AAPPS bulletin

News and Views

Report on the 49th AAPPS Video Council Meeting


Vol.32 (Oct) 2022 | Article no.32 2022

The 49th Council Meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) was held online from 3:00 p.m. to 5:38 p.m. (UTC+9hr) on July 28, 2022, 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 Xiu-dong Sun (the Chinese Physical Society, Beijing), 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)), Woo-Sung Jung (the Korean Physical Society (KPS)), Rajdeep Singh Rawat (Institute of Physics Singapore), and Nguyen Quang Liem (Vietnam Physical Society). Present as observers were Yunkyu Bang (president of APCTP) and Dayoung Yang (AAPPS liaison and editorial staff member). Council members Jodie Bradby (Australian Institute of Physics (AIP)), Tao Xiang (the Chinese Physical Society, Beijing), Kurunathan Ratnavelu (Malaysian Institute of Physics), Fu-Jen Kao (the Physical Society located in Taipei), and Meng-Fan Luo (the Physical Society located in Taipei) were absent. Hai-Qing Lin (the Chinese Physical Society, Beijing) and Ying-Jer Kao (the Physical Society located in Taipei) were present as proxies on behalf of Xiang and Luo, respectively.

(1) Secretary Naka reported the presence of 14 council members (including the two proxies) out of 17 council members, and the quorum was declared as fulfilled. President Yokoyama informed that the minutes of the 48th Council Meeting were circulated by e-mail.

(2) Yokoyama opened the 49th Council Meeting and welcomed the participants. He introduced Hai-Qing Lin and Ying-Jer Kao, who were present as proxies. The agenda was adopted as prepared by the president.

(3) Vice President Choi reported on the status of preparations for APPC15. On the top website of APPC15, three logos of the 70th anniversary of the KPS, the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development, and the Centennial of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) are posted. On the morning of Monday, August 22, we have two speakers in the plenary session followed by the parallel sessions, which include the special session on the Global Physics Summit. In the afternoon, there are two parallel sessions (with a break), including the special session on the Role of Physics in the Green Economy (without a break) as well as the poster session. The ceremony of the CN Yang Award will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in a hybrid format, right before the afternoon parallel sessions. Three winners of the CN Yang Award will deliver talks in the fully online session from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The schedule of contributed talks was already announced to all speakers. The schedule of the 14 plenary speakers is not fully fixed yet. One change will be made on the slot of one plenary speaker from Europe, whose time zone is not good. The alternative slot will be the period of the break from 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Then, there will be room to have one more plenary speaker. Choi stated that we currently have no plenary speaker from the particle physics field, and recommendation is welcome. So far, slightly more than 1000 abstracts, including 510 invited talks, 330 contributed talks, and 190 posters, have been accepted. This means that we reached the initial goal of making APPC15 successful.

The deadline for the early-bird registration was July 15 and over. The regular registration will start on August 1 and continue until the end of the conference. About 800 people have so far made the registration. The withdrawal rate seems to be lower than the previous experience of 10% for other conferences. The local organizing committee decided to waive the registration fees for five participants from Nepal and another five from Myanmar. The registration fee for retired professors and high-school and mid-school teachers is exempted.

On Sunday, August 21, the Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) will be held in the faculty meeting room of the Physics Department at Yonsei University, Seoul. The room was recently renovated with equipment for hybrid meetings. Among presidents of member societies and council members, five people will attend the meetings in person, while others will participate virtually.

Yokoyama asked about the distribution of member countries and regions. Choi answered that 40% of the abstracts were submitted from inside Korea. JPS, JSAP, the Chinese Physical Society, Beijing, and the Physical Society located in Taipei made the next largest contributions for another 40%. Some significant numbers of participants choose their society as the American Physical Society (APS). Choi added that probably not all of them live in the United States (US), but are APS members in other countries/regions. Many abstract authors from India and Pakistan requested a full or partial waiver of the registration fee. The waiver was limited to participants from Nepal and Myanmar, which are included in the UN list of least developed countries. Choi explained that he plans to discuss with Gui-Lu Long shortly to prepare an editor session.

