Presidential address

Presidential address

IUPAP – Present and Future

President Yoshio YAMAGUCHI

Presently, IUPAP faces many problems. I shall discuss some of them. I shall be very frank.

First, IUPAP is losing its popularity. During the time of cold war, it was vital to have the IUPAP (or more generally ICSU and its family) sponsored conferences, to which organizers were able to invite good physicists (scientists) from Eastern countries. At these days IUPAP and ICSU were very visible among physics (or scientific) communities. After the collapse of USSR, I may say in an over-simplified fashion, that physicists began to wonder why do we need IUPAP. IUPAP, now 74 years old organization, has to answer this question.

Secondly, liaison committees in member countries/regions are rich in variety: in some members they are academies of (natural) sciences or scientific councils or their sub-committees, in some cases physical societies or the division on science and technology of governments, etc. In principle they are fine, but in practise liaison committees do not necessarily have in some cases a very good contact with active physicists or active physics communities in their countries/regions even though members of liaison committees are senior and well-established physicists or governmental officers in charge of sciences in member countries/regions. There should be better communication and cooperation amount active physics communities, liaison committees, and IUPAP.

Thirdly, new active fields in physics or physical sciences are emerging quite rapidly. It is very important for IUPAP how to accommodate such fields in the existing commissions. In many cases IUPAP has established new commissions to deal with newly emerged fields.

IUPAP has been considering whether new commissions on

(i) communication in physics;

(ii) computational physics;

(iii) mineral physics;

should be formed or not. This is based on the resolutions adopted in the 1993 General Assembly. To this end the Executive Council has formed two working groups to discuss in detail on (i) and (ii). Final reports and recommendations by the working groups (i) and (ii) shall be reported at this General Assembly. Prof. J. Werle, one of the Council Members, was in charge of (iii) and presented the report concluding that there would be no necessity to form the commission on mineral physics since the subject is covered by the existing IUPAP Commissions and Scientific Unions.

Fourth, IUPAP is for both pure and applied physics. IUPAP has been putting more emphasis on pure or academic physics than applied physics. When Prof. A. Bromley became the President (1984-1987), he emphasized the importance of industrial physics which should be more incorporated in activities of IUPAP. In this connection, under his leadership, the vice-chairman was added to each IUPAP Commission, and a new rule was decided either vice-chairman or chairman must be chosen from industrial physicists.

In any events, it is the current tendency that pure and applied physics need to co operate more closely. After all there are no clear boundaries between pure and applied physics. IUPAP should keep good balance between pure and applied phy sics aiming better collaboration between them.

Fifth, one of the important tasks of IUPAP is to promote physics in developing countries and countries facing presently difficult situation (e.g., financial difficulties). There are many movements, regional or international bodies working on these issues. IUPAP has also been working on this issue very actively as com pared to its meagre fund. IUPAP need to cooperate many others to avoid over lapping and to achieve better efficiency.

Sixth, it became fashionable to establish a regional physical society or an association of physical societies in particular region, e.g. for Europe and for Asia Pacific area such as EPS, AAPPS and so on, all of which are working actively. This means that physics communities now have three levels of societies:

(i) Physical Society in each country/region;

(ii) Regional Society or Association of Physical Society for each big region (e.g., Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, etc.);

(iii) World-wide organization, IUPAP.

It is very important to clarify how these three-level of organization should share functions and aims, how they should cooperate most effectively, and soon to find out the best way to work together.

Lastly, but most importantly, IUPAP should check and review its structure and activity and reform it to accommodate the current needs. To this end the Executive Council has established (again based upon the resolution adopted at the 1993 General Assembly), the working group on re-structuring IUPAP, chaired by one of the Council Members, Prof. F. Pobell. This working group is working hard to fulfil its job, making inquiries to liaison committees for their positive proposals and comments. Finally, the Council in collaboration with this working group has formulated a new proposal to choose members of the Executive Council. I urge that the General Assembly shall approve it, of course, after discussions.

