A Message from the New EPS President

Dear EPS members,

As the newly elected President of the EPS I take the pleasure of addressing a few words to you. I feel very much honoured by the trust the delegates of the General Assembly put on me in the election on June 24, 2020. During the past four years (2016-2020) I have been serving the EPS as the Scientific Affairs Officer and it was always my great pleasure to interact with the members of our scientific society, in particular during the symposia held at Leipzig and Dublin. It has always been a great privilege to be a member of the Executive Committee of a European society, because I am deeply convinced of the European idea. This is why I look forward to the next four years as the President of the EPS. Bringing people in Europe together is even more important in times when nationalistic attitudes have been emerging in many countries. My own experience let me come to the conclusion that resentments are largely the consequence of lacking personal contacts and open-mindedness.

This is why I consider having a pan-European scientific society a great value and the EPS is a clear proof. In this context, the support of junior scientists is a premier duty of the EPS. Moreover, in the close interaction with other national or supranational societies the EPS joins forces to promote peptide science all over the world. All these efforts would not be possible without the Journal of Peptide Science, jointly owned by the EPS and Wiley. The EPS is greatly indebted to Luis Moroder, Ulf Diederichsen, and all the editors, who are tirelessly serving the journal free of charge and, hence, are largely contributing to the sound financial situation of the EPS. I appeal to all EPS members to consider the society-owned journal as a substantial value on its own. We all must contribute to the growth and development of the Journal of Peptide Science.

The current pandemic has drastically shown the consequences of restrictions concerning travel and exchange. Science relies on international relationships of people, scientific dispute, and the exchange of ideas. We all have been experiencing cancellations of scientific meetings this year. In the pandemic times virtual meetings have become increasingly important. I am convinced that such web conferences are important new tools, but are not suitable of replacing personal contacts and informal meetings during “real” conferences. It was in particular agonizing and disappointing for the organizers that the European Peptide Symposium scheduled for August/September in Sitges had to be postponed. The EPS Executive Committee and probably many scientists who intended to participate felt the same. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the organizing committee and in particular Dr. Meritxell Teixidó that we now can look forward to meet in Sitges in the time 29.08. – 03.09.2021.

Taking over the baton (more a conductor’s baton than a bâton de commandement) from David Andreu means that I have to fit into large footsteps. The period of his presidency was characterized by his obliging way of dealing also with difficult matters. I hope that I will be able to step up with him. It was a great pleasure to serve the society during the past period of duty in the Executive Committee with David Andreu, Anna Maria Papini, Paula Gomes, and Krzysztof Rolka. Their collegiality and friendship made the work a pleasure. Besides David Andreu, Anna Maria Papini will leave the Executive Committee after the maximum periods of duty. Her tireless and perfectly organized engagement as the Treasurer is one of the reasons why the EPS is in such a good shape as we see today and we all owe her our gratitude.

I look forward to collaborating with the new Executive Committee, composed of Paula Gomes, Secretary, Krzysztof Rolka, Communications Officer, Florine Cavelier, Scientific Affairs Officer, and Fernando Formaggio, Treasurer. I am very grateful to all members of the new Executive Committee for being prepared to serve the EPS and I look forward to future positive interactions.

With best regards,
Norbert Sewald
EPS President

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