A note from the President

At the joint annual meeting between the Austrian Physical Society and ours, I had the pleasure to meet many of you and, through the presentation of activities, discuss with you about some guidelines of the activities of the Board in the following year. I would like here to present to you a short summary of the activities in 2015-2016.

2015 was the International Year of Light. In Switzerland the event was sponsored by Swiss Photonics and our Society and more than 50 events were organized. While the majority of them (80%) were science outreach ones, the rest covered fields we usually defined as humanities such as music, light and architecture. Most important for me is the fact that we were able to get very young children interested in sciences.

Turning now to more specific activities we have announced at the General Assembly, one of our first actions was to organise the 2016 Annual Meeting in Lugano. I would like to thank here the President of the USI, Prof P. Martinoli and his team, in particular M. A. Zgraggen, for their effective support in the organisation. In 2017 we shall have again the joint meeting with our Austrian colleagues, but this time in Switzerland. The place has been chosen: it will be Geneva, both at CERN and the downtown "Centre International de Congrès de Genève". We have reserved the week of 21-25 August 2017. Please mark this week in your agenda.

We have continued our action to improve our communications. At the time of writing these lines, a contract with a software company is being prepared. We expect that we shall have an electronic communications system serve the physics community in a more efficient way, Let me emphasize here that our SPS has benefitted from the support of SCNAT, which is sincerely acknowledged here.

As I have mentioned at the General Assembly, the teaching of physics at school level has been since years a priority in our programme of actions. Let me remind the courses for physics teachers, the "Physics in Advent". A new step was performed in 2015, with the signature of an agreement with the "Société Suisse des Professeurs de Mathématiques et de Physique" (SSPMP) to offer joint membership between SPS and SSPMP. In parallel, we are keeping tight contacts with cantonal organisations of physics teachers to strengthen our link on the operational level, such as allowing them to attend course organized by research institution.

Strengthening the links with our sister societies is another focus. We already have continuous and excellent relationship with the Austrian Physical Society. We are working together on joint initiatives with the French Physical Society through the organisation of events like the Dautreppe seminars or the French Olympiads. We are now approaching the Dutch Physical Society. I expect to be able to report to you the results of on-going initiatives.

Last but not least. You have noticed that the present issue of our Communications bears the number 49. We shall therefore soon celebrate its jubilee. Let me thank all and each of you for having contributed to the articles of very high quality. I hope that for the next 50 issues will benefit from the same enthusiasm from your side.

As you can see from the brief report, we were able to realize the projects proposed to and by you at the 2015 General Assembly. But our SPS is yours and our growth and strength rely on your commitment and dedication.
I am therefore looking forward to meeting you in Lugano and to have, as at every General Meeting, a fruitful exchange of view.

Minh Quang Tran, SPS President, June 2016