19th General Assembly

19th General Assembly


IUPAP 19th General Assembly, Washington, USA, 1987

International Conferences

For the patronage of the Union to be granted to a Conference, which implies, in principle, a subsidy from the Union fixed according to need and available funds, it is necessary:

  • that the Executive Committee should have approved this subsidy, taking into account the future interest of the subject and other subjects proposed for Conferences;
  • that the organizers of the Conference should have, beforehand, undertaken to submit the President of the Union the precise date, scientific programme, place of meeting, and choice of people to be invited to present the principal papers. The choice of the speakers should be made in such a way as to ensure the greatest possible international participation at the Conference.

(London, 1954)


The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, considering that free travel possibilities of all scientists for the participation in international scientific conferences form an indispensable basis for successful international cooperation, and considering further that this question not only touches the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU):

  • to encourage its national members to take appropriate steps with their respective governments for arranging facilities for granting exit and entry visas to all scientists attending international scientific conferences;
  • to bring the problem to the notice of the United Nations with the request that a way be found for the free movement of scientists attending scientific conferences and meetings.

(Warsaw, 1963)

Young Scientists

In view of the desirability of providing continuity in the growth of close international contacts between physicists, the General Assembly of IUPAP considers it highly desirable to include some younger scientists among delegations to large international conferences sponsored by IUPAP in addition to leading scientists in the particular field.

(Warsaw, 1963)


The General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics approves in principle the proposals of the reorganizing committee of ICSU, but makes the following recommendation:

  • in order to safeguard the scientific character implied in ICSU’s name, it is highly desirable to prevent the voting power of the unions being outbalanced by the voting power of the national members in the General Assembly of ICSU. Balance could be achieved by increasing the vote of the unions and by giving each general union more votes than each specialized union.

It is realized that, as the number of unions and nations adhering to the ICSU increases, the voting procedure will need modification.

(Warsaw, 1963)

Scientific Papers

Every scientific paper, with the possible exception of short letters, should be published with a synopsis (for abstract) in English, French or Russian. It is desirable to print it also in a second language.

(Warsaw, 1963)


The General Assembly approves:
  • the Guide for the Preparation of Author’s Abstracts for Publication with authorization to make some modifications in order to achieve accord with UNESCO;
  • the Guide for the Preparation of Scientific Papers for Publication with authorization to make some modifications in order to achieve accord with UNESCO;
  • the statement on Bibliographic References on the second page of the Commission report;
  • the following statement on publication of conference proceedings:  “The assembly of collections of preprints for the participants does not constitute satisfactory publication of the proceedings of a conference”. It is highly desirable that conference proceedings should be refereed in the same way as journal articles. When the proceedings are published as a unit, rather than by separate submission of the papers to appropriate journals, publications should be in a regular or special issue of a journal or in a book which will be made widely available through established channels;
  • a paper may be included in the proceedings of a conference, even though it may have been published first as a journal article. The published proceedings should be covered by the abstracting services, and conference secretaries should assume responsibility for bringing them to the attention of the abstract journals.
The General Assembly recommends:

The adoption of single standard for Journal Title Abbreviations and, to that effect, draws the attention of ISO to the work of Committee Z-29 of the American Standards Association.

(Basle, 1966)

Physics Education

Considering that:
  • advances in the rapidly growing fields of pure and applied physics not only deepen mankind’s understanding of the universe, but, through their applications, have profound implications for human welfare and destiny;
  • discoveries in Physics, the most basic of the natural sciences, strongly affect all of the basic and applied sciences and the professions related to them;
  • the teaching of Physics to advanced students of physics, to students in related scientific and professional fields, and to those who will become part of an enlightened citizenry can only be done well by those who are themselves active in creating or in using new knowledge; and
  • research reaches its culmination in the communications of new knowledge to others, and employers should recognize the importance of evaluation and synthesis of existing knowledge which often require depth of insight and creativity at least as great as primary research.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics resolves that:
  • research and education be carried on in the closest possible association;
  • any tendencies toward divergence between the activities of advancing and of disseminating knowledge be vigorously counteracted and efforts to improve the teaching of physics be encouraged;
  • excellence in teaching and in the dissemination of knowledge about physics should receive the same recognition as excellence in research. In this connection, all sponsoring agencies and foundations should give financial support for the preparation of critical reviews of current developments and for the compilation of critical data;
  • talented research workers be expected to teach, and their exemption from teaching occur only in special circumstances and not as a reward for excellence;
  • teachers be encouraged to maintain their intellectual vitality and participation in the advancement of knowledge by being given time for research or for closely related scholarly activities; and
  • research workers in Research Institutes and Industrial Laboratories should collaborate with Academic Institutions in the training and education of advanced students in physics.

