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Report on the 46th AAPPS Video Council Meeting by AAPPS


Vol.31 (Feb-Apr) 2021 | Article no.24_5 2021

Report on the 46th AAPPS Video Council Meeting by AAPPS


The 46th Council Meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) was held online from 5:00 p.m. to 7:27 p.m. KST (Korea Standard Time) on 12 July 2021, via a Zoom session hosted by the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP). The participants were Jun'ichi Yokoyama (president), Hyoung Joon Choi (vice president), Nobuko Naka (secretary), Keun-Young Kim (treasurer), Gui-Lu Long (ex officio member as a former president), and council members Tao Xiang (the Chinese Physical Society (CPS)), Xiu-dong Sun (CPS), Ruiqin Zhang (the Physical Society of Hong Kong), Mio Murao (the Physical Society of Japan (JPS)), Akira Yamada (the Japan Society of Applied Physics (JSAP)), Kurunathan Ratnavelu (Malaysian Institute of Physics), Rajadeep Singh Rawat (Institute of Physics Singapore), Fu-Jen Kao (the Physical Society located in Taipei), Meng-Fan Luo (the Physical Society located in Taipei), and Nguyen Quang Liem (Vietnam Physical Society). Present as observers were Takhee Lee as a representative of the Korean Physical Society (KPS) for APPC15, Sang Pyo Kim (chair of the Division of Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Gravitation (DACG)), Bogeun Gwak (secretary of DACG), Je-Geun Park (chair of the Division of Condensed Matter Physics (DCMP)), S.M. Yusuf (vice chair of DCMP), Hiroyuki Nojiri (vice chair of DCMP), Weiping Liu (chair of the Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP)), Youngah Park (chair of the Women-in-Physics Working Group of AAPPS), Eunjeong Lee (AAPPS liaison officer), and Chae Young Lee (AAPPS editorial staff). Council members Jodie Bradby (Australian Institute of Physics (AIP)) and Woo-Sung Jung (KPS, APCTP) were absent.

(1) Secretary Naka reported the presence of 15 out of 17 council members, and the quorum was declared as fulfilled.

(2) President Yokoyama opened the 46th Council Meeting and welcomed the participants, including the division chairs and the KPS president. The participants introduced themselves in alphabetical order, based on the name of the country/region they were representing.

(3) The agenda was adopted as prepared by the president.

(4) Summary of previous meeting and email communications

President Yokoyama summarized the 45th Council Meeting held in March. While the meeting did not fulfill quorum requirements, affirmative replies were obtained from all council members by email.

In the meeting, the provision of one-time support to DCMP was approved following the proposal made by Vice President Choi. The money ($2,000 USD for the foundation of the new division) has already been sent to DCMP. Division Chair J.-G. Park expressed his gratitude for the support. Due to the increased number of divisions, amendments to the selection rules for the CN Yang Award were proposed and approved. In detail, the maximum number of selection committee members was increased from nine to 12. The role of divisions is to prescreen candidates, while nominations are made through member societies or participants in the most recent APPC, who are regarded as virtual individual members of the AAPPS. The question remains as to whether nominations via other channels would be accepted or not. APPC15 will take place in August 2022, and we have selected the advisory, organizing, program, and local organizing committee chairs and co-chairs. Yokoyama has asked all council members to serve on whichever committees they prefer. At the beginning of this year, cooperation with Springer Nature for the publication of AAPPS Bulletin (AB) was initiated. They have been publishing "Research and Review" including original research articles and "News and Views." They discontinued the "Institutes in Asia Pacific" section. Of the five member societies that were contributing to AB, JSAP decided to stop their support for AB and instead began providing annual support to the main body of AAPPS. APCTP will take responsibility for covering the article processing charge (APC) for invited review articles. A new draft of the amendment to the contract arrived and was circulated to the council members by email.

(5) Preparations for APPC15

Vice President Choi explained that APPC15 will be a 5-day conference starting on 22 August 2022 in Gyeongju, Korea. Currently, 14 meeting rooms, one exhibition hall, and one convention hall have been booked. Regarding the timeline, an ordinary general meeting and council meetings are planned for 21 August. The first announcement was originally planned to be sent by 30 June 2021, but this deadline is to be extended to the end of July 2021. Recommendations by societies and divisions are needed for the program. The members of each committee were suggested as listed below.

