First meeting with new SAC

First meeting with new SAC


Today we welcome our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

14 distinguished scientists from around the world are coming to MAX IV in order to look, listen, and advise. Ten of the members are new and we particularly welcome them.

The SAC has an important role because it senses checks what we do and plan. If the international experts agree with our actions and dreams then we are most likely on the right path. Selecting such experts is a tricky task. We need representation from all the areas of natural science that will profit from MAX IV; at the same time, we need international diversity. We must find people, which are so senior that they can judge our status in the limited time they have, yet they must not be too senior because then they don’t have the time to spend on such an advisory task, which comes in addition to their own job.

Our previous SAC has accompanied us over many years and given important advice in the building of the facility and the commissioning of the first experiments. We had great individuals, many of them were at the end of their careers, and we benefitted from their longstanding experience.

For the new committee, we have taken a fresh approach. Deliberately have we appointed several younger scientists, who at the peak of their scientific career get exposed to the challenge of advising an upcoming international facility. We hope to benefit from their creativity and their unspoiled, unconventional thinking. The global synchrotron community needs more people moving between facilities and looking across borders in order to spread best practice and promote new and innovative ideas in science and operation.

Our new SAC represents two “firsts”. With Anne Borg from NTNU in Norway, we have for the first time a non-Swedish chair. However Anne knows MAX, the Swedish community, and even the Swedish funders from decades of experience and I am sure she will be an excellent chair of our new committee.

The other first is that this SAC is our first committee with a reverse gender bias. For the first time, we have more women than men in such a committee. In a field that is traditionally so dominated by males, it is tough to achieve gender equality. Too often are we stuck in selecting experts from the well-known old club. But equally often do we encounter a situation where there are no female applicants for leading positions.

With our new SAC we set a signal: we bring in younger people who get valuable experience, which might qualify them for leading jobs in the future, and in particular, we bring in many more female scientists giving them the visibility that they deserve based on their excellent work.

We welcome the entire SAC, previous and new members, and look forward to working with them in the future. We need their advice to start user operation this year and to ramp up to the full potential of the facility over the next few years.

Members of the MAX IV Scientific Advisory Committee

Anne Borg (Chair), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway (new)
Elke Arenholz, Advanced Light Source (ALS), US (new)
Lise Arleth, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Ana Diaz, Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI)/SLS, Switzerland (new)
Kristina Djinovic-Carugo, The Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), Austria
Georg Held, University of Reading and Diamond Light Source, UK (new)
Simo Huotari, University of Helsinki, Finland (new)
Philip Hofmann, Aarhus University, Denmark
Steve Johnson, ETH Zurich and Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), Switzerland (new)
Richard Pattrick, University of Manchester, UK (new)
Arwen Pearson, Universität Hamburg, Germany (new)
Eva Pereiro, ALBA Synchrotron, Spain (new)
Moniek Tromp, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (new)
Ivan Vartaniants, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Germany