AAPPS bulletin

News and Views

53rd AAPPS video council meeting


Vol.33 (Feb) 2023 | Article no.6-2 2023

The 53rd Council Meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) was held online from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (UTC + 9 h) on November 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), Gui-Lu Long (former president, ex officio member), and council members Xiu-dong Sun (the Chinese Physical Society, Beijing), Tao Xiang (the Chinese Physical Society, Beijing), Ruiqin Zhang (the Physical Society of Hong Kong), Rajdeep 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 Reza Ejtehadi (the Physics Society of Iran), Yunkyu Bang (president of APCTP), Jae-Hyung Jeon (executive director of APCTP), and Dayoung Yang (AAPPS liaison and editorial staff member). Treasurer Keun-Young Kim and council members Jodie Bradby (Australian Institute of Physics (AIP)), 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)), and Kurunathan Ratnavelu (Malaysian Institute of Physics) were absent.

(1) Secretary Naka reported the presence of 11 council members out of 17 council members. The quorum was declared as not fulfilled. President Yokoyama informed that we will have approval later in writing when necessary.

(2) Yokoyama opened the 53rd Council Meeting and welcomed the participants. The agenda was adopted as prepared by the president.

(3) Yokoyama introduced Prof. Reza Ejtehadi, the president of the Physics Society of Iran (PSI). Ejtehadi made a brief introduction to the society for application to join AAPPS as an associate member. PSI is a non-profit and non-governmental organization with the aim of establishing and strengthening scientific cooperation among physics researchers, physics teachers, and students studying physics. PSI is the largest and oldest professional and scientific society in Iran. The society was established in 1932 and formally founded in 1963. Activities ceased after the revolution in 1979 and resumed in 1984. The society presently has 11,933 members, including 2463 full members, 1304 associate members, 8158 student members, and 10 fellows.

The General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of PSI. The board of directors consist of seven members. A president, vice president, and treasurer are elected by the board of directors from among themselves. PSI has many branches in areas including condensed matter physics; particle and high-energy physics; computational physics; light, atomic, and molecular physics; statistical physics and complex systems; quantum information; and women in physics. In PSI, there are committees for conferences and events, publications, prizes and awards, international affairs, and industrial relations. Annual physics conferences have been held since 1985. Branch meetings and webinars are regularly organized. PSI publishes the Iranian Journal of Physics Research and the Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics, in addition to books, reports, and proceedings. As outreach activities, PIS organizes the Physics Club, which has a 23-year history and is held monthly in 11 cities across the country, and publishes online newsletters in Persian. As a nonprofit society, the budget relies on membership fees, registration fees, publications, and donations, as support from the ministry is limited. PSI actively uses social media, such as Instagram, Youtube, Telegram, and Aparat, in addition to PSI’s own website, to share recorded meetings and events.

Yokoyama asked about the percentage of female physicists in PSI. Ejtehadi responded that 48% of physics students and 20% of faculty members are females. The graduating female students are now gaining faculty positions, and the percentage of female faculty members is expected to rapidly increase in the near future. Hyoung Joon Choi queried as to why PSI applied to become an associate member rather than a full member. Ejtehadi answered that PSI has difficulty transferring money for the payment of membership because of sanctions.

After Ejtehadi left the Zoom room, a discussion was made by the council. Yokoyama stated that the Iranian physics community is large, and they are producing excellent research outcomes. Therefore, it would be a good idea for PSI to be, for the moment, an associate member. Yunkyu Bang agreed that there is no reason not to accept. However, Bang expressed his concern about the current political environment. Although AAPPS is independent of any political organization, complete separation between politics and science is becoming unclear these days. Rajdeep Singh Rawat shared his experience as the president of the International Physics Olympiad and the research program for plasma fusion and related energy devices in Singapore. Fu-Jen Kao wondered about the rights of associate members. Yokoyama clarified that an associate member has no voting rights at ordinary general meetings (OGMs) and cannot send any candidate to become council members. Kao stated that as an associate member makes no effect on decisions by the AAPPS Council, the political considerations should be minimal. Tao Xiang suggested changing the name of “associate member” to “observer.” Yokoyama responded that the associate member status is defined in the constitution.