*Advisory Committee

Chairs: Current AAPPS president and APCTP president

Members: Former AAPPS presidents, Presidents of member societies

*Organizing Committee

Chair: KPS president

Deputy Chairs: Hyoung Joon Choi and Tao Xiang

Members: Current AAPPS council members, Division chairs

*Program Committee

Chair: Hyoung Joon Choi

Co-chairs: Tao Xiang, Akira Yamada, and Fu-Jen Kao

Members: Recommended by societies and by division chairs

*Local Organizing Committee

Chair: Woo-Sung Jung

Members: Hyoung Joon Choi, Keun-Young Kim, and Korean researchers

Gui-Lu Long expressed that division secretaries should help division chairs in preparing the program. He also suggested changing the names of the organizing and advisory committees to the international organizing and international advisory committees, respectively. S.P. Kim commented that previously, the president at the time of the AAPPS foundation (C.N. Yang) and former AAPPS presidents were on the international advisory committee. Choi will reconsider committee members after checking those for APPC14 and APPC12. Further communications will take place over email.

Nguyen Quang Liem wondered if the international advisory committee would consist of members of AAPPS only. Choi answered that we might invite some well-known physicists or renowned figures as committee members, based on discussion after any recommendation. Y. Park reminded Choi that there had been an agreement to ensure sufficient representation of female physicists. Choi answered that we would be careful to consider gender equality when deciding the final members of committees.

Choi explained that the timetable of APPC15 basically follows that of APPC14, but includes one more day (5 days in total). He is considering having in the range of 15 to 20 plenary talks, depending on the number of participants. If we have plenty of invited and contributed talks, we may reduce the plenary slots to 15, or half plenary sessions may be considered.

Choi has started efforts to find a company to handle the conference and its website. The website will receive abstracts and registrations. It will also be used for producing certificates and for the program committee to access the abstracts to determine acceptance or rejection of the papers.

Akira Yamada asked about the expected number of participants and papers. Choi already discussed the issue with KPS, and at the previous Council Meeting. His first goal is 1000 participants, which would allow the conference to break even. The conference center is large enough to accommodate more participants, up to 1400. Hiroyuki Nojiri reported that the 29th International Conference on Low Temperature Physics will be held in Sapporo, Japan, from 18 to 24 August 2022, as one of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) supported conferences.

J.-G. Park wondered how much autonomy each division will be given regarding programs. He asked whether a division should act as a part of the program committee or if it would be under the control of the main programs of APPC. Choi answered that the only constraints are the starting and ending times. When a parallel session is assigned to a division, it will be fully organized by the division. He suggested forming program committees inside respective divisions and listing the members on the main homepage of APPC15, although such a record of those who contributed to the programming in each division for APPC14 had been lost. J.-G. Park asked if a poster session would be allowed when parallel sessions are assigned to each division to organize. Choi responded that selection between oral and poster presentations is also a division's choice. We will have a list of topics assigned to respective divisions.

S.M. Yusuf expressed his concern. If the conference will be held online, we need to think about how to improve the poster sessions, which seem to have not provided good opportunities for discussion and feedback. Choi hopes that APPC15 will be held in a face-to-face manner. If COVID-19 still appears to be a problem, however, they will switch to a hybrid or fully online format.

Yokoyama asked how the nomination of plenary speakers from divisions is progressing. We will ask the member societies, council members, and divisions to nominate plenary speakers. Depending on the number of participants, some number of plenary speakers will be assigned to each division. Choi asked for opinions on reducing the number of plenary talks from 20 to 15. He explained that 2 h each day for plenary talks might be too long. As we assigned 16 h at the 4-day conference of APPC14, he suggested keeping the same hours at the 5-day conference of APPC15. Yokoyama pointed out that the Asia-Europe Physics Summit (ASEPS) time slot should be cancelled. The annual meeting of ASEPS in association with the European Physical Society (EPS) condensed-matter-division conference has been postponed and the new schedule overlaps with that of APPC15.

Weiping Liu commented that he would keep this schedule in mind on behalf of DNP and communicate with division members for their support. Normally, they have an Asian Nuclear Physics Association (ANPhA) board meeting annually in connection with an ANPhA symposium, which reports the recent progress and facility development. This year, it was planned to be held in Myanmar, but the COVID-19 situation forced them to go completely online this December. Concerning the division meeting next year, he is thinking about incorporating the ANPhA board meeting and ANPhA symposium into APPC15.

Yokoyama asked if DCMP plans to have an annual meeting this year. J.-G. Park answered that the first annual meeting will be held in December 2021, and the program committee will be chaired by Prof. Nojiri. He expects that this is a good exercise for APPC15. DCMP will not have a separate meeting in 2022 and APPC15 will be the largest meeting in 2022 for DCMP.

Division Secretary Gwak reported that he will chair the DACG online workshop this year, instead of the International Symposium on Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (CosPA). The preparations are in progress. DACG will not have a separate meeting in 2022, and their annual meeting will be assigned inside APPC15.

Choi explained that KPS organizes two annual meetings covering all areas of physics, which are Fall and Spring Meetings. Each meeting is attended by close to 2000 participants. The Fall Meetings are held in October, and the period of APPC15 should be convenient for KPS members, without overlap.

