23rd General Assembly

23rd General Assembly


23rd General Assembly of IUPAP, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 18-20 March 1999

1. Resolution on Legal Domicile

The legal domicile of the Union shall be Geneva, Switzerland.

2. Resolution on Language of the Statutes (Article 22)

Article 22 of the Statutes shall be changed to “In the case of discussion as to the interpretation of the Statutes, the English text will be used exclusively.” In the English version of the statutes and “Le texte anglais sera le texte de reference pour l’interpretation ‚Ķ donner despresent status.” in the French text.

3. Resolution on Reviewing and Revising the Statutes

Considering the modifications of the statutes adopted by this and previous General Assemblies, the Council is requested to prepare a revised version of the statutes and bylaws to be proposed for adoption at the next General Assembly.

4. Resolution on Transfer of Office


The statutes prescribe that the members of the Council and the Commissions remain in office until the close of the General Assembly following their election. General Assemblies are normally held in the month of September to allow Commissions to meet in conjunction with major conferences to conduct their business.

In view of the exceptional timing of this General Assembly it is therefore proposed that transfer of office be postponed until 1 September 1999.

Resolution: In view of the exceptional circumstances, it is resolved that current members of the Council and Commissions remain in office until 31 August 1999.

5. Resolution on the Statement on the Importance of Physics to Society

The following formal statement shall be adopted by the General Assembly.

Statement on the Importance of Physics to Society

Physics – the study of matter, energy and their interactions – is an international enterprise which plays a key role in the future progress of humankind. The support of physics education and research in all countries is important because:

  • physics is an exciting intellectual adventure that inspires young people and expands the frontiers of our knowledge about Nature;
  • physics generates fundamental knowledge needed for the future technological advances that will continue to drive the economic engines of the world;
  • physics contributes to the technological infrastructure and provides trained personnel needed to take advantage of scientific advances and discoveries;
  • physics is an important element in the education of chemists, engineers and computer scientists as well as practitioners of the other physical and biomedical sciences;
  • physics extends and enhances our understanding of other disciplines, such as the earth, agricultural, chemical, biological, and environmental sciences, plus astronomy and cosmology – subjects of substantial importance to all peoples of the world;
  • physics improves our quality of life by providing the basic understanding necessary for developing new instrumentation and techniques for medical applications, such as computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, ultrasonic imaging, and laser surgery.

In summary, for all these reasons, physics is an essential part of the educational system and of an advanced society. We therefore urge all governments to seek advice from physicists and other scientists on matters of science policy, and to be supportive of the science of Physics. This support can take many forms such as:

  • national programs to improve physics teaching at all levels of the educational system;
  • building and maintaining strong departments in universities (and other academics institutions) with opportunities for grants to support research;
  • scholarships and fellowships for both undergraduate and graduate students studying physics;
  • adequate funding for national laboratories and the formation of new ones as appropriate;
  • funding and facilitating international activities and collaborations.

6. Resolution on Formation of the Working Group on Women in Physics

It is resolved that an IUPAP Working Group on Women in Physics be formed. The mandate of the group shall be to:

  • survey the present situation and report to the Council and the liaison committees suggest means to improve the situation for women in physics;
  • suggest means to improve the situation for women in physics.

7. Resolution of the COUNCIL on the formation of a working group on neutron sources

This statement on the formation of a working group on neutron sources was adopted by the IUPAP Council and Chairs, September 1998.

The IUPAP Council notes the importance of neutron sources to many areas of science and technology and the usefulness of an ad-hoc meeting held earlier this year and brought together members of IUPAP Commissions, leaders of regional user groups and representatives of the involved organization.

The Council desires that this kind of meeting continue on an experimental basis to discuss issues including the need for new sources, upgrades to existing sources, availability, access, instrumentation requirements, long range planning and international coordination.

We recommend that on a rotating basis an annual meeting be held at the major regional conferences on condensed matter physics in Asia, Europe and North America. The meeting should include if possible chairs of IUPAP Commissions C3, C5, C6, C8, C9, and C10, representatives of the regional neutron users groups, representatives of appropriate laboratories, and representatives of others involved organizations.

The IUPAP Commission Chairs should report tho the IUPAP Council in writing after each such meeting on issues that have risen and on any necessary actions that IUPAP should take to further progress in neutron science. To facilitate such meetings the council will make available the sum of CHF (Swiss francs) 5000 per year to help defray travel expenses for those unable to obtain sources of funding. R. Klein will organize the 1999 meeting in Europe and H. Sato the year 2000 meeting in Asia.

The Council will evaluate the usefulness of such meetings after two years.

Resolution on Major Facilities.