Yokoyama proposed to endorse the application, which was seconded by Long and Xiang. The proposal was unanimously agreed upon.

(4) Choi reported on APPC15, held in August 2022. He explained the list of committee chairs, 14 subjects, special sessions, and the number of presentations (963 presentations in total, consisting of 768 parallel talks, 168 posters, 15 plenary talks, and 12 special talks). The number of registrations was slightly over 1000, and there were a few no-shows in the poster sessions. Presently, 30 manuscripts were submitted for the proceedings. The manuscripts will be sent to the publisher in January 2023, after review and revision processes. At APPC15, there was small input from JSAP regarding the applied physics subjects; how to organize the applied physics session at the next APPC should be considered. Even though special sessions were open to the public and two plenary talks on Monday were open to all member societies, the audience was not large. This information might not be directly useful for APPC16, which will be held in a face-to-face manner. Nevertheless, we should strive to have bigger audiences at APPCs, and we should consider how we might open the sessions to a wider community. Choi commented that the Division of Plasma Physics organizes online meetings on a large scale, where each speaker can invite a free audience.

Yokoyama thanked Choi for all his efforts in making APPC15 a successful meeting. Yokoyama commented that the number of submitted manuscripts for the proceedings is rather small. Choi responded that submission is optional, and most of the participants would not need to provide a contribution as they did not have to travel internationally. The proceedings will be published in an online book dedicated to APPC15.

(5) On behalf of Treasurer Keun-Young Kim, Yokoyama briefly reported on the financial status of AAPPS. The total balance is US $67,028, in addition to the Leo Koguan Foundation’s US $36,500. The account statements include interest and the dues that 14 societies paid for the 2022 membership. Four societies supported the AAPPS Bulletin (AB) with contributions of US $5000 each. JSAP provided support of US $5000 to AAPPS for international activities, which was partially used for the meetings in Nepal and Thailand. The contribution of APCPT of US $545,360 in total is greatly appreciated and acknowledged. Yokoyama informed that he sent 1 million KRW, which he had received as an honorarium for writing an article in AB, to the representative of the activities for physicists in Myanmar by the Division of Nuclear Physics. The donation was appreciated by the representative, who is a professor at Gifu University in Japan.

Kao commented that any member society that does not pay membership fees has no right to vote at OGMs. Yokoyama explained that this was practically realized in the last OGM in August because member societies with unpaid fees did not attend the OGM. Nguyen Quang Liem requested to correct the record to reflect that the Vietnam Physical Society paid for their 2020 membership fee.

(6) Gui-Lu Long, the editor in chief of AB reported on the current status of AB. As of October 2022, 35 articles were published this year, including five articles in the News and Views section. The article with the highest citations was published in 2008, titled “Spin-transfer torque MRAM (STT-MRAM): Challenges and Prospects” by Prof. Yiming Huai. Other articles in early AB issues have generally low citations. The role of AB at the earliest stage was to serve the association, and joint publication with APCPT brought steady growth. Currently, articles are published in three ways; i.e., on the website by Springer Nature, AB’s direct website at www.aappsbulletin.org, and in printed form (6 issues/year). The printed copies are mailed every 2 months to the cooperate members who have paid for the subscription. The total surplus is US $138, with contributions from four member societies of AAPPS to AB. The article publication charge (APC) has been covered by APCPT last year and this year. The first article, whose APC will be paid by the author directly, will appear soon.

The citations of AB are recently improving, particularly in the fields of particle physics, nuclear physics, and quantum information. An expected impact factor is 6 or 7. Among 30 published articles this year with already 61 citations, 11 are original articles compared to only 2 original articles published in 2021. Therefore, the performance of AB in this respect is excellent.

Some of the editors have been refreshed regularly, and cooperation with Springer Nature will continue for the target of 40–100 articles to be published each year until 2025. Springer Nature decided to apply for indexing in SCOPUS next year, but application to the Web of Science has been pending.

