Documents on which Conference Policies are Based

Documents on which Conference Policies are Based

Document A (10 February 1998)

Free Circulation of Scientists

Visa for Participants in IUPAP Sponsored Conferences

A resume of the IUPAP policy concerning the Free Circulation of Scientists is found in the 1990 General Report (pages 57-63).

The IUPAP General Assembly held in Munich in 1975 confirmed IUPAP’s adherence to the ICSU resolutions on the Free Circulation of Scientists as stated in the attached ICSU document “Universality of Science” (sixth edition, 1989).

To avoid any incidents of visas being refused or unduly delayed, conference organizers are urged to remind potential delegates that visas should be applied for very early, at least three months before the conference.

At the meeting with the Executive Council in August/September 1981 in Paris:

It was further resolved that if a bona fide scientist has submitted a visa application at least three month prior to an IUPAP conference and if no visa has been granted and made available to her/him at least two weeks before the opening of the conference, the IUPAP sponsorship shall be withdrawn.

At the meeting with the Executive Council in September 1992 in London the following IUPAP statement was resolved as a standard declaration to be published by the organizers in any circular or announcement and in the proceedings of the conference:

To secure IUPAP sponsorship, the organizers have provided assurance that (Conference name) will be conducted in accordance with IUPAP principles as stated in the ICSU document “Universality of Science” (sixth edition, 1989) regarding the free circulation of scientists for international purposes. In particular, no bona fide scientist will be excluded from participation on the grounds of national origin, nationality, or political considerations unrelated to science.

Document B (10 February 1998)

Loans for Starting off Conferences

1. Although international conferences sponsored by IUPAP frequently receive substantial grants from government or other agencies, these grants sometimes are paid quite late and occasionally only when the report on the conference is submitted.

2. This occasionally causes difficulty to the local committee which has little money available for starting off a conference.

3. To assist with this, IUPAP usually sends any grant which it might make up to five months in advance upon receiving a request from the organizers.

4. In order to assist further, the Council has set aside a small fund to assist conferences which might need it to start off. It is felt that this might be particularly useful to organizing committees in developing countries. Request should be made to the Secretary-General through the Commission. The Commission Chairman and/or Secretary might use his discretion in judging whether a conference would benefit from a start off loan.

5. Loans would be made in addition to any grant which the Union might make. However, the loan must be repaid at the end of the conference when the organizers will have received their other grants. They should realize that requests should not be made after the conference to transform the loan into a grant as this will immediately destroy the fund.

Document C (10 February 1998)

Aid to Developing Countries

Commissions and Liaison Committees are reminded of the following steps taken by IUPAP to contribute to physics in developing countries. They are requested to inform the organizers of international conferences and exercise vigilance to see that these possibilities are exploited.

1. Loans for Starting off a Conference

IUPAP has special fund with which it can make loans of up to 3,000 Euros to organizing committees of conferences to help them “start off”. Such loans must be repaid at the end of the conference and requests should not be made after the conference to transform the loan into a grant. Request should be made to the Secretary General through the appropriate Commission.

2. Travel Fund for Scientists

IUPAP has a small fund which permits it to make travel grants to assist scientists from developing countries in attending some IUPAP sponsored international conferences. At its Brussels meeting, the Executive Council has allocated these funds as given and detailed in List A under “travel grants”.

Requests for such grants from participants should be sent to the organizing committee which thus may allocate grants within their budget. Information about name, affiliation and address for each recipient of a travel grant should be sent to the Secretary General by the organizing committees.

3. Conference Proceedings

IUPAP attempts to support libraries in developing countries. This is done through The Library-Book Donations programme operated by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical physics, Trieste, Italy.

It is requested that organizers of IUPAP sponsored conferences be prepared to provide some copies of the proceedings free of charge for this purpose. They are asked to contact ICTP in order to find out whether and how many copies are needed.

4. Back Issues of Journals

IUPAP has agreed to pay shipping charges for back issues of journals to scientists or libraries in developing countries.

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) at Trieste has agreed to act as a clearing house. Requests should be sent to:

The Library – Book Donations
The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
Strada Costiera 11
34014 Trieste

Document D (1 June 2004)

IUPAP’s Policy on Conference Fees

At the meeting with the General Assembly in Berlin in October 2002, the following resolution was passed:

As a condition for IUPAP endorsement of a conference, the maximum registration fee may not exceed 450 Euros. Conference organizers should give special financial consideration to unsupported young scientists and scientists from developing countries. For the purpose of this resolution, “developing countries” are defined by the World Bank’s most recent list of “low income” and “lower middle income” countries.

The Executive Council 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.

Document E (10 February 1998)

Languages at International Conferences

It frequently happens that only one language is used at international conferences. For many of the audience and of the speakers, this is not the mother tongue, and this gives rise to difficulties in expression and comprehension.

Translation has not been found to be a solution, and various rules which might be imagined appear to be awkward and unhelpful. Poster sessions suffer less than formal papers.

Thoughtfulness in the preparation and delivery of papers is of assistance. Organizers to conferences are invited to bring the matter to the attention of their speakers when informing them of conference rules and procedures.