(Dubrovnik, 1969)


The General Assembly recommends:
  • that authors be encouraged to adapt the SI units for data in Physics journals as recommended by the SUN Commission, the Conference Generale des Poids et Mesures and the International Organization for Standardization and by other international unions closely related to Physics. Editors are urged to use persuasion rather than stronger measures to secure the cooperation of authors in the choice of symbols for physical quantities and of units, but should require that standard symbols for units be used except when the name of the units are written out in full.

(Dubrovnik, 1969)

International Commissions

La vie scientifique de I’UIPPA repose en grande partie sur l’activit‚ des Commissions. Il serait donc opportun d’am‚liorer le contr“le des Commissions par le Comit‚ executif et les Assembl‚es g‚n‚rales. Actuellement, la solution facile de la reconduction automatique des Commissions existantes est trop souvent consideree comme normale. Il serait desirable qu’ chaque Assemblee generale, le Comit‚ executif examine pour chaque Commission les trois possibiliti‚s: reconduction dans la meme forme, changement d’objectif, ou suppression.

cet effet, la Delegation francaise propose que le Comit‚ executif charge, pour chaque Commission, un de ses membres de suivre son activit‚ et de lui presenter au bout des trois ans un rapport qui permette au Comit‚ de prendre, en toute connaissance de cause, les sages decisions qui pourraient contribuer … l’amelioration du travail de l’Union.

(Munich, 1975)

Language Problem


That in order to promote comprehension and dialogue at international conferences, organizers be requested:

  • to remind speakers whose native language is that of the conference that they should present their papers slowly;
  • to make special arrangements in the case of speakers whose normal language is not that of the conference, to ensure that their presentations be not penalized because of a language problem;
  • to refer to the Secretary-General for assistance in this matter.

(Stockholm, 1978)

Topical Conferences

The Executive Committee proposes that, in the case of topical international “C” conferences, where IUPAP criteria have been met, the President and Secretary-General of the Union be authorized to extend the patronage of the Union on the recommendation of the Chairman of the appropriate International Commission. The Chairman of Commission, endorsing a type “C” conference, shall inform the Members of the Commission of his endorsement.

(Stockholm, 1978)

Conference Fees

It is resolved that the upper limit of the registration fee for IUPAP- sponsored international conferences be set at $100. as of September 20th, 1978, and that this include published proceedings. If proceedings are not included, the fee shall be substantially lower. Conference organizers should make every effort to waive or lower the fee for representatives from developing nations and students. The Executive Committee is directed to review this upper limit at its annual meeting, and to adjust it as required to take into account the international value of the US dollar, and the effects of inflation.

(Stockholm, 1978)

Circulation of Scientists

The report (on ICSU matters) was followed by some discussion focusing primarily on the free circulation of scientists. One aspect of this is the right of scientists to migrate, and ICSU has recently dealt with resolutions pertaining to specific incidents. A motion was passed expressing the support of the Union to the ICSU policy regarding these matters. The motion was carried with 46 votes in favour of it while 13 voted against it and 1 abstained.

(Paris, 1981)

Membership – Observers

The Union may accept as observers applicant organizations otherwise qualified which are not ready for full membership. Observer status is given for three years after which full membership is normally considered. In exceptional cases, the observer status may be extended for another three-year period. Observers pay no dues and have no voting privileges.

(Washington, 1987)