IUPAP and other International Bodies


IUPAP belongs to ICSU. IUPAP wishes to collaborate with ICSU as much as possible. However, ICSU has been recently active on global issues such as the Global Change of the Planet Earth, Science and Technology for Management of Earth, World Climate Research, so that IUPAP finds it difficult to contribute experts and/or expertise for such issues. I have written already a report on the relation between these two bodies, c.f. Report on I.U. 1 (ICSU), July 1996.

It was the traditional right of IUPAC to choose the names of newly found (chemical) elements. Recently the discoveries of super-heavy nucleides have been due only to (nuclear) physical method rather than chemical methods (because of short-lives of such trans-fermium elements). Nuclear physics communities working on super-heavy nucleides would like to have more direct involvement on the naming of heavy elements Z110. I have begun the dialogue to the President, IUPAC, on the issue.

2. OECD Megascience Forum (MSF)

OECD has established OECD-MSF in March 1992 (based on the agreement at the Ministral Meeting) as a unique activity (entirely new type of activity for OECD) lasting till the end of 1995.

MSF surveyed, reviewed and commented on past, present, on-going and future Megascience (big science) Projects (costing more than several 100 million US dollars) in basic science as well as modes of international collaboration in the following scientific fields:

  • Astronomy (including space research);
  • Deep Drilling;
  • Oceanography;
  • Global Change of Planet Earth;
  • Neutron Beams and Synchrotron Radiation Sources;
  • Particle Physics.

OECD published these materials and discussions/comments in readable form of reports (and the role of MSF).

To do the task, MSF appointed a coordinator and then about 10 experts (plus ob servers) in each subject. The coordinator was to coordinate the task and to write introductory description, summary and recommendations as well as to edit the report (to be published by OECD). Whereas experts were responsible to describe past, present and future mega-projects and modes (and problem) in international cooperation. Each subject held meetings of MSF staffs and the coordinator and series of experts meetings where experts and other relevant observers were also invited.

Scientists of some of these fields welcomed efforts of MSF saying that MSF offered the first occasion to make the world-wide dialogues among scientists and governmental representatives, while others were rather reluctant to (or even hate) MSF since they already have a long history to discuss in world-wide scale their big projects and collaboration at their international committees (or appropriate multilateral arrangements). An example of the latter cases is high energy physics (particle physics), whose communities established ICFA (International Commit tee for Future Accelerators), a sub-committee of C11 (Commission on Particles and Fields), in order to discuss extensively international cooperation and to re move difficulties in so doing. ICFA has been quite active since its creation in 1977.

ICFA has been organizing every three years the International Seminar on the Future Perspectives in High Energy Physics, where senior high energy physicists (theory and experiments), accelerator experts as well as representatives of funding agencies (including, of course, relevant governmental officers) from all over the world.

Non-accelerator physics and nuclear physics were excluded from the themes to be (fully) discussed at MSF, though relevant physicists made repeated appeal to MSF.

At the early stage, MSF seemed to me the trial which should pave the road aiming to formulate a governmental international mechanism or organization (based on OECD member countries) which could achieve decision-making on which Megascience Projects should be launched (funded internationally). If such a mechanism/organization would have been established before the dismiss of SSC, SSC might have been smoothly transformed to international enterprise. To launch a Megascience Project (such as ITER) based on international funding. this aim of MSF might be an attractive possibility.

However, there may be many problems here. First of all, OECD is the govern mental international organization primarily for economic and developmental is sues, whose member countries are rich and “Western” (developing countries and countries in ex-Eastern block are not members of OECD). It seemed to me that if MSF should be formed it should belong to UNESCO in principle under the ideal situation. Nevertheless, many said OECD is very efficient to do anything and after all Megascience Projects are so costly that they must rely on contribution from rich countries therefore OECD is quite appropriate to MSF.

I was not quite happy about such reasoning.. Outcomes from Megascience Projects in basic science should be regarded as cultural treasures of mankind (and should not be monopolized by rich countries). Megascience Projects should be worked out on world-wide collaboration: Any interested country/region should be able to participate to a Megascience Project contributing budgets, material, parts of facility, manpower and son on. Here not only tangible but also intellectual contribution should be appreciated. Normally a total facility of a Mega science Project shall be an integrated ensemble of all sorts of technologies, from high to low many (developing) countries/regions shall be able to find its own share/role in Megascience Projects. Luckily, in the later phase, MSF understood these aspects.