Written material might be reviewed for simplicity. Attempts should be made to keep the words on slides and transparencies to a minimum. Text and figures should be clear and sufficient time allotted for digesting the material shown.

In particular, the speaker should present his paper slowly, whether in the mother tongue or not. Thus, less text should be prepared for a given time at an international conference than for a monolingual group.

Chairmen of sessions can be extremely helpful by keeping this difficulty in mind, and reminding speakers to address the conference in a very deliberate fashion.

Document F (10 February 1998)

Free Circulation of Scientists: Agreement on the Adhering Physics Societies of China

The free exchange of scientific information and the free movement of scientists for international scientific purposes are the most important aims of IUPAP. In this context IUPAP subscribes to the ICSU resolution on the Free Circulation of Scientists.

To be effective in its efforts to stimulate and promote international cooperation through the free flow of scientific information and people it is important that IUPAP include members representing all countries and regions where physics research is pursued. The Union has in this respect been quite successful in recruiting as members all the major physics communities irrespective of the political realities of the past and today. This has been possible through careful attention to agreements whereby delicate diplomatic problems have been avoided. Therefore, when agreements are violated there is always a risk that it will have unwanted consequences for the free circulation of scientists. If left unresolved it could seriously impair the international cooperation in physics.

In this context, please note that there is an agreement as to how the two adhering physics societies of China shall be referred to, namely (cf the 1994 General Report of IUPAP, p. 73):

The Chinese Physical Society, Beijing
The Physical Society located in Taipei

IUPAP conference organizers are similarly reminded that the affiliation of Chinese participants should be listed in the following way

(name of participant), (university/institution), (city), China

A consistent adherence to these agreements in correspondence, posters, bulletins, proceedings, etc. is required in all instances pertaining to IUPAP. Only in that way one may ensure that the Union respects the agreements under which the two Chinese societies entered as members.

Document G (October 2002)

Summary Resolution on enhancing the Role of Women in Physics

The following resolution was approved at the 2002 General assembly in Berlin.


The members of IUPAP, believing that it is important to physics to bring more women into its mainstream and leadership, endorse the resolutions adopted unanimously by the first International Conference on Women in Physics. Specifically, IUPAP urges that:

1. Primary and secondary schools should have policies and procedures that give the same opportunities and encouragement to the study of physics by girls and boys

2. Colleges and universities should:

  • ensure that their policies and procedures give female and male students equal opportunities for success; and
  • ensure that their policies and procedures are such that female and male faculty and staff are, through transparent policies, treated with equity with respect to recruitment, promotion, teaching schedules, research facilities, and roles in governance.

3. Research institutes and industry should ensure that policies are adopted and enforced regarding gender equity in recruitment and promotion to all levels.

4. Scientific and professional societies should foster gender equity by having an identified group examining policies and procedures, making available statistics on the participation of women in physics at all levels, identifying leading women physicists and promoting them as role models, including women on program committees and as speakers at meetings and conferences, and including women in society governance.

5. National Governments should ensure that women have the same access and opportunity as men in research and advanced teaching, that women are included on national planning and review committees, and that funds are awarded only to organizations that have policies of gender equity.

6. Funding agencies should ensure that there is no gender bias in the broad based general grant funding process, that competitions are open and widely publicized, that criteria for funding are clear, and that women are included on review and decision making committees. Limits on age of eligibility or grant duration that seriously disadvantage applicants taking family leave should be reconsidered. Statistics should be made available giving by gender the proportion of successful applicants.

7. All institutions should note that family oriented policies and practices such as flexible work schedules, opportunities for dual career families, and the availability of child care facilities have been demonstrated to increase the opportunities for Women in all fields of science and technology. All institutions should reexamine their practices in this area.

It is further resolved that IUPAP’s Liaison Committees will transmit the report of the Conference on Women in Physics and the above resolution to their adhering bodies, and that the Secretariat will transmit it to other scientific unions and international organizations. Further, the proceedings of the International Conference on Women in Physics should be made known and widely available.

The General Assembly recommends that adhering bodies appoint women to Liaison Committees, that gender be a consideration in nominations to Commissions and the Council, and expects that IUPAP sponsored conferences have women as members of their program committees.

DOCUMENT H (November 2011)

27th General Assembly Resolutions

  1. IUPAP endorses the revision to the IUPAP statement on the Universality of Science made at the 2008 GA to include opposition to discrimination on the grounds of disability, gender identity, sex or sexual orientation.
  • The principle of the Universality of Science is fundamental to scientific progress. This principle embodies freedom of movement, association, expression and communication for scientists, as well as equitable access to data, information and research materials.

In pursuing its objectives with respect to the rights and responsibilities of scientists, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) actively upholds this principle, and, in so doing, opposes any discrimination on the basis of such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political stance, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability. IUPAP should only sponsor conferences and events at institutions and in countries that uphold this principle. If scientists are excluded from attending IUPAP-sponsored international conferences by a host institution or country on the basis of any of these factors, IUPAP should register its concern at the highest level of that institution or country, and should not sponsor any future events in that country until such exclusions have been eliminated.