Presidential Letter 2022
To EAPS Members St Andrews, November 2022
First of all, I express my gratitude to all of you for giving me the opportunity to serve as President of EAPS in 2022-24. This is a great honour and I will do my best to serve the Association, which I joined two decades ago!
EPC2022 is now history. The EAPS Council report from November provides further details on the number of participants and submissions by topic. I can only echo that it was great to see colleagues in person again, welcome new colleagues, have lively discussions on various topics and also enjoy social life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank professors Clara Mulder and Helga de Valk and their teams for all their work to make it happen. They made the impossible possible - organize a successful hybrid conference where our members, wherever they were, were able to follow most sessions.
The new Council met for the first time in September. Since then, we have had monthly virtual meetings to discuss various issues such as new working groups and priorities for the next two years. What are these priorities? First, promoting diversity and inclusion will continue to be high on our agenda. As in the past, this Council is also committed to promote diversity and inclusion e.g. when making various appointments. The number of dimensions we need to consider has increased including age, gender, geography, and various minority statuses. Although considering all aspects simultaneously may be impossible in each specific case (the cell counts become too small as we know), the approach certainly will encourage us to think about how EAPS could be even more representative of our societies and act accordingly.
Second, promoting the training of a new generation of population researchers. Many EAPS members have delivered online courses over the last two years. There are disadvantages, but the main advantage is that such courses are accessible to everyone if the costs are kept low or there is no fee. The EAPS Council is committed to support the delivery of such courses and we hope that our members will contribute. The aim is nothing less than to ensure that the new generations of early career researchers will decide to become population researchers and also EAPS members.
Third, supporting population researchers in Ukraine. We all have supported Ukraine individually, but we can do more collectively and professionally. Again, apart from research collaboration with colleagues from Ukraine, the provision of training at various levels (e.g. master, doctoral and post-doctoral) is also a way of helping researchers in Ukraine. Council members met colleagues from Kyiv during the EPC2022 to understand what type of support is needed and we reassured them that EAPS is committed to supporting our Ukrainian colleagues. The Council will have an in-person meeting in St Andrews in January to further discuss our priorities and come up with a clear plan. Meanwhile, all suggestions are very welcome!
Finally, the next EPC will be held in Edinburgh. The local organizing team, led by Professor Elspeth Graham from the University of St Andrews, is currently in the process of selecting the venue for the conference. The EAPS secretariat and some Council members plan to visit the site in January to provide the local organizing team advice in the decision-making.
I hope to see you all at the General Assembly on Wednesday 7th December 3pm (CET) followed by the PopTalks of Melinda Mills and Tomas Sobotka.
Hill Kulu, President, European Association for Population Studies