Yokoyama explained that AAPPS and AAPPS Bulletin had received an invitation from the KPS to participate in the virtual booth on the metaverse platform for the exhibition and poster sessions. Choi explained that the booths for AAPPS, AAPPS Bulletin, and APCTP are provided free of charge, thanks to the support of the KPS. When you access the platform website, you will be asked for your email address. After clicking the confirmation email, you can enter the metaverse after choosing your avatar, clothes, and the head. In the poster session, the presenters can discuss using the shared presentation materials with the participants. At the booths, we will provide links to materials such as viewgraphs, videos, and websites of AAPPS and AAPPS Bulletin. Yokoyama suggested adding power-point presentations to introduce the activities of AAPPS, prepared by the president.

Yokoyama suggested making recordings of plenary sessions for later service, for example, for member societies that cannot send many participants to APPCs. Choi responded that we do not have any plan to record scientific sessions but may record the first hybrid session for the opening, the first plenary session, and the special sessions. Rawat conveyed a question if all the presentations will be given in parallel Zoom sessions. Choi answered that we have a special Internet connection for APPC15 from a cable company, independent of the Yonsei University’s Internet line, which enables all sessions to progress with live talks and live Q&A. Rawat pointed out that we need permission from all the speakers for recording, and recorded videos should be set only playable and not downloadable. Choi responded that we cannot hamper recording by the audience as recording videos is one of the standard tools in the Windows operational system. Rawat also commented that students feeling uncomfortable with languages sometimes prefer pre-recorded presentations. Choi answered he knows it but encourages students to deliver a live presentation for educational purposes. If some speakers request recorded presentations, we will consider it positively but will not announce it. We should be careful handling large-size recordings to be virus-free.

Yokoyama asked about the number of parallel sessions. Choi responded that there are 13 subjects on top of special sessions and the session for Women-in-Physics. The average number of sessions running simultaneously is 17. The technical aspects of the sessions are controlled by secretaries, and the session chairs handle academic or scientific parts only. Invitations to session chairs will be sent in the next week.

(4) The plan for Sunday, August 21, the day before the start of APPC15, was discussed. Normally, we have a council meeting, OGM, new council meeting, and extended council meeting. The extended council meeting will be attended by outgoing and incoming council members. Considering the time difference of the member countries/regions, the starting time and duration of the first council meeting were set at 10:00 a.m. and two hours, respectively. After a lunch break, the OGM will start at 1:00 p.m., whose agenda includes a report on the AAPPS activities of the past 2.5 years and the election of the new council members. The previous election was easy because we had the same number of candidates and available positions. This time, we have more candidates than the number of seats, and the election should be done in a hybrid manner. The duration of OGM is estimated to be two hours.

Woo-Sung Jung explained the agenda of the previous OGM, prepared by the AAPPS headquarters. He confirmed that the vote is confidential and that the introduction of participants took the longest time among the agenda items. Yokoyama stated that, unlike other APPCs, we have APPC15 in the middle time of the year while our term continues until December. He commented that all the forthcoming council meeting(s) after August would be a kind of extended one participated by both outgoing and incoming council members. He considers that it is better to have some term overlaps, as the new members will become familiar with AAPPS activities. Long stated that it is up to the president to decide whether to invite new council members. The term of the new secretary will start in January 2023, and the new president has time to consider the appointment.

Yokoyama stated that one hour would be enough for the new council meeting (not observed by current council members), while Jung pointed out that it took more than one hour in 2016. The time of the new council meeting was set at 3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. The ending time of the new council meeting is tentative, and the current council members will wait in another Zoom room for the new council members to join the extended council meeting. The extended council meeting was scheduled (tentatively) from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Choi confirmed to prepare four different Zoom meeting rooms for Sunday.

(5) At the time of the previous OGM, the president of the KPS mentioned that we should have more members from more different countries and regions in the council. Yokoyama asked about opinions on the possibility of expanding the size of the council, considering the increasing number of member societies of AAPPS. Yokoyama explained that this issue involves an amendment of the Constitution, which requires approval at a General Meeting. He had thought that such an important issue should be discussed well at in-person meetings rather than online meetings forced during the COVID-19 time. Choi pointed out that we would need to inform the member societies well in advance, e.g., six months before to discuss. Long expressed his opinion that it is the right time to discuss this issue. Rawat and Ruiqin Zhang supported proposing an amendment of the Constitution at the OGM in August 2022. Choi also agreed and wondered if what number would be appropriate. Jung suggested just raising the point and not immediately deciding the number. Mio Murao asked about the possible disadvantage when the council is expanded and if we expect that some of the agreements will become difficult to reach, for example. No concrete cons were pointed out.

