Interview of the month: Associazione Italiana di Scienze dell’Atmosfera e Meteorologia
Interview with the AISAM President Dino Zardi
EMS LC: If you were to describe your society in one sentence, what would you say?
AISAM: Our society aims to support and promote the development and promotion of atmospheric sciences and meteorology in Italy and abroad. We do this by including and involving everybody who has an interest in or connections in the field, and by supporting cooperation at both national and international level.
EMS LC: When was AISAM founded?
AISAM: AISAM was established in its current form on 27 July 2016. This involved a transformation of the previously existing Italian Geophysical Society (AGI), founded in 1950. All previous connections, including EMS membership, were preserved.
EMS LC: What are the objectives of AISAM?
AISAM: The main objective of AISAM is to offer effective opportunities and tools to help with networking, communication and collaboration between parties involved in the fields of atmospheric science and meteorology.
EMS LC: Could you explain the structure of your membership?
AISAM: Members are mostly people working in weather services, environmental agencies, universities, research bodies and private and public companies. However, there are also school teachers and students as well as amateurs.
EMS LC: What are AISAM’s recent achievements?
AISAM: AISAM has organised, and will continue to organise, major national events, such as large conferences in Rome to celebrate the World Meteorological Day on 23 March 2017 and 2018 with another planned for 2019, and National Congresses (the first of these was in Bologna this September, the second one will be in Naples in September 2019). We are also working on a new scientific journal in cooperation with Springer Nature. Lastly, we liaise with other national societies.
EMS LC: Where do you see the greatest challenges?
AISAM: The greatest challenge is to unite a vast community which hasn’t had many real opportunities to make connections in the past. We have to get to know each other better, to establish relationships, to share common views and to speak the same language.
EMS LC: Which activities are you planning for the coming months?
AISAM: Our 1st National Conference will be held in Bologna on 10-13 September: we received over 250 abstracts and expect over 200 participants. Furthermore, this year, for the first time, AISAM will be actively involved in the organisation of the Festivalmeteorologia, a mixed event for the dissemination of meteorology to a very broad audience. The fourth annual Festivalmeteorologia will be held in Rovereto on 16-18 November 2018.
EMS LC: Are you collaborating with other EMS Members?
AISAM: Many of our members are also members of other EMS Member Societies. This gives us the opportunity to strengthen connections with these societies, which at the moment are not yet very well established, at least at societal level.
EMS LC: What do you expect from the EMS? In what ways can it help you to develop your activities?
AISAM: EMS can be a great opportunity for AISAM to grow and become more effective in pursuing its institutional goals, by offering examples from other well established societies, as well as connection and cooperation opportunities, in particular in the field of homogenisation of educational initiatives, life-long learning and in the promotion of meteorology as a profession at European level.
EMS LC: What have been your most successful events in the last three years?
AISAM: At the moment the most successful events have been the large conferences organised in Rome to celebrate World Meteorological Day in 2017 and 2018. They were attended by over 500 people, in particular university and high-school students.
EMS LC: What changes do you believe your society needs to make?
AISAM: We aim to increase the number of members, as there are still many people working in the field of meteorology or in closely related fields, who are not aware of the Society. The strength and societal outreach of AISAM activities would be greatly amplified by having a larger number of members.
EMS LC: Thank you very much for the interview!