Minutes of the joint meeting of the
International Steering Committee (ISC) and the
International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the
International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces (ICSOS)
Thursday, 7 August, 2008, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
Present from the ISC
V. de Carvalho (Belo Horizonte), C. de Castilho2 (Salvador), R. Diehl (University
Park), J.W.M. Frenken1 (Leiden), K. Heinz (Erlangen), K. Mitchell (Vancouver),
W. Moritz (Munich), D.J. O'Connor (Newcastle, NSW), G. Thornton, (London),
M. Van Hove3 (Hong Kong), P. Varga (Vienna), D.P. Woodruff (Coventry)
1 Chair, 2 Vice-chair, 3 Treasurer
Present from the IAC
W. Allison (Cambridge), P.L. de Andres (Madrid), L.D. Marks (Evanston), G. Renaud
(Grenoble), S.P. Tear (York)
Points discussed at the meeting
1. Opening
After welcoming the ISC and IAC members, Joost Frenken expresses his gratitude to
Caio de Castilho, Vagner de Carvalho and their team of local organizers for a very
well-organized ICSOS-9 conference and for their excellent hospitality in Salvador.
2. Committees
Joost Frenken briefly shows the composition of the two committees. He reports the
sad news that one of the IAC members, Ted Madey (Piscataway) has deceased on
27 July, 2008. The ISC member Qikun Xue (Beijing) was unable to come due to a car
accident, as had been reported already during the conference.
3. ICSOS-9
Caio de Castilho briefly reports on the successful organization of ICSOS-9. One point
of concern has been the significant difference between the number of people that had
initially registered, 155, and the number of actual participants, 115; it is ascribed to
the high travel costs to Brazil for most participants from elsewhere. In spite of this
large difference, Caio and his team expect to close the conference with a modest
financial profit.
4. Young Scientist Prize
Caio de Castilho reports that only two candidates have been nominated for the YSP
of ICSOS-9, namely Christian Fink (Cambridge) and Joseph Smerdon (Liverpool).
Fortunately, both have presented excellent work in well-prepared posters. Also, both
have presented excellent talks (in the time slot that had been scheduled originally for
the invited talk of Qikun Xue). Before the vote, Wolfgang Moritz proposes that in case
of a draw, the prize might be split between the two candidates. Ten of the eleven
present ISC members vote (Renee Diehl has been involved in the work of one of the
two candidates). The result is a precise split: 5 for Fink and 5 for Smerdon. It is
decided to award the prize to both candidates and to split the prize money between
5. Finances
Michel Van Hove reports that in addition to the income probably generated by
ICSOS-9, the amount on the international bank account of ICSOS is approximately $
40.000, minus the payments for the Surface Structure Prize and the Young Scientist
6. Scope of ICSOS
Joost Frenken invites the committees to discuss possibilities to somewhat rejuvenate
the scope of ICSOS. One the one hand, the structure-based core of the meeting is
strongly appreciated, while, on the other, the younger generation perceives the
current ICSOS topics as increasingly ‘old-fashioned’. Joost Frenken proposes to mix
in more, or more explicitly, fashionable elements, such as ‘nano’ and dynamics, in all
cases maintaining the emphasis on the role of structure. Klaus Heinz notes that
adding the element of dynamics has worked quite well indeed for rejuvenating the
European Conference on Surface Crystallography, which has been renamed in 2001
to the European Conference on Surface Crystallography and Dynamics. A lively
discussion follows about introducing new elements without losing the present,
distinguishing character of ICSOS. Mechanisms that may assist the process involve
for example importing the younger generation into the ICSOS committee(s), inviting
speakers on topics where surface or nano structure is combined with other, more
‘fashionable’ properties, and modifying the conference name. A list of useful
suggestions by Laurence Marks is provided separately as Addendum 1 (see below).
This discussion is by no means closed. Further suggestions are very welcome.
7. Organization of ICSOS: role of committees
Joost Frenken discusses two issues.
