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Report on the 40th Council Meeting of AAPPS
Jun'ichi Yokoyama
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Report on the 40th Council Meeting of AAPPS


The 40th Council Meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) was held at Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia on November 17, 2019 prior to the 14th Asia Pacific Physics Conference (APPC14). The participants were Gui-Lu Long (president), Fu-Jen Kao (vice-president), Jun'ichi Yokoyama (secretary), Hyoung Joon Choi (treasurer), Seunghwan Kim (immediate past president and special advisor), and council members Andrew Peele as a proxy of Cathay Foley (Australian Institute of Physics), Kuijuan Jin (The Chinese Physical Society), Xing Zhu (The Chinese Physical Society), Hatsumi Mori (The Physical Society of Japan), Masaaki Tanaka (The Japan Society of Applied Physics), Sang Pyo Kim (The Korean Physical Society), Meng-Fan Luo (The Physical Society located in Taipei) as a proxy to Minn-Tsong Lin, Kurunathan Ratnavelu (Malaysian Institute of Physics), Ruiqin Zhang (The Physical Society of Hong Kong), and Rajadeep Singh Rawat (Institute of Physics Singapore). The meeting was observed by Medeu Abishev (Kazakhstan Physical Society), Tomofumi Nagae (president of the Physical Society of Japan), Won Namkung (former president of AAPPS), Woo-Sung Jung (Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP)), Seunglae Cho (APCTP), Eunjeong Lee (AAPPS liaison officer), and Naeun Park (APCTP).


Fig. 1: AAPPS council members and observers of the 40th council meeting at Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Front row (left to right): Hyoung Joon choi, Won Namkung, Jun'ichi Yokoyama, Gui-Lu Long, Fu-Jen Kao, Seunghwan Kim, Kurunathan Ratnavelu, Kuijuan Jin; back row (right to left): Eunjeong Lee, Ruiqin Zhang, Masaaki Tanaka, Rajdeep Singh Rawat, Zhu Xing, Sang Pyo Kim, Medeu Abishev, Hatsumi Mori, Tomofumi Nagae, Meng-Fan Luo, Andrew Peele, Woo-Sung Jung.

(1) The secretary reported the presence of 15 council members out of 16 members, including two proxies, and the quorum was met.

(2) The president opened the 40th Council Meeting, welcomed all the participants, and acknowledged the Malaysian Institute of Physics, in particular Kurunathan Ratnavelu, for organizing the second council meeting of this term in Malaysia. The president also mentioned that this was the 30th anniversary of AAPPS.

(3) The local host, Kurunathan Ratnavelu, welcomed the council in return.

(4) The agenda was adopted as prepared by the secretary.

(5) Approval of the minutes of the 38th and 39th meetings: The secretary explained that 39th video meeting was attended by only 7 members and the quorum was not met. Hence, the 39th meeting should be regarded as an informal one. The minutes were officially approved under this remark.

(6) Treasurer Hyoung Joon Choi reported on the financial status of AAPPS, reviewing the account activities over past three years. He explained that three years ago we started with a carry-over of KRW 49, 000, 000 and the current balance as of November 15, 2019 was KRW 55, 000, 000 which means a surplus. President Long mentioned that having a surplus is in principle good but spending money effectively is also important. Treasurer Choi mentioned that most of the donation from the Leo KoGuan Foundation arranged by President Long has not been spent yet. For the Bulletin's publication, The Chinese Physical Society, The Physical Society in Japan, The Japan Society of Applied Physics, The Korean Physical Society, and The Physical Society located in Taipei contributed USD 5, 000 each in 2019 as well as in 2017 and 2018.

AAPPS's membership fee increased last year to USD 500. Until 2016, 13 member societies had been paying the membership fee of USD200, 12 in 2017, but only 8 in 2018. In 2019 so far membership invoices were sent to five member societies that are also each contributing USD 5, 000 for the Bulletin's publication. Membership invoices will be sent to other member societies soon.

Secretary Yokoyama expressed concern that after increasing the membership fee, less member societies are actually paying the fee.

Treasurer Choi also explained the support from APCTP which has provided USD 72, 000 for Council Meetings and Ordinary General Meetings since 2013, USD 85, 000 for APPC since 2004, USD 79, 410 for AAPPS Bulletin since 2012, and USD 67, 000 for division activities since 2017. In total, USD 303, 410 was gratefully appreciated. In particular, each division has been receiving a support of USD 10, 000 annually.

