From the desk of the ISSI Executive Director

Dear ISSI community,

I am absolutely delighted to have an opportunity to connect with you all and start a dialogue that I hope will continue for many years to come.

After one month on the job as Executive Director, I would like to share with you my first thoughts. In this post-pandemic world, more than ever there is the need for a place where scientists can gather and tackle key scientific questions together. ISSI is such a place: a beautiful institution that advances science by facilitating scientific discourse. Scientists are eager to meet in person, and do what they do best: debate, solve problems, move their field forward. ISSI offers a wonderful location and infrastructure to facilitate that, and continues working at full capacity to satisfy your collective requests. This can only happen thanks to a truly outstanding and dedicated staff, and I am honored to work with them.

ISSI Staff (picture taken in January 2023)

January has been a very busy month. In addition to welcoming – on average – three international teams a week, we have selected the 2023 Geiss Fellow: Prof. Sandra Chapman. Prof. Chapman has very impressive scientific credentials and she will greatly enrich ISSI’s scientific atmosphere. We also believe that she will be a fabulous ambassador for ISSI. As an added bonus, she is also an accomplished artist. Connecting art and science has been a passion of mine for many years, so I am truly looking forward to meeting her in person.

We have advertised widely the Call for International Teams. This is one of the pillars at the foundation of ISSI’s activities, and we want to reach out to as many scientists as possible in the disciplines that ISSI covers: astrophysics, heliophysics and plasma, planetary sciences and Earth observations. You can find the call here. Please consider applying, and also help us disseminate it to your communities, for maximum reach. The deadline for submitting proposals is March 16.

Within the ISSI Directorate, we have been discussing what we want ISSI to be in the future. ISSI is on solid financial foundations for the next years to come, and together we can plan for a bright future. You will soon see a refreshed mission statement appearing at the top of our webpages, to inspire us all on what we feel ISSI’s role is. Scientific excellence is our core value, together with openness, inclusion and the desire to build an organization which every scientist wants to visit, and where the most compelling science questions are discussed. You will hear more from me on this topic in the next months.

Finally, I want to conclude by thanking the previous ISSI Executive Director, Prof. Tilman Spohn, for steering ISSI through the tumultuous waters of the COVID pandemic and making ISSI stronger than ever, with a full, robust and interesting scientific program for 2023. We collectively owe him our gratitude for his commitment and dedication to the success of this institution.

To all of you, I hope to meet you in person at some point. Do not hesitate to contact me if you want to provide feedback and suggestions on how ISSI can better serve your community.  Let us know what you love about this organization.  We are eager to hear from you.

Antonella Nota

Executive Director