Europlanet Society launched at the European Planetary Science Congress 2018
September 20, 2018

Europlanet Society launched at the European Planetary Science Congress 2018

The Europlanet Society, a new membership organisation to promote the advancement of planetary science in Europe, has been launched today at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2018 in Berlin. The Society is open to individual and institutional members and builds on the heritage of 15 years of Europlanet projects funded by the European Commission.

“With the launch of the Europlanet Society, we have put in place a sustainable structure to support planetary science in Europe for decades to come,” said Prof Nigel Mason, President of the Europlanet Society. “Europlanet has made a unique contribution in building a coherent, collaborative, strategic community for planetary science and related fields in Europe. The Europlanet Society is an exciting new venture that will enable individuals and organisations involved in all aspects of planetary science to take an active role in shaping our community’s future.”

Governance of the Europlanet Society will be overseen by an elected Executive Board, with the first elections to be held at the Society’s General Assembly in October 2019. The Society has established committees to support diversity and early career researchers within the community. Additional working groups will develop links with industry, amateur astronomers, outreach and education providers and policymakers.

The day-to-day running of the Society is managed by the Europlanet Executive Office, to be hosted by the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg. Eleven Regional Hubs located around Europe will help the Society to develop planetary science communities and networks at a regional and national level. The Society will act as the parent body for future EPSC meetings.

Nicolas Walter of the European Science Foundation, said: “We estimate that there are over 1,000 tenured researchers with an interest in planetary science working in more than 200 research institutes across Europe, as well as around 4,000 early career scientists and more than 1,000 companies and SMEs. However, there are still parts of Europe that are under-represented in our community. One of the primary aims of the Europlanet Society is to build capacity in these regions. We have developed an affordable, flexible structure for the Society that will facilitate individuals and institutions from all countries and diverse backgrounds to join.”

The Europlanet Society will engage with decision makers and solicit the views of its members to provide coordinated input into strategy papers and policy consultations. It will also collaborate and coordinate with all other sister organisations related to planetary sciences in Europe and world-wide.

Athena Coustenis, Vice President of the Europlanet Society, said: “Planetary science is a growing field that sits at the intersection of many different disciplines. With so many current and upcoming missions to explore our solar system and those around other stars, it’s a very exciting time. The formation of the Europlanet Society will ensure that we have a strong community in Europe that can identify strategic priorities and maximise the scientific return on investment through the European Space Agency and national and international programmes.”

The Europlanet Society General Assembly following the launch of the Society at the European Planetary Congress (EPSC) 2018 in Berlin. Credit: Europlanet Society

Prof Nigel Mason proposes the launch of the Europlanet Society at the General Assembly at the European Planetary Congress (EPSC) 2018 in Berlin. Credit: Europlanet Society

The Europlanet Society supports the advancement of planetary science in Europe, including research and technology development related to the study of our Solar System and those around other stars, and how the Earth compares to other planetary bodies. Credit: Alex Pritz/Europlanet

Science Contacts
Nigel Mason
President of the Europlanet Society

Nicolas Walter
Europlanet Society Executive Office
European Science Foundation

Media Contacts
Anita Heward
Europlanet/EPSC 2018 Communications Officer

Livia Giacomini
Europlanet/EPSC 2018 Communications Officer

Laura Alvarez
ESF Communications Officer

Notes for Editors

EPSC 2018
The European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2018 ( is taking place at the Technische Universität (TU) Berlin, from Sunday 16 to Friday 21 September 2018. EPSC is the major European annual meeting on planetary science. Around 1000 scientists from Europe and around the world will attend EPSC 2018 and will give around 1,250 oral and poster presentations about the latest results on our own Solar System and planets orbiting other stars.
Details of the Congress and a full schedule of EPSC 2018 scientific sessions and events can be found at the official website:

About Europlanet
Europlanet provides Europe’s planetary science community with a platform to exchange ideas and personnel, share research tools, data and facilities, define key science goals for the future, and engage stakeholders, policy makers and European citizens with planetary science.

The Europlanet Society, launched in September 2018, is a membership organisation to promote the advancement of planetary science and related fields in Europe. It is the parent organisation of the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC).

The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654208 to provide access to state-of-the-art research facilities across the European Research Area and a mechanism to coordinate Europe’s planetary science community. The project builds on a €2 million Framework 6 Coordination Action and €6 million Framework 7 Research Infrastructure funded by the European Commission.

Europlanet Society website:
Europlanet project website:
Follow on Twitter via @europlanetmedia

The European Science Foundation
The European Science Foundation (ESF) was established in 1974 as an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization committed to promoting the highest quality science in Europe, and to driving progress in research and innovation. Through its Expert Services division, Science Connect, the ESF provides quality scientific support based on a deep understanding of the scientific landscape, funding context and needs of the research community. With a portfolio of 31 high-profile European Commission funded projects since 2003, the ESF offers its expertise in project coordination and support to its members, customers and partners. It is also at the leading age of grant evaluation, with 4,500 research proposals evaluated since 2014, and a strong community of international experts that guarantee independence and transparency in the assessment process.
More information at