Invited Speakers

There are usually around six invited papers, each scheduled for between 45 minutes and an hour, and each is designed to cover some aspect of atomic spectroscopy, or a related topic, at a level accessible to a graduate student not working in that specialised field. The high quality of these talks has always been a major feature of EGAS Meetings, and they are about as important to the success of a Conference as the catering arrangements. They are also the only direct way in which the EGAS Board and the local Committee can influence the scientific content of the Meeting. Three criteria are appropriate in choosing a speaker : is the subject interesting and topical ? Can the speaker give a good talk in English ? Will the talk be pitched at the right level? The last is a major consideration.

While the Board generally discusses possible speakers with the representative of the local Committee, the time-scale is such that the local Committee takes most of the decisions. First, it is desirable to book speakers early, because they are often in demand for other Meetings. Secondly, because of refusals, the local Committee often has to reconsider whom to ask as a replacement in order to maintain a reasonable balance of subjects. When writing to an invited speaker, it is vital to make it clear from the outset the level of talk required.

The invited speakers must be asked to start their lecture with a tutorial overview of the field, appropriate as an introduction for the many non-specialists and young scientists starting in the field of atomic spectroscopy. We should never forget that participation of these young people has always been a main goal of EGAS.

It is also a good idea to stress the need to keep costs down and to ask if they can recoup expenses elsewhere, as mentioned under Finance above.