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SIF presidency: It's not a farewell!

Posted By Gina Gunaratnam, Tuesday 11 February 2020
Updated: Thursday 13 February 2020

Angela Bracco and Luisa Cifarelli

Here comes my last editorial, as President, on SIF Prima Pagina, the electronic newsletter that supports Il Nuovo Saggiatore as from 2014. Bulletin of the Italian Physical Society, founded in 1985 on an idea by Pio Picchi, renewed in its editorial format since 2008, Il Nuovo Saggiatore – whose last 2019 issue has just been published – represents today not only the voice of SIF in Italy and abroad but also a well-known and appreciated magazine for the dissemination of scientific culture.

This year, during the Congress, the elections for the societal offices of the SIF were held, the outcome of which shows that overall almost 44% of eligible Members voted. A higher percentage would have been preferable but it was still a percentage comparable with or even higher than those usually obtained in other Societies, for example the IOP (Institute of Physics) or the APS (American Physical Society), in similar electoral consultations.  

The Council renews itself with two new Councillors, Antigone Marino and Bernardo Spagnolo, and a new President, to whom I am very happy to pass the baton after so many years of presidency. It is the eminent colleague and friend, Angela Bracco, from the University of Milan. Indeed, I am really happy to do this with a female SIF President, the second case in 122 years of the Society's history!

The SIF closes 2019 with a budget that does not raise particular concerns despite the current changing scenario of scientific publishing that does not seem to want to favor small publishing houses. But the SIF has excellent relations and international partnership contracts, in particular with Springer Nature, which for now "secured” it". Another security factor derives from the efficiency and effectiveness of its editorial offices, from the quality of its own journals, especially La Rivista del Nuovo Cimento, which exceeded this year seven points of impact factor, and from the value of its volumes. After the publication and presentation at the Library of the Italian Senate of the volume "I Fisici Senatori 1848-1943", the upcoming publications are: "Scientific Papers of Ettore Majorana – A new expanded edition" and "Laura Bassi - The world's first woman professor in natural philosophy – An iconic physicist in Enlightenment Italy" (the latter both co-produced by SIF and Springer Nature).

Of course, the good economic performance of the SIF is also and above all due to its virtuous personnel and careful management of resources. All this allows it to hold in Varenna its famous courses of the International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi" and of the EPS-SIF International School on Energy, to organize every year its National Congress, to establish its numerous and coveted awards for young and less young people, to carry out his multiple sponsorships of events, scholarships, etc.

Finally, since I don’t want to retrace all the many actions taken by the SIF during the years of my presidency, also internationally thanks to its lively collaboration with other Societies, especially the EPS (European Physical Society) and the APS (American Physical Society), I leave it to you to do the repertoire. I just like to remember some of them, starting from the report "The impact of physics on the Italian economy", commissioned by the SIF to Deloitte in 2014, in collaboration with the major Italian research institutions; passing through the battle for the Association of professional physicists and then for the Order of professional chemists and physicists (which was carried out after many "fibrillations"), for which the SIF continues to be activate through various institutions, in particular ConPER (Consulta dei Presidenti degli Enti di Ricerca); and ending with the very recent and immediate signing by the SIF of the open letter in support of Education and Research as priority areas for Europe. The letter has achieved an unexpected success and allowed to modify the portfolio’s title of the new European Commissioner M. Gabriel from "Innovation and Youth" to "Education, Research, Culture, Innovation and Youth".

Having reached this year the end of my mandate, I sincerely thank the SIF and its staff. I thank all the Councillors with whom I have had the honour of collaborating and express my warmest wishes to the President and to the newly elected Councillors.

To all SIF Members, who with their support and trust have granted me in all these years a fabulous and unforgettable opportunity, my warmest thanks.

To them and to all our readers, Happy 2020!

Luisa Cifarelli
SIF President

This editorial is a republication from the Editorial of SIF Pagina, the newsletter of the Italian Physical Society, dated 20 December 2019

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