Nuclear physics research, since the first discovery of the atomic nucleus in the early 20th century, has been intimately tied to the development of new detection techniques, accelerators and to theoretical and simulation frameworks. A large number of these have found, and will increasingly find, diverse applications in daily life, well outside the realm of nuclear physics, such as Energy, Nuclear Waste Processing and Transmutation, Climate Change Containment, Life Sciences and Cancer Therapy, Environment and Space, Security and Monitoring, Materials Science, Cultural Heritage, Arts and Archaeology.
It is nowadays a fact that Nuclear Science contributes decisively to the solution of problems of our modern society and the nuclear physics community assumes its responsibility in the search for solutions. In this direction, the objective of PANS is to co-ordinate and stimulate a European wide network for communicating easily accessible information on achievements, techniques and diverse applications of nuclear physics to the general public.
Nuclear science and technology in our everyday lives
All too often nuclear technology is associated with atomic blasts, accidents and radioactive pollution. But at the heart of every atom in the universe there is a nucleus, and understanding the properties of nuclei unleashes enormous potential: it’s how we choose to harness this potential that can lead to controversy.
The network comprises a group of nuclear scientists from all over Europe and beyond. A number of specific activities were developed, aiming at:
- Secondary school pupils and teachers
- The general public
- Opinion- and decision-makers, governments and administrations
PANS Administrative Structure
Management StructureThe activity of PANS will be controlled by a board of no more than 5 people. This board will comprise the NuPECC scientific secretary and up to 2 members from each of NuPECC and NPB. These members will be selected by the chairman of each committee. The board members would normally serve for 3 years, but it could be extended to 6 years. A PANS board member must initially be a member of NuPECC or NPB but could remain a PANS board member beyond their membership of NuPECC or NPB. However at any time there must be one current member of NuPECC and NPB on the PANS board. This arrangement will ensure there is a continuing strong ownership of PANS for NuPECC and NPB, but also a flexibility to benefit from experienced members. The chairperson of the PANS board would be selected from its own board membership with the agreement of NuPECC and NPB.
The term of chairperson would normally be up to 3 years and non-renewable, but after three years the chairperson could continue as an ordinary board member. In summary, the PANS board would comprise the chairperson, scientific secretary and 3 other persons.
The PANS board only exists through its parent bodies i.e. NuPECC and NPB. The PANS board is directly responsible to these parent bodies for its continuance and evolution.
Board Member ResponsibilitiesThe board structure, having members both form the NPB and NuPECC, provides an optimum structure to integrate the PANS program with other important similar activities within the European framework. NuPECC is primary concerned with co-ordinating European research in Nuclear Physics. It has strong links to all major European research laboratories. Most laboratories recognise the importance of public outreach, so the NuPECC members of the PANS board provide links to the major laboratories and through them to the wider community. The NuPECC PANS members will have responsibility to identify links of its outreach activities with that of NuPECC member countries.
The PANS board NPB members, being part of the EPS, are ideally placed to identify links to outreach activities across the wider field of physics throughout Western and Eastern Europe. These PANS members would have responsibility to encourage collaboration between member countries in public understanding activities including education, and where appropriate to link suitable national activities on a PAN European level through initiatives of the PANS board.
The role of the scientific secretary is essential to the success of PANS. The secretary will provide administrative support to the activity, and as an equal member of the board will be free to influence current and future activities. Since the scientific secretary is a continuing member of the board, the experience brought to the board will become invaluable as time passes. The scientific secretary will co-ordinate, control and oversee any general funds of PANS. At the moment these funds support the general PANS meetings. However the activities covered by the general funds could evolve with time. The scientific secretary will provide administrative support to ensure the smooth running of these general PANS meetings.
Finally, it would be the responsibility of all PANS members to raise the awareness of all members of the Nuclear Physics community that public outreach is necessary for the continued health of the subject.
Board Remit and OrganisationThe board shall meet at least twice a year.
The remit of the board will be
a) to co-ordinate current PANS activities, such as organising general PANS meetings and encouraging individual projects.
b) Encourage new activities
c) Co-ordinate funding activities
d) Keep NuPECC and NPB informed of the PANS activities and respond to any feedback from these two bodies.
It will be the board's responsibility to determine the procedures by which a), b), c) and d) will be undertaken.
The PANS board is to be considered as part of the organisational structure of NuPECC and the NPB. Members of the PANS board would finance travel to board meetings in the same way as travel to regular NuPECC and NPB meetings. Where this is not possible, then PANS resources, if available, would be used.