There was an impression that MSF might aim a decision-making on various Megascience Projects based on economic-political consideration rather than based on scientific requirements (and the degree of ripeness of the Megascience Projects). Such a feeling was inevitable since the much stressed idea of “Fruits Basked Scheme” in solving site problems of several Megascience Projects, say A, B and C (e.g., ITER, Linear Collider Project and Intense Neutron Source, all international collaborations): Sites of A, B and C shall be distributed in different countries in different continents, so that each country/continent shall have its own benefits, so fair to everybody. Some scientists supported such an idea, while others notably high energy communities (or at least many physicists in high energy physics) did not: the Megascience Projects should be proposed by scientists avoiding economic-political pressure.

MSF shall continue to work (permanently) from 1996. It shall form the Standing Group on Large Science Programs (SLSP) consisting of relevant governmental officers (on senior scientific policy) from OECD Member States. Whenever a certain scientific community is able to propose a Megascience Project with wide international support, SLSP shall begin to work (after the official proposal to MSF by about 3 countries) forming a Working Group (consisting of senior program officials of OECD member governments and non-member governments) for the Project, which shall consult to relevant scientific communities.

The Science Ministers of OECD Member Countries directed MCF in September 1995 to establish task-oriented Working Groups to address specific issues and problems in selected scientific disciplines where mega-projects play an important role as well as broad policy questions that are common to many scientific areas. After examination three Groups were formed in January 1996:

  • Neutron Sources, lead country: UK,
  • Bioinformatics, lead country: USA,
  • Barriers to Megascience, lead countries: Canada and France.

My involvement in MSF: I commented on the early status in utilization of neutron sources and synchrotron radiation as well as users associations in Japan (al most unknown or forgotten among relevant MSF-experts including Japanese scientists). I have been participating many MSF meetings and experts meetings devoted to particle physics.

3. UNESCO Physics Action Council (PAC)

To activate its activities, UNESCO established, by the initiative of DG-UNESCO, UNESCO-PAC with 9 members, which should work for the period (April 1994 – December 1995). UNESCO-PAC, chaired by Donald N. Langenberg (Mary land, USA), has been very active with its three Working Groups:

  • Working Group I, Large Physics Facilities chaired by H. Schopper (President, EPS, and former DG CERN),
  • Working Group II, Communication Networks for Science chaired by Irving A. Lerch (Director International Programme, APS),
  • Working Group III, University Physics Education chaired by M. Konuma (Keio University, Japan and President, AAPPS).

Existence of 2 US physicists among 9 members of UNESCO PAC was a clear message from UNESCO intending to accelerate the return of USA to UNESCO. However, the situation has not necessarily gone yet to this end.

I have been serving as a member of Working Group I and have been observing many PAC meetings. Working Group II has a common member with IUPAP on Working Group on Communication in Physics. The chairman of Working Group III is one of my best friends and cooperating closely with me on most of international physics issues. So, I may say that IUPAP could maintain best kind of relation with UNESCO-PAC.

WG I has been concentrating “Megascience” issues (costing ò several million US dollars) in developing countries and ex-Eastern block, thus avoiding the overlap with MSF. Activities of WG II and WG III should be obvious from their names. WG II shares most activities in common with IUPAP WG in Communication in Physics as well as that of ICSU, and WG III with IUPAP C14 (Education).

Moreover, it was decided that UNESCO-PAC too shall continue to work from 1996 with appropriate change of its members in due course.

4. Status of some IUPAP Commissions in relation with MSF and ICSU

4a) C11

Its Subcommittee ICFA has been carefully monitoring MSF and UNESCO-PAC and ready to cooperate them if necessary. Some members of C11 and ICFA were served as experts for MSF and members of WG I, UNESCO- PAC.

