We hosted the IONS Naples 2016 meeting, held in Naples from 6th to 8th July 2016. IONS is the International OSA Network of Students, started in 2007 by the Optical Society (OSA). The network collects all the young scientist working in the fields of optics and photonics. The conference has been supported by Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II and sponsored, among the others, by the EPS Young Minds Project, the Italian Physical Society, the Institute of Applied Science and Intelligent Systems, and the Italian Society of Optics and Photonics.
As said, three days dedicated to every fields of optics and photonics, with more than 60 attendees from at least 10 different countries (master students, phds, post-doc) and 7 international invited speakers. Their talk, alternating with those of the students, gave birth to 6 thematic sessions, in which young people got to deal with experts, in a discursive and informal setting. Among them two were the Italians invited: Prof. Alberto Diaspro, Director of the Department of Nano-physics of the Italian Institute of Technology, and Prof. Raffaele Velotta of Naples Physics Department, who respectively spoke of super resolute microcopy and biosensors. Among the foreigner ones, Prof. Arti Agrawal of City University London, who spoke of simulations, and the quantum optics talk by Prof. Claude Fabre of the Pierre et Marie Curie University of Paris. A special session was also dedicated to professional development, with a series of talks designed to illustrate how the participation to learned societies activities may be an alternative to accompany the ordinary academic offer. Every talks has been made greater by a magnificent venue: for the celebration of the OSA Centennials and also the 10 years of the Naples OSA Student Chapter, the conference was held at the old church of the Monumental Complex of St. Marcellino and Festo, in the UNESCO World Heritage, the Historic Centre of Naples.
Probably dealing with one of the first conferences of their careers, all the attendees has been encouraged to networking with a lot of social activities such as a welcome party, a social day at Pompeii and especially the traditional concert “Young Minds in South”, held at the Physics Department of Naples. There, a lot of physics students joined the celebration dancing all together on the traditional South Italy music from Ars Nova Napoli.
The final results of IONS Naples 2016? A high scientific level conference, but also a great experience for all.