Swiss Society for Optics and Microscopy

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Swiss Society for Optics and Microscopy
Mottoto cultivate contacts between academic and industrial workers in the field, as well as laypeople interested in Optics, Microscopy and Nanotechnology.[1]
Formation1949; 70 years ago (1949)[1][2]
TypeProfessional Organisation and Registered Charity
Membership (2016[3])
Official languages
English, French, German, Italian, Romansh
Dr Markus Dürrenberger[4][4]
Optics Section Vice President
Prof. Dr. Beat Neuenschwander[4]
Microscopy Section Vice President
Dr. Marco Cantoni[4]
Nanotechnology Section Vice President
Dr. Harry Heinzelmann[4]
Formerly called
Swiss Committee for Optics[1][2]

The Swiss Society for Optics and Microscopy (SSOM) (French: Société Suisse d'Optique et de Microscopie Électronique (SSOME); German: Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Optik und Elektronmikroskopie (SGOEM))[2] is a learned society for the promotion of optics and microscopy (and more recently nanotechnology) in Switzerland.[1]

It is a member of Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences (SCNAT), one of four of the constituent members of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.[5] It is also a member of the International Commission for Optics,[6] the International Committee on the Science of Photography, the European Optical Committee, the European Optical Society and the European Microscopy Society (regional committee of the International Federation of Societies for Microscopy).[1][7]


Te society was founded on 1949 as the Swiss Committee for Optics. In 1969 following changes in their constitution, it was accepted into the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences which led its name being changed to the Swiss Society for Optics and Electron Microscopy(Société Suisse d'Optique et de Microscopie Electronique/Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Optik und Elektronenmikroskopie). In 1955 the society was split into two sections, one for electron microscopy and the other for optics, each with their own secretaries.[1][8]

In 1976, during the 6th European Congress of Electron Microscopy in Jeruslaem, SSOM became a founding member of the Committee of European Societies of Electron Microscopy (CESEM), which in 1998 became the European Microscopy Society.[9][10] In 1987 it joined the European Federation for Applied Optics (Europtica) and the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences (SATW) (which later become the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences).[8]

In 2007 there were 387 individual members and 68 corporate members with 200 delegates, of which 45% were from industry, 40% from academia, and 15% from research institutes.[1]

Presidents and Secretaries[edit]

Listed below are the presidents and secretaries of the society from 1947 until 1983.[8]

Swiss Committee for Optics (SCO)[edit]


  • H. König, 1947-1952
  • N. Schätti, 1953-1954


  • W. Lotmar, 1947-1954

Swiss Committee for Photonic and Electronic Optics[edit]

In French: Comité Suisse d'Optique Photonique et Electronique[8]


  • N. Schätti, 1955-1966
  • L. Wegmann, 1967-1968

Electron Microscopy Secretaries[edit]

  • A. Gautier, 1955-1960
  • L. Wegmann, 1961-1966
  • M. Gribi, 1967-1968

Optics Secretaries[edit]

  • W. Lotmar, 1955-1956
  • E. Millet, 1957-1962
  • A. Werfeli, 1963-1966
  • R. David, 1967-1968

Swiss Society for Optics and Electron Microscopy[edit]

In French: Société Suisse d'Optique et de Microscopie Electronique[8]


  • L. Wegmann, 1969-1976
  • W. F. Berg, 1977-1980
  • J. R. Günter, 1981-1986
  • R. Guggenheim, 1987-?

Electron Microscopy Secretaries[edit]

  • M. Gribi, 1969-1970
  • W. Stäubli, 1971-1972
  • G. Kistler, 1973-1976
  • J. R. Günter, 1977-1980
  • R. Guggenheim, 1981-1986
  • R. Gotthardt, 1987-?

Optics Secretaries[edit]

  • R. David, 1969-1970
  • C. v. Planta, 1971-1972
  • F. K. v. Willisen, 1973-1976
  • W. Balmer, 1977-1980
  • D. Gross, 1981-1982
  • E. Mathieu, 1983-?


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "History, Mission, Organization and Statistics". Swiss Society for Optics and Microscopy. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Chronology of Scholarly Societies: 1940-1949". Scholarly Societies Project - University of Waterloo Libraries. 27 December 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Organisation overview - Sciences Switzerland - SSOM". Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Board". Swiss Society for Optics and Microscopy. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Fachgesellschaften - Platform Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics (Platform MAP)". Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Organisation overview - Sciences Switzerland - ICO". Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Organisation overview - Sciences Switzerland - IFSM". Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e Günter, John R. (1990). History of Electron Microscopy in Switzerland (ebook) (2012 ed.). Basel: Birkhäuser. ISBN 9783034872034. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  9. ^ "European Microscopy Society - Yearbook Profile". Union of International Associations. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  10. ^ Hawkes, Peter. "History". European Microscopy Society. Retrieved 21 May 2017.