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Editorial Comment 1st Issue

Welcome to our 1st Issue!

July 5, 2007 (E1).  We welcome our readers to the 1st Issue of the News Forum!  This issue contains two topical critical reviews and several contributions to Regional News and Science & Technology News.  In that last category, one controversial contribution by Bernstein et al. stimulated a discussion, which still is open and encouraged.  Nevertheless, in our opinion, Blamire et al. already showed convincingly that the model of Bernstein et al. cannot adequately account for flux pinning effects in thin YBCO films. 

Thus far, spontaneous submission of contributions did not occur, but we hope that with increasing readership we may receive more contributions.  We appeal to the readers to make this Forum your Forum!

Superconductivity in Countries that Recently Joined European Union 

(July 5, 2007)  In this issue, we publish two contributions describing the situation of science and technology of superconductivity in countries, which most recently joined European Union, namely Bulgaria and Romania.  We knew hardly anything about the situation there and felt that many colleagues in other European countries might welcome some information on the subject, especially now, at the inception of the 7th EU Framework Programme (FP7).  We thus solicited contributions from members of Bulgarian and Romanian science communities, who publish in recognized international journals on topics related to superconductivity, and are respected for their work.  The contributions submitted and presented here represent only opinions of their authors and not of the Bulgarian and Romanian official science establishment or of the respective governmental organizations.  As any other contributions, these are now open to public discussion.  Comments, from within and outside of Bulgaria and Romania are thus solicited. 

We solicited and still solicit analogous contributions from other countries, which recently (in 2004) joined the European Union, such as Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and others.  We feel that it might be of interest to compare experiences of superconductivity scientists and engineers in societies where in the past the Soviet-style centralized management and support of science and technology were prevalent.  Also the processes of rapid evolution within the first two decades after major political changes might be of interest to our readers.  The first issue thus contains also a brief review of superconductivity-related activities in the Czech Republic (By M. Jirsa).

We seek authentic, unofficial stories, but are prepared to also accept more official statements on the organization and status of science and technology in new EU member countries (with emphasis on superconductivity-related activities), as long as these statements remain free of any political propaganda.