Meanwhile, President Yokoyama received a written proposal to increase the number of council members from Ying-Jer Kao as the president of the Physical Society located in Taipei. Yokoyama asked for opinions from council members, and the proposal was seconded by all the present council members.

Subsequently, the number to be increased was discussed. Murao asked about what was the number of member societies when the number of council members was defined as 15. Long introduced that the members at the time of the AAPPS foundation in 1989 were 15 societies plus the ASEAN Institute of Physics and South East Asia Theoretical Physics Association. The latter two are presently no active members. Jung stated that the number of member societies was 16 in 1997 and has increased by four as of today. He proposed 20 council members for the amendment. Kao wondered if an odd number would be more favored for voting. Yokoyama explained that the ex officio and secretary, who are voting members, are not included in the current number of 15 and a treasurer, if they were not elected, is a non-voting member of the council. The 20 means the upper limit, and no change will be proposed for the lower limit of 9. Rawat asked if the quorum is defined by an absolute number or in percentage. Naka confirmed that it is defined as two-thirds of the council members, and there is no need for an amendment regarding the quorum. Long added that the maximum number of council members from member societies in one country/region is also defined in percentage.

Yokoyama finally proposed to decide on the tentative upper limit of 20 and to make the final decision with the opinions of member societies at the OGM. The motion was unanimously agreed upon by the council members.

(6) Yokoyama reported on his recent activities as the president. He attended the conference of the Italian Physical Society held online and then made his first international trip after the COVID-19 pandemic to attend the IUPAP Centennial Symposium in Trieste. Yokoyama briefly showed the presentation slide. He explained cooperation with APCTP, whose support is always appreciated, organization of APPCs, support for the regional activities organized by the Nepal Physical Society and the Thai Physics Society, as well as the division activities. Women-in-Physics activities are popular here, and the number of female physicists exceeds that of male physicists in some countries. There is significant diversity among our member societies in terms of size, structure, and stage of development and decline. Statistics about Japan represent no increase in GDP, no inflation, and no increase in our salary over three decades. Thus, Japan has established a stationary state as an environment-friendly society with a sustainable economy. However, the government debt increases more and more, and it will reach some limit beyond which we would not be able to sustain. The budget for science has not increased very much in Japan compared to the year 2000. Meanwhile, China and Korea have significantly increased spending on science, leading to the rapid growth of research on physics in the region.

Yokoyama also introduced activities of some members of the Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) to support physicists in Myanmar. The country was democratized in 2011 but turned to military rule by the coup d’état in 2021. There was a Campaign for Civil Disobedience against the military government, which led to a serious division between people involved and not involved in the movement. The DNP has been organizing lectures and experimental courses or even inviting researchers to Japan for further education, without discrimination whether those who joined or not joined the Campaign. Yokoyama expressed that he wishes to provide some support to these activities in Myanmar from AAPPS. However, they are not a member society of AAPPS, and it may not be a good idea to spend the AAPPS money. He suggested using the honorarium, which he had received for writing an article published in the AAPPS Bulletin, for donation on behalf of AAPPS. Yunkyu Bang expressed no objection.

After the IUPAP meeting, Yokoyama met the president-elect of the IUPAP, who showed interest on the AAPPS Bulletin and proposed cooperation with IUPAP. In order to meet this request, Yokoyama suggested even strengthening the News and Views section of the AAPPS Bulletin, which is its unique feature. Long welcomed the proposition. Long added that the quality of papers in the AAPPS Bulletin is significantly increasing, and the problem of the small number of articles will be resolved in the future with cooperation with Springer Nature.

(7) Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, Yokoyama attended the annual meeting of the Physical Society located in Taipei and introduced the activities of AAPPS at the council meeting of the society. He further proposed to start a joint award between AAPPS and member societies for young researchers. The council members of the society agreed to establish one. AAPPS council also agreed to try it as a joint pilot program of AAPPS and the society. The first-year prizes were given to three researchers who delivered excellent talks at the annual meeting and had relations outside the society region after one year’s postponement due to the pandemic. The winners received gold medal plates from AAPPS, which were donated by the AAPPS president, and monetary prizes from the Physical Society located in Taipei. The cash prize was approximately 100 USD as a token. The current president, Kao, intends to continue this program.

