Written by Dr PÁL RÖHLICH
the first and honorary president of the HSM
The history of the HSM
The history of our society dates back to 1958, when it was established as a division of the Scientific and Automation Scientific Association of “MTESZ”. Independent associations and companies were not tolerated by the state system, so they could only work in a hierarchical system of a top organization. The section was called “X-ray and Electro-Optics“, and was first chaired by Ferenc Guba. For all of us who have gone through the revolutionary development of electron microscopy from the outset, the national congresses and clubs of the division are always memorable, where lively discussions have always taken place. It was an unforgettable era.
Due to the rapid expansion of electron microscopy, X-ray session was soon removed from the Division, now named Electron Microscopy.
It was an international recognition for Hungarian electron microscopy when we got the possibility to organize the European regional EM congress in the early 1980s. The president of the division was Szabolcs Virágh. The EUREM84, held in Budapest in 1984, brought together an excellent professional and social program, which gave an international recognition. The 80s brought fresh winds, and the members of our society saw that we had to break out of isolation, so we contacted the Austrian Electron Microscope Society, with whom we organized our joint national congresses at Lake Balaton or in Austria (1985 Aliga, 1987 Seggau, 1989 Salzburg) , 1991 Almádi).
The change of regime finally gave rise to the possibility of independence, which was not without any risk. It was an easy task for the management at that time to guide us through the separation from “MATE” (and “MTESZ”) and set the society on its own feet, to secure its financial foundations. This is how the Hungarian Electron Microscopy Society, now an independent Hungarian society, was formed in 1990, and its members were elected first chairman (Pál Röhlich). Independence has unleashed hidden energies and sparkling social life.
Our regional relations have also widened, which is why Czechoslovakian, Italian and then Slovenian Croatian companies joined the initial Hungarian-Austrian cooperation. Our joint national congresses have thus expanded into multilateral, subregional congresses (1993 Parma, 1995 High Tatras, 1997 Portorozs, 1999 Veszprém, 2001 Lecce), but also the annual Hungarian electron microscopy meetings held in Almádi, which were driven by Kristóf Kovács who was our company since 1994, also became president.
During this period, the company was complemented by international trends, integrating modern light microscopy and other imaging systems, which also required to change our name (Hungarian Society for Microscopy).
In 2002, the management of the society was partly renewed and its new chairman was Zoltán Kristóf.
Since 2002, the Society’s membership has increased significantly and has reached over 100 members in one or two years. The professional standards of the conferences have also increased, but the friendly or family-friendly atmosphere has been preserved.