Dear NCCR PlanetS members and associates,
It has been a while since the last issue of the internal newsletter and much has happened in the mean time. This was evident at the first in-person General Assembly in two years, where many new faces could be seen. The 4-day event was a very rewarding event for the nearly 150 participants, with lots of interesting project presentations, valuable exchanges during coffee breaks, meals and aperos as well as a memorable trip to the Jungfraujoch.
Some familiar faces, on the other hand, were missing – including that of our director, Willy Benz, who had pressing business at the International Astronomical Union, which he will head following his retirement at the University of Bern and the NCCR. Earlier this year, however, he held a virtual session to clarify frequently asked questions by members and associates on important matters within the NCCR, and to thus bring everyone on the same page.
Nick Thomas and Christoph Mordasini have the difficult tasks of taking over his roles as new director of PlanetS and full Professor of Planetology at the University of Bern respectively. We wish them great success! Torches were also passed within the communication team: we part with Pierre Bratschi and Sylviane Blum, who we wish a fulfilling retirement, and look forward to working with Baptiste Lavie and a future colleague!
Despite the difficulties that the pandemic brought with it, our members have been incredibly successful in applying for prestigious grants and were honored with exceptional awards and prizes. Shortly before the General Assembly, the junior researchers also gathered in Leissigen for their own assembly, which was a very rewarding event.
While primarily a scientific endeavour, the NCCR also benefits society beyond the ivory tower of academia. Unfortunately, these are often forgotten and we therefore have produced a brochure to highlight some of these aspects.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue of the InsiderS and encourage you to reach out to us for content of future issues.
With our best wishes,
Your communication team
Guido, Arian, Baptiste, Timm and Jonas