ESRF hosts members’ meeting in Grenoble

Science communicators from light source facilities within, the global collaboration of 23 synchrotrons and 7 Free Electron Lasers, gathered at The European Synchrotron (ESRF) last week to share knowledge, ideas, and strategic plans. The in-person meeting, the first to be held in Europe since before the pandemic, also focussed on developing a special programme of activities to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of in 2024.

Guest speakers included Terry O’Connor, EMBL’s Head of communication, and Daniela Antonio, CERN’s Social media and community manager, both of whom shared insights into their strategies, activities and priorities in the ever changing landscape of 21st century science communication.

Delphine Chenevier, Head of communications at the ESRF, comments, “Since we last hosted a collaboration meeting, the ESRF has undergone a major upgrade to a fourth-generation high-energy synchrotron. This has significantly increased our scientific capabilities. It was wonderful to be able to show colleagues several beamlines where ESRF staff outlined the research that can now be done across a range of fields including health, materials, environmental sciences, cultural heritage, and palaeontology.”

Isabelle Boscaro-Clarke, Diamond’s Head of Impact, Communication and Engagement, adds “One of the most valuable aspects of being a member of is the connections you develop with colleagues in similar roles around the world. Our in-person meetings give us the opportunity to share both the triumphs and the challenges and provide the time needed to have in-depth discussions. These discussions help us to strengthen our communications programmes at an individual facility level and plan the future development of the collaboration as it continues to provide one voice for the brightest science.” was established in 2004 and, as the 20th Anniversary approaches, the collaboration will be focusing on a new Vision and Strategic Plan for 2024-2044 along with a special programme of activities to raise the profile of and its members throughout 2024.

If you are interested in becoming a member of, please visit our About page or contact Silvana Westbury, our Project Manager, at  

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Top Image: members outside the ESRF, Tuesday 26th September 2023. Left to right: Agnieszka Cudek, SOLARIS, Poland, Ana Belén Martínez, ALBA, Spain, Laia Torres Aribau, ALBA, Spain, Beth Schlesinger, APS (Argonne), USA, Emma Corness, Diamond, UK, Miriam Arrell, SLS/SwissFEL (PSI) Switzerland, Silvana Westbury,, Isabelle Boscaro-Clarke, Diamond, UK, Florentine Krawatzek, BESSY II (HZB), Germany, Wiebke Laasch, DESY Photon Science, Germany, Delphine Chenevier, ESRF, France

Credit: ESRF

Olof Karis becomes Director for MAX IV

Olof Karis, former Interim Director of MAX IV, has been appointed as the Director of MAX IV following an open recruitment process and the recommendation of the MAX IV Board. The decision was made by the Vice-Chancellor of Lund University, the host university for MAX IV.

MAX IV, Sweden’s synchrotron, is fully operational with 16 beamlines and 1400 users yearly from academia and industry. Olof Karis has led MAX IV as Interim Director since March 2022, through finishing the Strategic Plan for 2023–2032 and a positive review by the Swedish Research Council in November. He has also navigated challenges related to increasing operating costs.

“I am enthusiastic about the possibility of continuing to work for MAX IV. It is a fantastic facility with great people. My focus for the near future is to make a case for longer-term funding of MAX IV. We need stability to continue facilitating research that keeps our society strong in facing future challenges,” says Karis.

In collaboration with the scientific community, MAX IV aims to continuously develop existing beamlines and construct several complementary ones in the next decade to make optimal use of already-made investments in the infrastructure.

“The research conducted by our users at MAX IV benefits the community in many areas, with an impact on circular economy and environment, sustainable energy, and health. Our technical advancements with the MAX IV synchrotron are transformative, enabling us to see details we’ve never been able to before. We can approach what has previously been unsolvable problems,” concludes Karis.

Read more on the MAX IV website