Météo et Climat: Interview with EMS President

Interview with Bob Riddaway, EMS President, for the bimonthly newsletter of Météo et Climat, distributed in January 2019 to the Météo et Climat members (in French).
EMS President 2017-2020 B. Riddaway
EMS President B. Riddaway

Why is it important to have a European Meteorological Society such as EMS?

Within Europe there are many different meteorological societies. They vary in the number and type of members, their range of activities, and their financial and human resources. The role of the EMS is to enhance cooperation, communication and understanding between its Members. This is achieved by sharing information and ideas so that all can benefit from the many exciting initiatives and activities carried out by the 37 Member Societies and 30 Associate Members.

What resources are available to the EMS?

The EMS Secretariat, kindly hosted at the Institut für Meteorologie at the FU Berlin, consists of the Executive Secretary, Martina Junge, and her part-time assistant, Andrea Oestreich. They are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the EMS and providing support for the Council and its committees and teams. Also a lot of Martina’s time is taken up with the organization of the EMS Annual Meetings. So the developments within EMS mainly depend upon the enthusiasm and commitment of volunteers.

What are the EMS’s key activities?

The Annual Meeting, covering applied meteorology and climatology, provides a key mechanism for sharing information and expertise. It is also used as a vehicle for exchanging experiences between meteorologists working in the media, sharing best practice in outreach and communication, recognising excellence and achievement through the programme of awards, and supporting the development of young scientists. Also the EMS facilitates the publication of material presented at the Annual Meetings in Advances in Science and Research: Contributions in Applied Meteorology and Climatology. Various committees and teams support and contribute to these activities.

What are the challenges facing the EMS and its future prospects?

The EMS Annual Meeting has grown and developed over the years, but it is a challenge to ensure that it continues to address the ever-changing needs of the meteorological community. Consequently, a strategic view is being taken of the development of the Annual Meeting with emphasis on advancing the use of meteorology and meteorological applications, strengthening individual and corporate expertise, visibility and expertise, and bringing together Member Societies.

Facilitating and enhancing communication between the EMS members and taking advantage of social media is a challenge. Significant progress has been made in improving communication via the ems-message and website, but efforts still need to be made to encourage Member Societies and Associate Members to submit items. Also ways need to be found to try to increase the readership access to the information provided via the EMS.

Though there are challenges being faced by the EMS, we are committed to ensuring that they will be overcome and the EMS will continue to serve the needs of the meteorological community within Europe. More information about the EMS can be found at

The archive of recent newsletters and a subscription form is accessible at

Permission given to publish the English version.

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