Beside ICFA, there are regional committees to gather voices of high energy communities in the regions, and then to formulate high energy future projects as well as to discuss on improving international cooperation:

  • ECFA (European Committee for Future Accelerators) in CERN Member States, and
  • HEPAP (High Energy Physics Advisory Panel) in USA.

ICFA has recommended to establish a counter committee to cover Asia and Oceania, leading to creation (April 1996) of ACFA (Asian Committee for Future Accelerators) in Asia, which shall deal with accelerator-based science, i.e., large facilities for par ticle and nuclear physics, synchrotron lights sources and spallation neutron sources.

4b) C12

This commission has closed its subcommittee, ICHIA (International Commit tee on High Intensity Accelerators, chaired by H. Feshbach, MIT), and created a new one: ICNP (International Committee for Nuclear Physics chaired by B. Frois, Saclay) in 1995. ICNP shall review on future and on-going lar ge projects in nuclear physics together with international cooperation.

The regional committees in this field are:

  • NuPECC (Nuclear Physics European Coordination Committee) in (Wes tern) Europe;
  • NSAC (Nuclear Science Advisory Committee) in USA (or North America) (which includes members from Canada, Europe and Japan)

and newly created

  • ACNPA (Asian Committee for Nuclear Physics Accelerators) in Asia.

INCP with support of C12 has made the proposal to set up a MSF Working Group on nuclear physics through the French Delegation at OECD. The goal is to exchange information and explore opportunities in planning nuclear science investments during 10-20 years. The activities of the Working Group shall be directed towards ensuring sustained and balanced program of nu clear physics research, with particular attention given to the role of large facilities and programmes that would benefit from international cooperation.

4c) Synchrotron Light Sources and Neutron Sources.

The chairman of C10 participated MSF meetings on these issues as an expert. There are no counter part of ICFA or ICNP on these issues. It would be highly desirable to form such an International Committee to discuss widely international cooperation and construction on these important facilities. In particular, it should be remarked that world-wide shortage of neutron sources for neutron users, because of closing down and/or ageing of reactor neutron-sources. The current tendency in neutron is to use spallation reactions rather than nuclear fissions to avoid environmental consequences. It is urges to boost construction of new powerful spallation neutron sources based on international collaboration. It would be desirable that IUPAP and relevant Commission(s) would take the initiative here.

4d) Proposal on: IUPAP Guidelines for the Use of Major Physics Users Facilities.

The proposal has been circulated to all IUPAP Commissions and Liaison Committees for positive comments and hopefully to acquire support (also see News Bulletin 95-4, November 1995). This proposal shall be presented to this General Assembly. I do hope it shall be approved. After that, the Guide lines shall be reported to ICSU and other International Scientific Unions expecting their support and adoption.

4e) Celebrating Science in 2000.

ICSU and some International Scientific Unions may organize some sort of events celebrating science in 2000.

Canada has making the most advanced planning (see “Celebration Science 2000″), on which we shall hear from Professor E. Vogt later.

Physics (or Science) Research and Education

Recently, it is observed the tendency that young generation in schooling ages (from primary school to university) does not like physics or more broadly natural science in general. It is to be seen in many developed countries, posing a serious problem for the future of the human society: How to stop or reverse such a horrible tendency in our children?

It offers an important issue to be dealt with C14 in collaboration with ICSU, UNESCO and other International Scientific Unions.

ICSU is also concerned on this issue and has restructured its committee on Science Education into new powerful committee: Committee on Capacity Building in Science (CCBS), chaired by L. Lederman (Former Director of Fermilab and Nobel Prize winner in Physics). CCBS is working quite actively and is now “loss leader” of ICSU.

On the other hand, physics education (and science education in general), particularly that in higher education, has been facing tantalizing difficulty of chicken and egg type in developing areas:

  • lack of sufficient number of qualified physicists (scientists);
  • under-funding in research and education and
  • lack of modern facilities at universities and research institutions.

They link together resulting a hard situation difficult to improve. Substantial co ordinated national and external contribution (in money, in facilities and intellectual support) from developed regions shall be vital to achieve basic improvement in the situation in developing regions. There, effective and well coordinated ef forts should also be jointly made by international bodies, including IUPAP.

