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Formation of the ASEAN Federation of Physics Societies
Raymond Liu
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Formation of the ASEAN Federation of Physics Societies



The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed exactly fifty years ago on August 8, 1967 as a regional inter-governmental organization to promote economic, political, military, educational and cultural integration among the member states. The origin member states were Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The organization has since expanded to include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

ASEAN covers a land area of nearly 44 million square kilometers with a combined population of about 625 million people. Except for several countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, there is still a lot of room for improvements especially in pure science research. Yet, the Physics output from the region has been growing steadily over the years [1].

On August 29, 2017, representatives from physical societies or organizations from the ten member states gathered at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Singapore to affirm their commitment to the formation of an ASEAN Federation of Physics Society.

The Federation hopes to promote physics cooperation and collaboration among the physics societies in ASEAN through joint academic activities such as seminars, lectures, professional meetings, symposia, workshops and publications.

Moreover, by promoting greater awareness by the physics community at large; the Federation hopes to recognize the achievements by ASEAN researchers in physics and related fields; and to offer awards, grants and scholarship to physics students, educators and researchers in ASEAN.

The Federation will also build links to leading physics societies, including the American Physical Society, the Chinese Physical Society, the European Physical Society, the Japanese Physical Society, the Korean Physical Society and Taiwan Physical Society, so that members of AFPS may attend their annual meetings and present papers. Finally, the Federation will establish new ties to leading world centers of research in Europe, the US, China, Japan, Korea and (Australia, Taiwan), so that researchers from ASEAN can join in mega-projects in the frontiers of physics, including astrophysics, biomedical physics, cosmology, particle physics and quantum technology and so forth.

In attendance during the signing ceremony were representatives from CERN (Emmanuel Tsesmelis and Albert de Roeck and John Ellis), Yifang Wang (IHEP, China), Di Li (National Astronomical Observatories, CAS, China), Shangjr Gwo (National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Taiwan) and Ngee Pong Chang (CUNY, USA).

Prof Phua Kok Khoo (Director of Institute of Advanced Studies, NTU) will act as the Interim President for the formation of AFPS and IAS NTU will serve as the AFPS secretariat for one term (three years). Nomination for key posts will be held in October and the online election in November. Announcement of election results will be made in December 2017.

ASEAN representatives of the signed AFPS Charter:
1. Mohd. Khairul Zarifi Bin Haji Masri (Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam)
2. Chan Oeurn Chey (Royal University of Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia)
3. Mitra Djamal (Indonesian Physical Society, Republic of Indonesia)
4. Khamphouth Phommasone (University of Laos, Lao People's Democratic Republic)
5. Kurunathan Ratnavelu (Malaysian Institute of Physics, Malaysia)
6. Pho Kaung (University of Yangon, Union of Myanmar)
7. Cristine Villagonzalo (Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas, Republic of the Philippines)
8. Rajdeep Singh Rawat (Institute of Physics Singapore, Republic of Singapore)
9. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (Siam Physics Society, Kingdom of Thailand)
10. Nguyen Dai Hung (Vietnam Physical Society, Socialist Republic of Vietnam)


[1] Clarissa Ai Ling Lee, "Fostering Physics in ASEAN: Report on the ASEAN Federation of Physics Association Meeting", Asia Pacific Physics Newsletter, April 2017, Vol. 6, No 1, pp 14-16.