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The Institute of Physics is a charity registered in England and Wales and Scotland, established in its current form by Royal Charter on 17 September 1970.

Our Council is our Board of Trustees. It has ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the Institute, and ensuring that we are solvent, well-run, and deliver the charitable outcomes for which we were set up.

The role of Council is to:

  • ensure that the Institute complies with our governing documents, charity law, and other relevant legislation or regulations
  • ensure that the Institute pursues our object as set out in the Royal Charter
  • ensure that the Institute applies our resources exclusively in pursuance of its object
  • giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • ensuring proper and effective use of the Institute’s resources, and maintaining and enhancing our reputation and profile
  • ensuring effective representation of, and interaction with, the membership
  • overseeing the processes for election, progression and disciplining of members
  • overseeing the activities of the executive
  • safeguarding the good name and ethos of the Institute.

Council can delegate certain powers but will, and must always, retain the ultimate responsibility for running the Institute. Given the size of the Institute and its many activities, Council has delegated some powers to standing committees, to ensure that the necessary time and attention can be applied to particular areas of interest. These specific delegations are set out in the relevant committee terms of references.


The Institute is governed by Council which consists of at least 18 members elected from, and by, the membership, and up to three co-opted members who are appointed by Council itself.

The membership of Council, along with the terms of office of members, is set out in the Bylaws.

Position Term of office
The president Two years, not eligible for re-election
The president-elect Two years, then takes office as president
At least three vice-presidents Four years, not eligible for re-election for one year after retirement
The honorary secretary Four years, eligible for re-election for second term
The honorary treasurer Four years, eligible for re-election for second term
Ten members Four years, not eligible for re-election for one year after retirement
Up to three co-opted members One year, eligible to be renewed annually for up to three years


The chief executive, managing director of IOP Publishing and members of the executive board attend council meetings.

Council Membership (Trustees) 2019-2020

Category Name Start End
President Jonathan Flint 2019 2021
President-elect Sheila Rowan 2019 2021
Honorary secretary Brian Fulton 2017 2021
Honorary treasurer David Delpy 2019 2023
Vice-president, membership Mark Telling 2017 2021
Vice-president, education Carol Davenport 2016 2020
Vice-president, business James McKenzie 2016 2020
Vice-president, science and innovation Martin Freer 2019 2023
Member Tariq Ali 2018 2022
Member David Boyce 2018 2022
Member Gayle Calverley-Miles 2019 2023
Member Tamara Clelford 2018 2022
Member Wendy Flavell 2017 2021
Member Martin Hendry 2019 2023
Member Becky Parker 2016 2020
Member Alix Pryde 2019 2023
Member June McCombie 2017 2021
Member Anne Tropper 2017 2021
Member (co-opted) Jim Al-Khalili 2018 2020
Member (co-opted) Peter van der Burgt 2018 2020
Member (co-opted) Vacant    
In attendance      
Chief executive officer Paul Hardaker n/a n/a
Chief operating officer Rachel Youngman n/a n/a
Director of policy and public affairs Tony McBride n/a n/a
Managing director, IOP Publishing Ltd Steven Hall n/a n/a
Company Secretary Assistant Claire Downey n/a n/a


Council minutes