IInd International Andean School and Conference on Spectoscopy

IInd Andean School of Spectroscopy, March 2nd- 6th 2009
IInd International Conference of Spectroscopy, March 9th- 13th 2009
Lima, Peru

F. Chandezon and M.-L. Saboungi
F-38054 Grenoble cedex 9, France
Centre de Recherche sur la Matière Divisée –
CNRS – University of Orléans, F- 45071 Orléans cedex 2, France

The second Andean School and International Conference of Spectroscopy took place during March 2nd - 13th at the Peruvian National Institute of Research and Training in Telecommunications (Instituto Nacional de Iinvestigacion y Capacitación en Telecomunicaciones, INICTEL) in Lima, Peru (http://postgrado.uni.edu.pe/espectroscopia/). This event was co-organized by several Peruvian universities and research institutes as well as by the NGO “Puya de Raimondi” (http://puyaderaimondi.org/). The latter is a French association of scientists whose main aim is to promote scientific cooperation between Peru, and Latin American countries in general, and France and other European countries. It was founded in 2004 by Dr. François Piuzzi, a staff member of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and other colleagues who worked in Peru as scientific collaborators between 1970 and 1985 together with Peruvian scientists living in France. This cooperation ended in the mid 80’s and it was the wish of the founders of  “Puya de Raimondi” to renew the fruitful collaboration.

One of the major outcomes of this association was the co-organization in May 2005 – the World Year of Physics – with Peruvian academic partners of the first Andean School and International Conference of Spectroscopy in Lima. The idea was to gather together recognized experts in various fields of spectroscopy that could be of interest for the scientific development of Peru and other Latin American countries. The originality – and strength – of the event was its division into two complementary parts. During the first week, the Andean School allowed selected students to be given practical laboratory training in various spectroscopic techniques by recognized experts, mostly from Europe. These training courses were organized on site in several laboratories of the best scientific universities in Lima. In some cases, special equipment was sent from Europe as loans or donations from academic institutions and companies. During the second week, the International Conference took place, where internationally recognized speakers presented the latest advances in spectroscopic techniques and their applications in various fields such as materials sciences, archaeometry and life and environmental sciences. Both the school and conference in 2005 were recognized as a success with 58 lecturers from Europe, USA and Latin America and around 120 participants. Furthermore, it led to the initiation of new research activities in Peru developed with the donated equipment.

The second Andean School and International Conference of Spectroscopy (SPECTRA2009) was co-organized in a similar way, associating one week of laboratory training with one week of conference sessions. The organizers of the conference were, on the Peruvian side, some of the best academic and research institutions of the country with the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI, www.uni.edu.pe) as host institution, and on the French side the “Puya de Raimondi” association. The conference chairs were Prof. Walter Estrada (UNI, Lima) and Dr. Frédéric Chandezon (CEA Grenoble, France). The challenging task of organizing this event with colleagues from both sides of the Atlantic was made possible by financial support from several Peruvian, Latin American, European and international research institutions, international agencies and companies. These included OEI (Organizacion de Estados Iberoamericanos), CAN (Comunidad Andina de Naciones), SPIE, UNESCO, IUPAP, the French Embassy in Peru and its office of regional cooperation with the Andean countries, and French governmental research agencies (CEA, CNRS, IRD)1.

A major difference from the 2005 event was a significant broadening of the scope of the conference. The areas covered included:

  • Materials sciences and nanosciences
  • Archaeology and archaeometry
  • Life sciences
  • Lasers and their applications
  • Instrumentation and apparatus design and construction
  • Astronomy
  • Environment and climate change
  • Remote sensing (e.g. for the study of vegetation coverage)
  • Simulation

This required the participation of a large number of invited teachers and speakers from all over the world, with some prestigious participants such as Prof. Sune Svanberg (Lund University), a former president of the Nobel Prize Committee in physics, and Prof. Pierre Lena, a renowned French astrophysicist and member of the French Academy of Sciences. A total of 101 internationally recognized experts participated to the school and/or the conference. As a co-organizing country, the French delegation was especially large with 23 experts. Other experts came from Peru and all over Latin America. Countries represented included Spain, Sweden, U.K., Germany, Russia, Czech Republic, Japan, U.S.A, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Colombia. SPECTRA2009 attracted 180 participants, 41 of which received a grant thanks to dedicated financial support from the CAN and from the office of regional cooperation with the Andean countries of the French Embassy in Peru. As for the 2005 event, equipment was specially sent to Lima for the Andean School, as loans or donations.

These two stimulating weeks were recognized as a success by the participants and by the invited speakers. It was an occasion to make scientific contacts that will hopefully lead to collaborations within Latin America and between Latin America and Europe. The consensus at the conclusion of SPECTRA09 was that it might be better not to wait another four years but to take advantage of the momentum that SPECTRA2009 had created and plan for the next event in two years’ time. Accordingly, SPECTRA2013 has been replaced by SPECTRA2011. This could be the best indication of the success of the 2009 event. 


Group picture taken at the oldest American site Caral

1. See the web page of SPECTRA2009 for a detailed list http://postgrado.uni.edu.pe/espectroscopia/

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