Yokoyama expressed his thanks for Long’s dedication. He also commented that he agrees with the plan to enhance the News and Views section. Bang asked about the status of the article whose APC will be paid by the author. Long answered that the manuscript is under revision after the review, and publication in the December or February issue is expected. Bang stated that it is good to have this kind of article; however, maintaining the rather strict conditions for quality control is also important. Kao informed about a useful database of top journals in the world, https://exaly.com/journal.

Yokoyama explained that according to the discussion of the Editorial Board in October, the current editor-in-chief is ready to serve another term. Bang stated that no one would be able to compete with the current editor in chief’s dedication, passion, and energy. Yokoyama acknowledged APCTP for continued support to AB. The appointment of Long to continue as the next editor in chief of AB was endorsed by the council.

Yokoyama added that AAPPS endorsed the International Symposium on Trans-scale Quantum Science held at The University of Tokyo, Japan. At the symposium, Yokoyama gave a closing remark and introduced activities of AAPPS as well as AB. He found that the main organizer of the symposium already contributed to AB, indicating the increasing reputation of the journal.

(7) Yokoyama explained that he received an email from Prof. Youngah Park, who served as the chair of the Women-in-Physics Working Group (AAPPS-WIP) for 16 years. They had a working group meeting on August 23, 2022. The next chair will be Prof. Mihoko Nojiri from the Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics, KEK, Japan, and Prof. Setsuko Tajima, the current president of JPS, will serve as the vice chair. This means that the Japanese community will be taking a leading role in AAPPS-WIP. Yokoyama suggested endorsing the decision. He also explained that the next chair requested AAPPS to designate one of the AAPPS council members to serve as the liaison to AAPPS-WIP. This matter will be one of the first items on the agenda of the new council that is starting next year.

(8) Yokoyama stated that the pilot program of a joint award of member societies has started with the Physical Society located in Taipei, as a presentation award. So far, the first award, which included commemorative gift, was given to three recipients. Establishing such an award to further promote cooperation between AAPPS and member societies as an early-career award has been discussed and approved in previous council meetings. On behalf of Mio Murao, Yokoyama explained and presented the scope and regulations of the AAPPS-JPS Award, which is becoming the second case of the joint award. The scope of the AAPPS-JPS Award is quite different from that of the Physical Society located in Taipei. Namely, the candidates for the award will be those who were nominated by the divisions of JPS to the CN Yang Award but were not selected as finalists. Up to five winners will be selected by the AAPPS committee inside JPS among candidates who conducted high-quality and impressive research.

Xiang wondered about the restriction on age. Yokoyama answered that the qualifications are the same as for the CN Yang Award. Bang expressed his slight worry that this new joint award might provide an impression of a kind of remedy for secondary prestige. Although there are both good and worrying aspects, he appreciated such efforts by JPS. Xiang considers that the AAPPS-JPS Award could be decoupled from the CN Yang Award, though the decision should be made by JPS. Yokoyama commented that they will try and amend it if necessary.

Yokoyama proposed to proceed with establishing the AAPPS-JPS Award, which was seconded by the council. Kao informed that the Physical Society located in Taipei intends to continue the joint award and that the next annual meeting will take place in January 2023.

(9) Naka explained that as reported at the last OGM in August, some typos in the constitution and bylaws were corrected. She suggested sharing some additional typos and possible inconsistencies (highlighted in orange and blue in circulated pdf files). As any amendments should be approved at an OGM, and the next one will be held in 2025; the issue will be transferred to the next council. Using Grammarly and having advice from native English speakers from the next council are suggested.

(10) Bang stated that there is no recent update on the status of APCTP. Yokoyama informed that Bang will continue to be the president of APCTP for the next 3 years. Yokoyama finally stated that this meeting is the last meeting of this council and expressed his gratitude to members for their support through the past 3 years of his term. Accordingly, each participant made a short farewell speech. The President-elect Choi informed that the first meeting of the new council will be held online in January or February, and the second one is scheduled in spring as an in-person meeting in Seoul. Ruiqin Zhang reminded that Hong Kong is still available to host a council meeting in the future.

Yokoyama closed the meeting.

Data Availability

Not applicable.


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[Source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43673-023-00075-6]