The Institute of Physics Environmental Physics group seems to be very pressed for time at the moment. While meetings are usually announced well in advance, the organisers of the next event, the members day meeting on 22 May, seem to have left things until the last minute. The notice, which, from the document properties, was prepared by Simon Buckle of the Grantham Institute at Imperial, was only sent out yesterday evening. How unfortunate!
This is not the only oddity either. The group's events have previously been open to all comers - the IoP is a registered charity after all, so allowing the public to attend is part of their mission of public education. I hear, however, that for the latest event, those who are thinking to go along have been advised to bring their membership cards. It appears that the great unwashed are no longer wanted. Will the IoP be turning the public away at the door? What would the Charities Commission say?
And if members might be thinking of raising these issues amongst themselves, another organisational innovation looks as though it will stop that happening. Lunch is being cancelled and opportunities to network are being kept to the bare minimum. There will be no gossip at this school gate.
What on earth is going on?
We on the outside can only guess, but from the notice that has belatedly gone out, we can see that most of the talks scheduled for the day are quite closely related to the subject of global warming. In fact even the essay prize, which is presented during members day, has gone to a student from the Grantham Institute at Imperial College, for a piece entitled "Communicating climate change: should we sell environmentally friendly behaviour?".
You don't suppose that the people at the top of the institute are trying to avoid tricky questions do you?