Abstract : R.1
The International Conferences of Alpine Meteorology (ICAM): Characteristics and trends from a 55-year-series of scientific communication

Hans Volkert
DLR, Institut fuer Physik der Atmosphaere

Findings from scientific research have to be communicated. While (peer reviewed) journals contain more consolidated results, conferences are a traditional means for personal communication, the discussion of work in progress and the forstering of cooperation between institutions or individuals. The series of ICAMs started in autumn 1950 in Italy and kept a bi-annual regularity right through to 29th realisation in Chambéry. The only change happened in 2002 when the coming meetings got shifted from autumn in even years to the following spring in odd ones (2003 ...) in order to facilitate an alternating sequence with the related, but considerable shorter series of Mountain Meteorology Conferences in North America.

This presentation is based on the series of conference proceedings, which appeared after the event until 1976 and as Extended Abstract volumes distributed at the conference from 1978 onwards, as well as on personal recollections since 1982. Of special interest are the motivation for the enterprise as expressed by individual scientists and the head of meteorological services, the change of topics and presentation formats over time, inferences from the list of participants concerning the interplays of university groups, research laboratories and meteorological services. The interaction between ICAMs and coordinated large field programmes as ALPEX and MAP is also considered alongside with the documentation of progress of measuring and simulation techniques over complex terrain.

According to the decision of the programme committee the presentation can be given either as a poster stressing the background information or as an oral one of a more programmatic nature, which underlines the unique steadiness of ICAM over the years. In either case an attempt will be made to raise ICAM's overall profile for the future in the growing concert of international atmospheric physics conferences within Europe and beyond.