(7) Kurunathan Ratnavelu, the chair of the local organizing committee, gave a status update regarding the preparations for APPC14. He stated that after three years of struggles, we were finally about to start the conference. He expected 500 participants. Ratnavelu also explained that the conference was supported by the government of Malaysia, the local government of Salawak, the Malaysian Institute of Physics, as well as Top Globe Company, which donated award money of USD 5000x2 for the Chandrasekhar Prize of the Division of Plasma Physics (DPP). Ratnavelu recognized the support by DPP, the Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) and APCosPA (Asia Pacific Organization of Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics), as well as DACG (Division of Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Gravitation), which have been organizing respective sessions. He also thanked Hyoung Joon Choi, the chair of the international program committee, who worked intensely to organize the programs of other sessions. He explained the content of the program structure, including the plenary sessions and AAPPS's 30th anniversary ceremony, and the arrangement of the proceedings to be published by American Institute of Physics. (A lot of efforts were made to publish the proceedings by a publisher in the AAPPS region but an appropriate company that could publish the proceedings with an SCI index, was not found.) There was a problem in the online payment site with credit card number theft, and consequently we had to stop using the payment site.

Secretary Yokoyama mentioned that organizing a conference like this could be a source of revenue, and indeed since we were expecting more than 400 participants (which was well above 300, the minimum registration amount that was needed to recover all the financial costs), we expected some surplus, part of which we believed should be shared with AAPPS. When we started preparations for the conference, however, we did not discuss the possibility of profit sharing and the Malaysian authorities, who were also supporting the conference, would not allow the organizer to share profits with AAPPS. Yokoyama therefore had conference bags, with AAPPS's logo, made when he organized a conference that was endorsed by AAPPS, and he brought the 550 bags from Japan to Malaysia to sell them to the local organizer for a negotiable price, so that AAPPS could obtain revenue from the conference. Ratnavelu mentioned that money laundering is a big issue in Malaysia and other countries, and it would be better to introduce a bidding fee in deciding a venue for future APPCs so that AAPPS can secure revenue from organizing it. As for APPC14, the local organizer purchased the conference bags from AAPPS and the Malaysian Institute of Physics will make a donation to AAPPS. This issue will be discussed well in advance of the next APPC in Korea.

(8) Secretary Yokoyama explained the application of Kazakhstan to join AAPPS. This is a delicate issue with the European Physical Society (EPS) as they regard the former Soviet Union countries, including Kazakhstan, as part of their region. Two years ago, Secretary Yokoyama attended an executive meeting of the EPS on behalf of President Long and discussed this issue with them, among others. The EPS has agreed to not set a clear boarder between EPS's region and AAPPS's region, so that Kazakhstan may join both societies/associations. Another issue is that there are two societies in Kazakhstan, namely, the Physical Society of Kazakhstan and the Physico-Techno Society of Kazakhstan, which had both showed interest in joining us. President Long decided there should be one representing society from each country (except for Japan, which has had two societies from the beginning of AAPPS's establishment), and we asked Kazakhstan to settle this issue internally. Consequently, the Academy of Kazakhstan recommended the Physical Society of Kazakhstan to join AAPPS. Upon request of Sang Pyo Kim, Secretary Yokoyama explained the rules about having a new member in the constitution, based on which Sang Pyo Kim proposed a motion to accept the Kazakhstan Physical Society as a member, which was seconded by a number of council members. All of the council members voted yes, and the Kazakhstan Physical Society has become our 18th member society. Medeu Abishev, secretary general of the Kazakhstan Physical Society, made a speech to introduce the society.

(9) Report on the CN Yang Award: As written in the rules that were decided in a previous council meeting, (divisions of) member societies and participants of the immediate past APPC have a right to nominate the candidate. Vice-President Fu-Jen Kao chaired the selection committee consisting of council members of AAPPS, representatives from each division of AAPPS, and science council members of APCTP. He explained that the committee received written reports of the referees, appointed by the committee and the divisions, to scrutinize the 20 nominations received this year, and the committee had a number of video meetings. Serious discussion was also done to examine where the relevant work was done to see to the extent to which the nominees work contributed to the promotion of physics in the Asia Pacific region. As a result, due to their exceptional qualifications, three winners were chosen for this year.

The winners are: Igor AHARONOVICH (University of Technology Sydney) for his pioneering studies of quantum emitters in two-dimensional materials and wide bandgap semiconductors; Xiong-Jun LIU (Peking University) for his outstanding contributions to ultracold atomic research, in realizing an original quantum simulation for synthetic gauge field and topological quantum phases; and Song HE (Institute of Theoretical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) for his critical role in advancing the understanding of the scattering amplitudes in gauge theories, gravity, and string theory.

President Long mentioned that the prestige of the CN Yang Award has significantly increased and he thanked the committee for contributing to this achievement. Starting immediately, the CN Yang Award will be an annual award, held in association with APCTP. The recipients of the award will provide an article for the AAPPS Bulletin.

(10) President Long explained the contents of the presidential report to the ordinary general meeting, as attached in the appendix.

(11) President Long explained the status of the AAPPS fellows, and noted that former president Seunghwan Kim exerted a great deal of effort to create the rules of admission. AAPPS has begun by extending invitations to become an honorary fellow. So far, as described in the president's report, eleven physicists have accepted the fellowship.

Appendix: Presidential Report on Activities of AAPPS (2017-19), Gui-Lu Long.



AAPPS Bulletin        ISSN: 2309-4710
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