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The inaugural message from the newly elected president of KPS

writerTae-Won Noh

Vol.31 (Feb-Apr) 2021 | Article no.14_5 2021

The inaugural message from the newly elected president of KPS

Tae-Won Noh

As of January 1, 2021, Professor Tae Won Noh of Seoul National University began his 2-year term as the 29th president of the Korean Physical Society (KPS) Fig 6. The 29th executive body of the KPS is composed of, among others, the executive vice-president, Professor Intae Yu (Sungkyunkwan University); the secretary of general affairs, Professor Takhee Lee (Seoul National University); and the treasurer, Professor Baeho Park (Konkuk University). At the first council meeting on January 8, 2021, President Noh gave the following inaugural message for KPS members.


Fig. 6: The newly elected President Tae-Won Noh

First of all, I hope that all the members of KPS are in good health and are doing well. As is well known, most members are experiencing many difficulties due to the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic. KPS also suffered from unprecedented difficulties as the annual spring KPS conference had to be postponed, although it was later switched to an online conference. Now, KPS must face the era of the so-called "new-normal". The members of KPS should play a pivotal role in overcoming the current challenges by being part of the transformation of KPS.

Since its founding in 1952, KPS has undergone prominent growth through the dedication of its members. Unfortunately, we are now facing unparalleled challenges. The gap between the rich and the poor universities is getting bigger while the ecosystem of physics education is being threatened by the decline of the school-age population as well as the reduction of physics education in middle and high schools. To overcome this painful reality, members should play central role in being part of a bold and creative transformation. Based on my experiences so far, I would like to lay stepping stones for this transformation, together with you.

First, we will significantly improve the operation of on-line conferences, especially given the trend to conduct conferences remotely. By introducing an on-off hybrid system suitable for latest "new-normal" era, new changes in the operation of conferences will be implemented. To this end, we will make a bold investment in restructuring our system and organization for conferences, which includes constructing the requisite infrastructure for these ends.

Second, we will activate new physics education and business programs that can meet the needs of the times. Now is the time to introduce new physics programs that can meet modern demands, such as quantum computers and artificial intelligence. We will come up with a variety of measures to make the necessity and importance of physics become clear not only to those in the science and engineering communities, but also to our society as a whole.

Third, we will be reestablished as an academic society that is of practical help to members. Through the allocation of research funds via "block funding", we will use our influence for local universities and small academic fields. We will do our best to prevent disruption in careers for successive generations of academics and strengthen the activities of local branch and academic journal services.

Fourth, to shape a desirable ecosystem for physics community, we will encourage various members to participate in our society. It is necessary to expand opportunities for women who are members to participate in conferences, and to create a system for sharing and cooperating roles that fit the characteristics of universities, research institutions, and industries. Long-term efforts are necessary for changes in the ecosystem, and essential organizations will be installed and activated.

Now we must work to create a win-win situation through dialogue and cooperation. I will continuously visit members so that I can become a channel of communication by hearing opinions from various members. The Korean Physical Society will do its best to undergo this transformation and to make a new leap forward. I thank you, the members of the Korean Physical Society, for your interest and encouragement.