Interview of the month: Kerstin Vejdemo
The new president of the Swedish Meteorological Society (SMS), Kerstin Vejdemo, answers on behalf of the SMS Board.
– by the EMS Liaison Committee
If you were to describe your society in one sentence, what would you say?
SMS: We want it to be a network and a place for people interested in meteorology to share knowledge and also socialize.
When was it founded?
SMS: SMS was founded in 1959 at SMHI.
What are the objectives of SMS?
SMS: We have a quarterly journal, Polarfront, and arrange five to eight open meetings or seminars every year in the Uppsala-Stockholm-Norrköping area. They cover subjects associated with the science and applications of meteorology that are of interest to our group.
Could you explain the structure of your membership?
SMS: There is an SMS Board and a membership of about 220 members. People, companies and institutions interested in meteorology are welcome to seek membership. They do not have to be educated as meteorologists.
What are SMS’s recent achievements?
SMS: We have set up an independent Scientific Panel with five leading professors in meteorology and climatology. The SMS Board and the Panel suggest topics (general or social) for consideration. They are discussed on the basis of the best available scientific information and the Panel make statements about which they all agree. Examples of topics are “Do seasonal forecasts have meaning?” and “Does Arctic ice melting create more extreme weather?”.
Where do you see the greatest challenges?
SMS: Younger people are hard to attract to our society. There are many networks available today – so why choose SMS?
Which activities are you planning for the coming months?
SMS: Covid-19 has had an impact so it is best to consider what is on from late summer! The Board is making plans for excursions on the new research vessel R/V Svea and to learn how hydrologists work. Other topics are the weather on Mars and Venus and a follow-up to this year’s warm and windy weather.
Are you collaborating with other EMS Members?
SMS: Yes, every second year we normally have Nordic Meteorologist Meeting (NMM) in either Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden or Denmark. This year’s meeting in Finland is postponed to 2021.
What do you expect from the EMS? In what ways can it help you to develop your activities?
SMS: We would like the EMS to be a platform for providing information about developments in the member states and in the world. Can the EMS also comment on developments so no fake news is distributed? Today the common news feed is enormous, so the EMS’s choice of subjects is of much help. We love the photo challenge!
What have been your most successful events in the last three years?
SMS: In 2016 we arranged the NMM in Stockholm for three days. Together with the Bolin Center, MISU and SMHI we have arranged half-day seminars on IPCC reports every autumn. The meeting with invited sailing clubs on weather and sailing was also very successful.
What changes do you believe your society needs to make?
SMS: Making time for meetings has to be made easier. Still we think physical meetings are essential. We try to find good technical solution to both record meetings and to make them available on live link. Also new ways to attract members and a better homepage are priorities.