Yokoyama recently reported on this pilot program at the AAPPS committee meeting inside JPS. They were positive about establishing a new joint award for AAPPS and JPS. The idea of JPS is that they will select winners of the AAPPS-JPS Award among nominees for the CN Yang Award who were recommended by JPS divisions but not the final recipient of the CN Yang Award. JPS can nominate up to 19 candidates for the CN Yang Award, and usually, not all the divisions make nominations. The nominees are all excellent, and JPS will consider them as candidates for the AAPPS-JPS Award. Yokoyama explained that, by doing so, we could encourage talented young researchers and increase the visibility of AAPPS more prominently in member societies. He learned at the IUPAP meeting that the Young Scientist Prize (currently renamed the Early Career Scientist Prize) was established for the purpose of making young researchers know about the IUPAP. A draft of guidelines for the joint award with member societies was prepared and explained by Yokoyama.

Long expressed his support for this scheme. He added a comment that we should be careful about the naming of the joint prize not to be confused with the CN Yang Award. Long also suggested raising the profile of the award to make AAPPS much more visible. Yokoyama responded that it would be unfortunately more difficult to achieve. Rawat stated that he considers formulating the joint awards a fantastic idea. He wondered if a certificate will be prepared by the local society. Long suggested including the logo of AAPPS in the certificate. Kao stated that he would share an exemplary certificate prepared by the Physical Society located in Taipei with the council members for reference. Consequently, the draft of guidelines for joint awards was approved by the council members.

(8) The code of conduct making has been pending for quite a while. At the previous council meeting, Yokoyama reported that he had collected the respective codes of conduct from various societies. A draft of the Code of Conduct of AAPPS was presented by Yokoyama, and he asked for opinions and comments by the time of the next council meeting when it will be finalized.

(9) Thanks to the generous support of APCTP, the website of AAPPS has been under complete renovation. Yokoyama asked council members to give any inputs and opinions. Choi suggested carefully confirming the names of member societies.

(10) Yokoyama explained that the Physics Society of Iran wishes to join AAPPS. Following the convention, he asked the society to fill out the questionnaire form. The form says that the establishment year is 1963, while the website says that the creation was in 1932, which means the society is as old as the Chinese Physical Society, Beijing. The society has 2500 regular members and more than 8000 student members. The society organizes annual meetings and has a division structure, publishes the Iranian Journal of Physics Research, and awards a number of prizes. They wish to join as an associate member till someday when the political sanction by the US is lifted, and they can send money abroad.

Rawat commented that the level of physics research in Iran is high, and Singapore has a substantial number of Iranian students. According to his involvement in the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO), the Iranian team always does very well. They are also known internationally as they organized IPhO 2007 in Isfahan with great success. Therefore, Rawat considers it is good to involve them in AAPPS. Bang explained that APCTP previously had a few Iranian postdocs. Because of the US sanction, however, newly coming Iranian researchers cannot open a new bank account in Korea, which made them finally not come. Yokoyama stated that he personally knows many Iranian physicists and has published a collaborated paper with one of them.

Yokoyama summarized that he hopes to make a final decision on whether we should accept them or not after having a presentation by the president of the society at a future council meeting.

(11) Yokoyama explained Clause 7.3 of the Constitution, stating, “Any Member Society which is in arrears in the payment of membership fees shall have no vote at General Meetings.” Previously, not all the member societies gathered at the OGM, and some societies in arrears of payment usually did not come. However, the next OGM will be held in a hybrid format, and some member societies with unpaid fees may attend. Yokoyama asked what we should do, i.e., send them the electronic voting ballot, ask them to finish the payment, or having joint activities with AAPPS to virtually support, or simply follow the Constitution.

Rawat stated that we should follow the clear statement in the Constitution. Long also respects the Constitution and states that member societies with unpaid fees can take part in the activities (including participation in the OGM) but should not have a vote. Long recommended that Naka write a letter notifying Clause 7.3 to those members and give them a chance to make a payment by the time of the OGM.

(12) Rawat conveyed a question about the AAPPS fellowship. He explained that fellowship makes the society more visible, and fees from fellows are funding resources in Singapore. Yokoyama responded that we do have some AAPPS honorary fellows already, but we do not ask them to pay. Long explained that rules to appoint an AAPPS honorary fellow have been formulated by Prof. Seunghwan Kim. Only very limited scholars, such as Nobel Prize winners and past presidents who made a significant contribution to AAPPS, have been appointed so far. Rawat suggested including the list of AAPPS honorary fellows on the new website.

Yokoyama announced that the next council meeting would be held on August 21, 2022, and closed the meeting.


Author information

Authors and Affiliations



The author read and approved the final manuscript.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

[Source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43673-022-00061-4]