(i) Merger of ISC and IAC. Although formally the two ICSOS committees, the ISC and
the IAC, have different tasks and their combination is meant to strike a balance
between continuity (ISC) and flexibility (IAC), in practice the distinction is blurred:
both committees discuss all ICSOS matters and many committee members rotate
several times between the ISC and the IAC and back. Also, the combined size of the
two committees (typically 20+20) is somewhat large with respect to the typical
number of ICSOS participants. Joost Frenken proposes to merge the two committees
into a single committee of approximately 30 members, each serving three three-year
terms. The composition of this committee should reflect the desired combination of
continuity and flexibility (e.g. new topics). Since a two-thirds majority of the full ISCmembership is required to introduce such a change, this point will be decided on the
basis of a separate ballot by (e)-mail.
(ii) Role of chairman and role of local organizer. According to the ‘Governing Rules’ of
ICSOS (see Addendum 2), the responsibilities of the chairperson of the ISC cover
amongst others “…handling the invitation of speakers and session chairmen and the
submission of contributed papers”. Formally, the local chairperson is not involved at
all in the scientific program. This may in some cases lead to too much continuity (see
point 6: scope of ICSOS). When taken too strictly, these rules also make it difficult for
the local organizers to add a local touch to the scientific program. Joost Frenken
proposes to always delegate these program tasks to the local organizer. As Michel
Van Hove points out, no formal decision is required on this issue, since the ICSOS
Governing Rules provide the ISC chairperson with the freedom to “…delegate and
reassign tasks among officers as circumstances require”. In short, the proposal is that
the ISC suggests themes and invited speakers, based on which the local organizer
proposes a scientific program and discusses this with the ISC chairperson. After
approval, the local organizer contacts the speakers, session chairpersons, etcetera.
8. Venue ICSOS-10
ICSOS rotates between the Americas, the Far East (including Australia, etc.) and
Europe: 1984 – Berkeley (USA); 1987 – Amsterdam (Netherlands); 1990 –
Milwaukee (USA); 1993 – Shanghai (P.R. China); 1996 – Aix-en-Provence (France);
1999 – Vancouver (Canada); 2002 – Newcastle (Australia); 2005 – Munich
(Germany); 2008 – Salvador (Brazil). According to this scheme, ICSOS-10 should be
held in the Far East. Three potential venues are suggested:
(i) Singapore; local organizer: Andrew Wee. The proposal is to make ICSOS-10 one
of the parallel symposia/conferences at the big ICMAT2011 meeting (~2000
participants), in June 2011.
(ii) Beijing; local organizer: Qikun Xue. Unfortunately, Xue’s recent car accident has
made it impossible for him to present a formal bid at the ISC meeting.
(iii) Hong Kong; local organizer: Michel Van Hove. Michel Van Hove presents a fully
documented bid to organize ICSOS-10 in Hong Kong. His PowerPoint presentation is
attached as Addendum 3 [note: not attached in this version of the minutes due to size
The ISC collectively fears that when ICSOS-10 would be one of the parallel
symposia/conferences at ICMAT2011, it would to some extent ‘drown’ in the total of
ICMAT, which is something that a low-frequency conference as ICSOS can certainly
not afford. Therefore the ISC decides to narrow down the choice to Beijing or Hong
Kong. Since Qikun Xue has not been able to present a formal bid, the ISC decides to
offer him time to submit his bid after recovering from his accident or to delegate this
task to one of his coworkers in Beijing. The Beijing bid should be made at the latest
by the beginning of November, so that a final decision on the ICSOS-10 venue can
be made by the ISC before the end of this year.
9. Closing
Joost Frenken thanks all committee members present for their contribution to the
discussion and closes the meeting.
Action items
1. Scope of ICSOS
All committee members are invited to provide further comments and suggestions
concerning the discussion on the rejuvenation of the ICSOS scope (see item 6,
2. Merger of ISC and IAC
An e-mail ballot will be held within the ISC to decide on the proposed merger of the
two international ICSOS committees (see item 7i, above).
3. Venue of ICSOS-10
The formal bid from Beijing will be distributed among the ISC members, no later than
early November. An e-mail ballot will be held within the ISC to decide on the ICSOS10 venue (see item 8, above).
In view of the pending ballots (action points 2 and 3), the ISC members that have been
serving their last term will be discharged at a later stage (end of 2008).
