IOP Celebrates 40,000th Member

20 January 2011

At a ceremony at 76 Portland Place on 18 January Sam Arnold, an undergraduate of Kings College London was presented with a commemorative certificate as the 40,000th IOP member by Rt. Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.

David Willetts and Samuel Arnold

A short speech was given by Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell outlining institute history: the origins of the IOP being with Professor Frederick Guthrie, Professor of Physics at the Royal College of Science who set up a 'Society for physical research', by sending an initial circular to 30 physicists in 1873.

Today the Institute has a successful publishing business and what were once foreign branches are now Institutes in their own right, for example India and Australia.

Sam Arnold is within our branch formerly a student at St Albans School and later Verulam School St. Albans. He is now studying Physics and Astronomy at Kings.

The IOP's Vice-President for Membership and Qualifications, Jenny Richards, said, "It's particularly heartening that recent growth in membership has been dominated by school and university students. Of our 40,000 members, 13,500 members are undergraduates and members, aged 16-19 studying physics before university, make up another 3,000 members. Nearly half of our membership is under 30; a wonderful prospect for the future of physics".

The Minister expressed his admiration for scientific organisations such as IOP, “I salute the Institute for your achievement in building up your membership. It's great to be reaching this target, and particularly so with so many young members. We should be proud of our history in physics and look forward to a strong future.”

Asked how he felt to become IOP's 40,000th member, Samuel Arnold said, “Very shocked, but excited. I didn't realise the subscription base was so large”.