It is my pleasure to give you some highlights from the activities of our Society during the last period between our 2016 and 2017 General Assemblies.
In 2016, the Swiss Physical Society was once more very active in organizing and in participating in a variety of projects and events with the aim to intensify the relations between universities, research centres and industry, and to promote networking with young students and teachers throughout Switzerland. Examples of such events, briefly summarised in the following, are the Annual Meeting of our society, a Young Physicists Forum (YPF) workshop in Lausanne, a scientific participation in the Commission Romande de Physique (CRP) teacher course and the Dautreppe seminar of SFP meant mainly for PhD and students and post-docs.
Another issue, to which the Society puts particular emphasis, is the communication with its members, partners and the Swiss physics community at large, by means of publishing its bulletin, our flagship "SPG Mitteilungen, Communications de la SSP" as well as disseminating information via its Web portal, which is under revision. Of particular importance is the electronic publication of our Newsletter, which will allow us to strengthen the link between the Board and each and everyone of the Society Member as well as other persons who could be interested by our activities. I would like to highlight here the work of the Board, which led to this achievement.
The Annual Meeting of the Swiss Physical Society was organised in Lugano at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI). The meeting was supported in part by the USI, which the SPS would like to acknowledge here. In total, there were about 300 participants with about 220 contributions. It was a long time that we did not hold our Annual Meeting in Ticino, and I believe that both USI and our participants enjoyed the meeting. At this occasion, we had the pleasure to distinguish last year a new Honorary Member in the person of Piero Martinoli, who was, at the time of the conference, President of the USI.
The commitment of the Society with respect to the young generation is shown through our support to the Young Physicists Forum YPF, our involvement with teachers and our support to Swiss Physics Olympiad, SwissPhO. Note that one Swiss student won a Bronze Medal at the International Physics Olympiad and three others a "Honourable Mention". The event was organized in Switzerland. Our Society is also sponsoring a common event with the German colleagues, the "Physik im Advent".
Swiss Physics was honoured by EPS first through the selection of two sites as EPS Historic Sites. The first one is the building "Bastions" of the University of Geneva. The inauguration of the plaque commemorating this event was performed on 29 March 2017 in the presence of the President of the EPS and two members of the family of Prof. Stueckelberg, adding a touching note to the event. The second EPS Historical site awarded is the one of IBM. The unveiling of the plaque for the IBM Rüschlikon site will be performed on the 26 September 2017.
Alongside with the usual SPS Awards, the winner of the Charpak-Ritz Prize was nominated by the SPS Prize Committee, based on the three names proposed by the Société Française de Physique (SFP). The winner, Prof. Carlo Sirtori, will give a talk at our Geneva meeting. The SPS is preparing the proposals for the 2018 Charpak-Ritz Prize, for selection by the SFP in the fall of 2017.
At the last General Assembly, Hans Peter Beck was elected as Vice President of our Society. According to our usual way of proceeding, I shall propose to the General Assembly to elect him as President for the next two years term. I would like to thank all of you, in particular the members of the Board, for your support and trust during my tenure. As a last word, I would like to mention that I firmly believe that, in Switzerland, our Industry and Economy, as in any developed and industrial country, can only progress if both fundamental and applied physics research is vigorously supported: We should not forget the logical chain: scientific discovery and understanding - invention - innovation, and not only retain the buzz word "Innovation". As much as I shall be able, I shall continue to defend this idea whenever and wherever I could.
Good luck to the Swiss Physical Society and to each and every one of you!
Minh Quang Tran, SPS President, July 2017