitment should not prevent us to think also of the acute problems encountered by our colleague physicists in developing countries of other continents such as Africa. Lack of funding, lack of public awareness, lack of institutional framework for research, lack of laboratory equipment and means for teaching. I was recently in Kenya visiting a public high school and some laboratories at the University of Nairobi, which is one of the well-functioning Universities and was impressed by the commitment of the people and a good organization. But the need for better lab equipment, for well-trained teaching staff and for the search and promotion of talented students
of both genders is still very large.
These countries are certainly already engaged in developing institutions dedicated to scientific research and technological innovation as they recognize their importance in achieving national and international competitiveness, but the way is still long.
The awareness of EPS for Physics for Development dates back to 1981 with the creation of the interdivisional group on Physics for Development (IGPD) by H. van Regemorter. In spite of continuous efforts this group has always been short of proper funding for its activities.
Information on its mission and projects can be found in the new web site of the group (www.physdev.org).
To help funding some focused and well planned projects we need your support with personal commitment but also your financial help. This is why a Special Activity Fund has been set up to collect donations and support specific activities that are not in the main stream of EPS and cannot be financed within the EPS budget. At the beginning EPS will match each donation by the same amount until a total of € 50,000 is reached. The way how to donate can be found on our EPS website. It is important to state here that this Fund will be supervised by an independent group of persons, external to the EPS Executive Committee and checked regularly by an external audit.
We are well aware of the many different foundations acting for the development of science, the sharing of knowledge and contributing also to environmental and social problems but this does not prevent us physicists to participate and contribute our fair share.
Hopefully this new initiative will be appreciated by all our members and be a further demonstration that our Society is always looking for new ideas, challenges and remains dedicated to the promotion of scientific excellence at all levels. Now your action and support is needed. In particular the valuable help from young physics
students as well as from retired physicists, ready to spend some time for a good purpose, would be highly appreciated. We are also looking for your constructive comments and initiatives, helping to make your Society as lively and appealing as possible.
President of the EPS