President’s Inaugural Address




I am deeply honoured to accept the presidency of the IUVSTA for the 2001-2004 triennium. I thank you for entrusting me with this responsibility and assure you that I will make all efforts during the coming years to justify that trust.


I attended my first meeting of the IUVSTA as an observer for France 9 years ago, in 1992 and, since that date, I have had the privilege of serving IUVSTA in various capacities. During that period, I have seen major advances in the activities of the Union which have resulted in a continuous increase in its strength.


It is a great pleasure to acknowledge the contribution of my predecessor, Phil Woodruff, and his continuous effort and effectiveness in favouring the development of scientific activities and reducing the burden of administrative constraints. I have also been very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to work with our Past-President, John Robins. I have benefited from his great experience and wisdom and learned much about the Union from him. I also thank all the other officers and councillors, who have worked tirelessly to develop the activities of the IUVSTA.


The last few years have seen a considerable enhancement in the activities of our Union with the ever growing success of the Workshop program, the up-dating of the Visual Aids program and the impact of electronic communication in all our activities. I am confident that all these activities will continue to flourish.


During this triennium, I would like to consider other possible ways in which we could increase the capacity of our Union to promote international collaboration.


The Scientific and Technical Directorate is conducting the scientific activities of the Union through the Scientific Divisions, and I am certainly willing to support the Scientific Director and the Scientific Secretary in the development and promotion of such activities in new fields. In addition, we must also ensure that the divisional structure of the Union continuously reflects the scientific interests of our constantly changing community. In this regard, a regular review of the divisions and of possible new topics will be implemented within the Scientific and Technical Directorate during this triennium.


The Educational activities must be strengthened and I feel strongly that special effort should be devoted towards young scientists and technicians, in particular in developing countries. Both the Visual Aids program and the collaboration with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste (Italy) are very successful and must be developed. But I believe that we must also explore new ways to increase our activities in the field of education. The implementation of educational web pages on the IUVSTA web site and support to the National Vacuum Societies in developing countries for the organisation of local technical training courses can be the initial steps in this direction.


The Publication activities of the Union have already considerably changed due to the development of electronic communications. I believe that the IUVSTA web site should be more extensively used, not only to disseminate information on IUVSTA events, but also as a vehicle for scientific and technical information.


One of the specificities of the IUVSTA lies in the fact that it is a union of national societies rather than individuals. This means that each of its members already reflects the aspirations of a community. To take clear advantage of this situation, we must find ways to increase our interaction with the National Vacuum Societies, to have a better knowledge of the activities and the needs of their members. We must also work on having closer interactions with groups that are not represented in the Union and help in promoting new National Vacuum Societies.


Of course, financial considerations are always the limiting factor in developing new activities. Although we must certainly remain cautious in planning new expenditures, which would require further income, adjustments in the presentation of the budget will give sufficient flexibility to face new challenges and opportunities.


Thanks to all our predecessors, the IUVSTA is active, thriving and has a very positive impact on our scientific and technological community. Further increasing its strength is thus an exciting challenge that, with your help, I am enthusiastically willing to take up.


I look forward to working with all of you.


Marie-Geneviève Barthés-Labrousse

San Francisco, USA

October 2001