The brief history of the Hungarian Society for Microscopy
The Story of the Society
Our Society dates back to 1958, when it came into existence as a section of the Scientific Society For Measurement, Automation And Informatics (MATE) operating within the MTESZ. The party-state system didn’t bear separate societies or associations, so these acted as a part of the hierarchical system. The name of our section was X-Ray and Electronoptical Section and its first president was Ferenc Guba. The national congresses and meetings of the section have stayed memorable for all of us who lived through the revolutionary growth of the electron microscopy. There always were vivid discussions on these congresses and meetings. It had been an unforgettable era. The apace expansion of the electron microscopy had resulted in the secession of the X-Ray part of our section, so the section was renamed to Section for Electron Microscopy.
We had attained the right to organize the European Regional Congress of Electron Microscopy in the early 80’s, which meant international appreciation for the Hungarian electron microscopy. Szabolcs Virágh had been the president of the section at that time. Outstanding vocational and social programs had been brought together on the EUREM84 held in Budapest in 1984, which called forth admitting international response. The winds of change were blowing in the 80’s, so our society deliberated that we need to break out of isolation. So we had made contact with the Austrian society for electron microscopy, and took turns at arranging joint national congresses near the lake Balaton or in Austria /1985 Aliga (lake Balaton), 1987 Seggau, 1989 Salzburg, 1991 Almádi (lake Balaton)/.
At last the change of the regime brought the opportunity to be autonomous, which wasn’t risk-free. The hard task was waiting for the then directorate and me: we led over the split from the MATE (and from the MTESZ), we pulled the society round, and insured its financial fund..Thus - the by now independent - Hungarian Society for Microscopy was founded in 1990, and its members elected me the first President of the Society. The independence had released hidden energies, vibrant social life was evolved.
Our regional connections had been widen, therefore the Czechoslovak, the Italian, then the Slovenian and Croatian society joined the initial Hungarian-Austrian cooperation. Thus our common national congresses became multilateral, sub-regional congresses (1993 Parma, 1995 Magas Tátra, 1997 Portorozs, 1999 Veszprém, 2001 Lecce), and together with these the annual domestic meetings for electron microscopy in Almádi remained too. The latter were powered by Kristóf Kovács, who became the president of our society since 1994. Following the international trends, the society had integrated the fields of modern light microscopy and other imaging systems in this period, which manifested in the change of the name of the society too (Hungarian Society for Microscopy). The board of the society renewed partly in 2002, the Zoltán Kristóf became the new president. The president of the society is Béla Pécz since 2010.
Dr. Pál Röhlich