T. Lee reported that the KPS president would have a meeting with all division representatives of KPS on 16 July 2021. Although the 12 divisions of KPS do not exactly match the AAPPS division structure, they will discuss how the KPS divisions can help to organize the parallel sessions at APPC15. The KPS divisions will recommend some Korean researchers for the scopes of APPC15.

Choi explained that the registration fee would be the same as that for APPC14—namely, a standard fee of $500 USD for postdocs and professors, and a reduced fee of $250 USD for students.

Liu gave a friendly reminder that he expects the COVID-19 situation will be very much improved in 2022, and the year will be busy with many international conferences. To avoid overlap with other conferences, we should announce the dates of APPC15 well in advance.

(6) Nomination rule for the CN Yang Award

Yokoyama reported that this year's selection of the CN Yang Award recipients is in progress under the leadership of Prof. Kao. The award ceremony will be held in November this year. In the next year, we need to start the nomination process sooner in order to be ready for the award ceremony at APPC15 in August. We are in the process of revising the nomination rule. Presently, each division has a role in the prescreening of candidates instead of nomination. Yokoyama asked if the divisions wish to have their own nomination channels.

J.-G. Park, on behalf of DCMP, explained that he shared all information regarding the nominees with two vice chairs and the secretary-general, who formed the selection committee of DCMP. They had long discussions and the selection process worked very well, with a good exchange. He stated that DCMP does not have a particular preference regarding nomination but showed his concern over the potential for conflicts of interest when nomination and prescreening bodies were mixed. He stated that DCMP will follow a decision by the AAPPS Council.

Yokoyama stated that if we do mix nominations from divisions and those from other channels, there will be conflicts of interest. He proposed to stick to the previous rule that divisions act in the prescreening process.

E. Lee conveyed a question from a board of trustees meeting of APCTP. Since the CN Yang Award is now a joint award between AAPPS and APCTP, it might be possible for the APCTP community to have a chance to nominate. Yokoyama responded that as we discussed and concluded that divisions of AAPPS may not have a right to make nominations and their current role is to make prescreening as a part of the selection process, and no selecting body should make nominations to avoid conflicts of interest. However, APCTP has member countries/regions and they may have a right to nominate. Yokoyama asked E. Lee to collect information on how member countries/regions or membership entities of APCTP may make nominations.

Liu reported a practice employed by DNP, which seemed to work. ANPhA and AAPPS-DNP collected candidates from the nuclear physics societies in each country/region through a form of online voting. He also suggested simplifying the evaluation form, just by making a total score and single remarks.

Fu-Jen Kao agreed with Yokoyama regarding the concern of conflicts of interest. He stated that whoever is doing the selection should not make nominations, and that collecting nominations from APCTP and AAPPS seems reasonable. He emphasized that how we maintain the prestige and fairness of the CN Yang Award is an important issue. Next year, we should start asking for nominations almost as early as November to decide the awardees by July. Kao added that this year's selection would be finished by September.

(7) Report from the Women-in-Physics Working Group of AAPPS

Y. Park gave a brief report on the activities of the Women-in-Physics (WIP) Working Group of AAPPS. She reported that the International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP2020) is taking place from 10 to 16 July 2021, and the AAPPS-WIP workshop will be held on 16 July. She reminded us that there should be enough female representation among organizing committee members, program committee members, plenary speakers, division-invited speakers at APPC15. She suggested having time slots for an AAPPS-WIP session, breakfast and lunch gatherings for the working group and female members at APPC15. She asked to contact her if there are any country/region members who are not participating in the working group.

(8) AAPPS Bulletin contract issues

Two files concerning the AAPPS Bulletin (AB) contract were already sent from President Yokoyama to all council members. APCTP is providing most of the funds to publish articles through cooperation with Springer Nature.

Yokoyama explained that they have made a draft of the amendment, in which three bodies are explicitly indicated, i.e., Springer Nature, AAPPS, and APCTP. The role of APCTP is to serve as a sort of sponsor. The open access fee (or APC) costs 1570 Euros per article. APCTP chooses to cover the APC for up to 20 accepted articles in the first 3 years, and up to 26 articles in the remaining 2 years. Changes in these numbers were made according to the discount provided by the publisher at the initial stage of the journal's development. The publisher waives the APC for 10 articles in the first 3 years, and for four articles in the remaining 2 years. This means that we have secured funding to publish 30 articles every year from 2021 to 2025.