Joost Frenken
Leiden, 18 August, 2008
Addendum 1: suggestions by Laurence Marks
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of
Laurence Marks
Sent: vrijdag 8 augustus 2008 14:02
To: Frenken, J.W.M.
Cc: Keith Mitchell; Michel A. Van Hove
Subject: ICSOS
Dear Joost,
As a follow up to the discussion yesterday, let me suggest three action items:
1) Change the title to "Structure and Properties of Solid Surfaces".
By doing this you include physics/chemistry/materials science/bio/kinetics/dynamics etc
while still retaining structure as a key component. I suggest a vote by the steering
2) The committee needs to have at least 20% female participation. My opinion is that
you have to request that people resign before they would normally rotate off, I do not
believe that there is an alternative.
3) The committee needs to have at least 10% (20% ?) of younger scientists, i.e. people
within 5-10 years of their PhD. Similar to 2), a large change in the membership needs to
be achieved.
I do not have an email list of the committee, otherwise I would send this directly.
-Laurence Marks
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
MSE Rm 2036 Cook Hall
2220 N Campus Drive
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60208, USA
Tel: (847) 491-3996 Fax: (847) 491-7820
email: L-marks at northwestern dot edu
Web: www.numis.northwestern.edu
Commission on Electron Diffraction of IUCR
Addendum 2: ICSOS Governing Rules
[ICSGVRUL.DOC 7/26/96]
Approved July 1996
1. Name of Organization. International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces (ICSOS).
2. Governing Body. The governing body of ICSOS shall be the International Steering
Committee (ISC). The ISC shall consist of approximately 20 elected Members, including three
Executive Officers: a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and a Treasurer.
3. Advisory Body. The ISC shall be advised by the International Advisory Committee (IAC).
The IAC shall consist of approximately 20 appointed Members.
4. Terms of Office. The normal term of office of any ISC Member shall consist of three
consecutive periods. The normal term of office of any IAC Member shall consist of one period.
A period shall cover one ICSOS meeting; it shall start on the first day following one ICSOS
meeting and terminate on the last day of the next ICSOS meeting.
5. Voting, Election and Appointment Procedures.
5.1 Quorum. In mail ballots, the quorum shall be defined as the full ISC Membership. In voice
ballots during properly announced ISC meetings, the quorum shall be defined as the number of
ISC Members present, except that no quorum will exist if fewer than 40% of the full
Membership is present. The use of written proxies in voice ballots shall be allowed.
5.2 Majority Required to Pass a Motion. In elections and voting by the ISC, a majority of at
least 51% of the quorum shall be required to pass any motion.
5.3 Changes of the Governing Rules. The Governing Rules may be changed by at least a
twothirds majority vote of the full ISC Membership.
5.4 Election of ISC Members. All new ISC Members shall be elected by the existing ISC
Membership upon nomination by the Nominating Committee and/or other ISC Members. The
aim is to replace one-third of the ISC Membership after each period. Members may, however, be
reelected for one period at a time if geographical and topical representation require it. ISC
Members are expected to make efforts to attend the ICSOS meetings as well as the ISC meetings
held during the ICSOS meetings.
5.5 Chairperson. The Chairperson shall be elected by the ISC by at least a two-thirds majority
of the quorum and shall normally hold office as a Chairperson for one period. The Chairperson
shall endeavor to make all important decisions through ISC voting. However, in the interest of
timeliness, the Chairperson may take any action without ISC voting, if circumstances necessitate
it. The Chairperson may be overridden by at least a two-thirds majority vote of the quorum. The
Chairperson may be dismissed by at least a two-thirds majority vote of the full Membership.
5.6 Time of Election. Election of the new Chairperson is to take place at an ISC meeting
scheduled during each ICSOS meeting.
5.7 Appointments. The newly elected Chairperson shall appoint for one period the ViceChairperson, the Treasurer and the Member(s) of the Nominating Committee from the ISC
Membership, as well as the Local Chairperson and Editor(s), who are not required to be ISC or
IAC Members. The Chairperson shall also appoint for one period the IAC Members, based upon
the recommendations of the Nominating Committee and/or other ISC Members. These
appointments should occur as soon as possible after each ICSOS meeting.
