The European Physical Society (EPS) was created in 1968, through the inspired leadership of Gilberto Bernardini (1906-1995). In his inaugural address, he stated that "the formation of the European Physical Society with such a wide membership is a further demonstration of the determination of scientists to collaborate as closely as possible in order to make their positive contribution to the strength of European cultural unity."
"Nowadays, 'collaboration' is a magic word. It is applied in almost all aspects of human life from economy to religion. But it is often quite hard to convert the ideal of collaboration into something really effective, rather than a utopia."
"It may be that we who joined the European Physical Society this morning are utopians. But I am inclined to believe that the Society is based on practical and objective grounds and that it will become capable of contributing significantly to European physics."
Since its creation, the European Economic Community has been transformed into the European Union and has grown from 6 members states to 28 member states. The EPS has contributed significantly to European physics in education, research and student mobility, publication and outreach. The growing importance of the European Union in developing and implementing science policy has given a new role for the EPS in representing the European physics community to European institutions including the European Parliament and the European Commission.