Meanwhile, there is another clause in the original publishing agreement. Clause 9.2d says that AAPPS ensures all reasonable efforts to publish "not fewer than 30 articles in 2021, not fewer than 35 articles in 2022, not fewer than 45 articles in 2023, not fewer than 55 articles in 2024, and not fewer than 70 articles in 2025." Appendix 1-5 states the minimum requirement for the editor-in-chief. It says that the editor-in-chief shall use all reasonable efforts to ensure "not fewer than 30 articles a year." This part is to be covered by APCTP and Springer Nature. However, the number of articles remaining, e.g., 5 articles in 2022, 15 articles in 2023, and so on, must be paid articles. Long stated that they can meet the conditions for the numbers of articles, and expressed his firm determination to achieve this. E. Lee explained that for this goal, APCTP has discussed and plans several invited review articles to be covered by APCTP. In 3 or 4 years, they will accept free submissions as well, so that not APCTP but the authors will pay the APC. (Note added: After the Council Meeting, it was confirmed that APCTP may cover these remaining articles in 2022 and 2023, and will negotiate with Springer Nature in 2023 on the numbers set for 2024 and 2025.)

In the original publication agreement, there is a clause regarding the printed version. Clause 6.3 seems to say that we are not allowed to publish peer-reviewed articles in the printed version of AB. Yokoyama expressed that this contradicts with what we are doing currently. Rajadeep Singh Rawat commented that if we do not ask permission, Springer Nature does not allow it, but they normally give permission upon request. E. Lee stated that in the previous discussion with Springer Nature, they indeed allowed APCTP to print peer-reviewed articles, though it was not written in the contract. Long suggested negotiating with Springer Nature regarding Clause 6.3 and the minimum numbers of compulsory publications. (Note added: After the Council Meeting, APCTP confirmed that Springer Nature has agreed not to apply Clause 6.3.)

Rawat wondered why a printed version of peer-reviewed articles is needed for AAPPS or APCTP as an organization. Long responded that this is based on their previous practices. All items in News and Views are now put into a single article in six issues published per year. The organization is distributing the printed version to member societies and some individuals. There may be an alternative measure for the future, but they need to stick to this approach for the time being.

Yokoyama summarized that there are still many issues. The editor-in-chief, the AAPPS president, and the president of APCTP will negotiate with Springer Nature again. Yokoyama thanked Rawat for his continued help in the interpretation of the contract.

(9) Website links to institutes in Asia Pacific

As a compensation for the discontinued section of Institutes in Asia Pacific in AB, we may create links to websites and videos of institutes in the Asia-Pacific region. Mio Murao has kindly searched for videos from some Japanese universities. Yokoyama proposed to have such a list of links on the AAPPS org website. Kurunathan Ratnavelu supported the idea. Yokoyama asked respective council members to make a list of videos and institutions in their own country/region and to ask for permission to link them in the AAPPS org website.

(10) Proposal to organize an online "Asia Pacific Physical Societies' Forum" meeting

Until 4 years ago, considerable time was spent at each face-to-face council meeting for the reports from member societies. Yokoyama proposed having a 1-day meeting, at which each member society reports its current status. The aim is to improve mutual understanding and to discuss shared problems in the world physics community. This plan emerged through a discussion with the JSAP President, Prof. Hatano, on how we ask JSAP to continue providing their support to AAPPS. One possibility is to improve internal communication by having such a forum. All AAPPS council members are welcome, and each society will be asked to send at least one member to attend.

Yamada explained that President Hatano wishes to communicate with other member societies to understand the issues in progress and identify the problems, because the Asia-Pacific region is so important for the future progress of applied physics. Yokoyama added that the idea is to share information, not only among council members but also among members of member societies. The representatives will be selected by each society, probably from officers.

Tao Xiang agreed with the idea and suggested a half-day online meeting. Rawat expressed his support for this suggestion. The forum is planned to be held in November.

(11) Proposal to form a working group to make code of conduct of AAPPS

Yokoyama considers that it is a good time to discuss a code of conduct of AAPPS as one of the world-leading associations in physics. Article 3 of AAPPS is a sort of ethics requirement for activities. He asked if council members agree with starting by making a code of conduct for AAPPS. He proposed to form a small working group to make a draft. Ratnavelu agreed and stated that it would never be too late. Yokoyama suggested including council members from Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia, the president, and vice president, and this suggestion was approved.

(12) Next council meeting

President Yokoyama announced that a forthcoming council meeting is planned to be hosted by Prof. Zhang in Hong Kong. Saturday, 18 December was proposed as a tentative date for the hybrid-type meeting.

(13) Miscellaneous issues

Ratnavelu briefly reported on the conference on computational physics. Fifteen invited and plenary speakers were selected, and the deadline for the submission of abstracts was extended.

K.-Y. Kim reported a delay in the preparations for the formation of the division of particles and fields. They will work to accelerate the preparations, and he hopes to report on the progress at the next meeting.

Yokoyama closed the meeting by remarking that an organizing committee meeting of APPC15 will be held in a month or two, at which all council members are supposed to meet.


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