However, we see a tiny bright spot: Though it was quite but steady increase in earlier days, by now we see remarkable increase in activities in mathematics and theoretical physicists (or theoretical science) and in number of researchers there in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is sincerely expected that the advancement in these fields (“cheap fields”) shall trigger gradual development in experimental research in selected fields with future expansion to wider range of scientific branches.

I should mention here that Asia Pacific Centre for Theoretical Physics (APCTP) is soon to be established (in the Fall of 1996) at Seoul, which aims to promote theoretical physics and associated international cooperation in South-East Asia and West Pacific area. It also tries to train young physicists in the area. In short, APCTP is a regional counter institute of ICTP-Trieste and intends to collaborate closely ICTP and active research centres in the world.

In this connection I should recall the second bright issue: it should be remarked that number of synchrotron light facilities has been completed in Asia and Latin America (see Table I). Synchrotron Light Sources serve not only academic use (physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and so on) but also industrial utilization. It is expected these facilities shall serve in rapid development in related science, technology and industry particularly in rapidly developing regions.

Table I Synchrotron Light Sources in Asia and South America

Name Institute/Place/Country Beam Energy Circumference Emittance Operation

[GeV] [m] [nm-rad]

PLS POSTECH/Pohang/Korea 2 280.56 12 1994

SRRC SRRC/Hsinchu/Taiwan 1.3 120 19.2 1993

BEPC BSRL/Beijing/China 1.55-2.8 240.2 76 1990


NSRL USTC/Hefei/China 0.8 66.1308 27 170 1989

SSRF INR/Shanghai/China 2.2-2.5 planned

INDUS-I CAT/Indore/India 0.45 18.9664 70-200

INDUS-II CAT/Indore/India planned

LNLS LNLS/Campinas/Brazil 1.15 88.804 65.3 1994

In addition to those listed in Table I, I like to mention one more, which is a very new project in Thailand, Siam Photon Source. Thailand has decided to create new research institute, Thai National Synchrotron Research Center (TNSRC), in the campus of Suranaree University of Technology, in Nakhon Ratchasima (loca ted about 250 km Northeast of Bangkok). The SORTEC Corporation, Tsukuba, Japan (which was corporated in 1986 as a 10 year project led by MITI, funded jointly by the Japan Key Technology Center and 13 private corporations) dona ted its Synchrotron Radiation Facility (1.2 GeV storage ring and injectors: elec tron synchrotron and 40 MeV linac) free to TNSRC, provided Thai shall cover dismantling, shipping and installation of the facility. The agreement has quickly reached among relevant bodies in Thai and Japan. Thus, Thailand shall have the synchrotron radiation facility in operation within a few year from now.

I am happy to see experts from outside, notably retired professors, T. Ishii et al. are eagerly working for Siam Photon Source. Siam Photon Source consists of 1.2 GeV storage ring of 81.3m circumference, which has 4 long straight sections (7 m long) with two undulators and one wiggler (for details, see the re port by TNSRC).

Finally, I would like to add a few more words. Physics has been developed rapidly this century truly remarkable indeed. Notably two gigantic achievements, general relativity and quantum physics, were the fundamental revolution not on ly in physics but also in our way of thinking. Outcomes of physics in this century have been used not only for good for humankind but, very unfortunately, also for evil purposes in an unprecedented scale and quantity. Moreover, advance of many physics-based technologies were motivated and funded by military reasoning. The unexpected and happy end of the East-West confrontation should be a gifted opportunity to change the motive in progress in science-technology from long-lasted defence-oriented to peace-oriented (i.e., to aim human welfare). Let us expect and work for in the coming future that: the world would be in peace and physicists be active in their research serving to increase cultural treasures and welfare of all mankind.

That is all what I wish to tell you. I would like to ask all physics communities to support IUPAP, to cooperate in its activities and to combine efforts to make IUPAP to be a better organization, useful to all of us.

Thank you!

Yoshio Yamaguchi
Uppsala, September 18, 1996