5.8 Local Chairperson. The Local Chairperson shall have the same voting rights as any ISC
Member for the one period of appointment. The Local Chairperson may be an ISC Member and
may cumulate the position of Vice-Chairperson or Treasurer in the same period.
5.9 Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of ISC Members,
including one Coordinator. Its task is to nominate candidates for the Membership of the ISC and
6. Duties of ISC Officers.
6.1 Chairperson. The Chairperson shall be responsible for: ensuring proper geographical and
topical representation in the ISC and IAC Membership; appointing officers as detailed under 5.7
and for temporary services, including Proceedings Editor(s), but excluding Local Committee
Members; obtaining funding, but excluding local funding arranged by the Local Chairperson;
convening the ISC at least once each period, during the ICSOS meeting; coordinating all ICSOS
business; keeping the ICSOS records; announcing ISC meetings; keeping the minutes of ISC
meetings; conducting and recording elections and votes; keeping mailing lists of ISC and IAC
Members, and of past and prospective conference attendees; conducting any negotiations with
the Proceedings publishers; announcing upcoming ICSOS meetings in professional journals and
other suitable media; handling the invitation of speakers and session chairmen and the
submission of contributed papers. The Chairperson shall carry final responsibility in all actions
and decisions. The Chairperson may delegate and reassign tasks among officers as circumstances
6.2 Vice-Chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson shall execute tasks assigned by the Chairperson.
6.3 Treasurer. The Treasurer shall: hold and manage the non-local ICSOS funds in generally
recognized accounts; obtain tax-exempt status and place all funds in interest-bearing accounts
whenever possible; report the ICSOS financial status at ISC meetings and at any other time
requested by the Chairperson or the ISC; coordinate financial affairs with the Local Chairperson;
collect local funds remaining after each ICSOS meeting.
6.4 Local Chairperson. The Local Chairperson shall make all local arrangements, including:
the appointment of an Organizing Committee; the securing of local funding; the managing of
local funds, such that the overall ICSOS funds remain sufficient to provide seed money for the
following ICSOS meeting and for organizational activities; the supply of accommodation for
ICSOS meeting attendees; the keeping of local records (registration, etc.); the printing of
announcements, the program book, the list of attendees, etc. The Local Chairperson shall ensure
transfer of all necessary documents, materials and knowledge to the next Chairperson and Local
7. "ICSOS Young Scientist Prize".
7.1 Description. The ICSOS Young Scientist Prize, worth US$1000, will be awarded to a
current or recent PhD student (or equivalent) in the field of surface and interface structure. The
work is to be presented at ICSOS and must be accompanied by a contributed paper submitted to
the Proceedings. The application should include a signed statement by the student's supervisor,
certifying that the submitted work is or was part of the PhD project, describing the student's level
and quality of contributions, and giving the (past or expected) PhD award date. The application
should also propose a citation.
7.2 Selection Process. Using the submitted applications and papers, the ISC shall preselect a
small group of candidates before the ICSOS meeting. Based on personal discussions with the
candidates and poster viewing during the ICSOS meeting, the ISC (or a subcommittee thereof)
shall make the final selection. The award is to be announced and the prize given during the
ICSOS meeting. The prize includes a certificate.
8. "Surface Structure Prize"
8.1 Description. The Surface Structure Prize, worth US$1500, will be awarded to one scientist,
or jointly to two or three scientists, for an outstanding body of work in the field of surface and
interface structure. For joint awards, which will be split equally, the bodies of work must be
closely related, such as in close collaborations or competing developments. The selected work
will be presented by the awardee(s) as one invited lecture at the next ICSOS meeting.
Nominations with supporting documentation are invited from surface scientists.
8.2 Selection Process. The ISC, IAC and members of the surface science community shall
nominate candidates or groups of up to three candidates about one year before the next ICSOS
meeting. Nominations should include sufficient justification for evaluation and selection by the
ISC or a subcommittee thereof. The awardee(s) is (are) to be invited to present an invited lecture
at the ICSOS meeting. The prize includes a certificate for each awardee.