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2023 Phillips Award: Dr Hugh Deighton

For taking a leading role in initiating, developing and chairing the Institute of Physics Retired Members’ Network, which aims to help members remain active in the physics community in their retirement, and for important contributions to several Special Interest Groups as well as the London and South East Branch.

About 35% of Institute of Physics (IOP) members are over 60 and many have retired from full-time employment. Dr Hugh Deighton was one of a small group of retired members who, in 2018, founded the new and innovative IOP Retired Members’ Network (REMNet). Since 2021, he has chaired the network committee, which sits within the Nations and Branches structure of IOP. The network aims to enable members to remain as active members of the physics community, to meet other retired members regularly for professional and social activities, and to assist with branch activities that support IOP’s national objectives.

The REMNet committee consists of representatives elected by the Nations and Branches and, as chair, Deighton has worked hard to help identify and welcome new representatives and assist them to identify or develop appropriate activities for retired members in their area. Under his leadership, REMNet has provided guidance, now on the IOP website, for members moving to retirement. He has personally worked with IOP staff to develop advice for retired members wishing to retain their professional registration and ways for them to continue with their continuing professional development. In 2022. Deighton instigated the production of the new e-bulletin for all retired members and those over 60 who may not yet be retired. The bulletin provides them with relevant information about activities in which they may participate, either in person or remotely, in all Nations and Branches.

Deighton first became involved in assisting fellow retired members when he joined the committee of the London and South East Branch Retired Members’ Section (REMS) in 2017 and on which he continues to serve as Events Organiser and Co-ordinator. During the Covid-19 pandemic he instigated putting many REMS events, and then REMNet events, online for the benefit of all retired members who were often isolating at home.

As well as his work developing support and opportunities for retired members, Deighton serves as the chair of the History of Physics Group, the treasurer of the Optical Group as well as the treasurer of the London and South East Branch and is now chair-elect of the Branch. He has organised and spoken at many scientific events, and as chair of the History of Physics Group he personally organized the 2022 meeting about the Braggs’ legacy in X-ray crystallography, held jointly by IOP and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

Deighton is often consulted by senior IOP staff when the views of members are needed and he represents retired members on the IOP Council Members’ Reference Group.