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 The Italian Society for Microscopical Sciences (S.I.S.M.), formerly Italian Society for Electron Microscopy (S.I.M.E.), is a scientific association that, since 1956, promotes and supports the study and the progress of microscopy and microstructural analysis in various fields of basic and applied research in the areas of material science, biology and medicine. S.I.S.M. brings together researchers and anyone who is interested in microanalytical studies as well as in microstructural analyses by means of light or electron microscopes, confocal or scanning probe microscopes.
The society exerts its institutional role not only by promoting cultural activities that favour the exchange of information and ideas, but also by spreading the knowledge in this field, through the organization of workshops, basic and advanced courses on specific techniques or on the application of different microscopical approaches on very up to date topics. Depending of the subject, the SISM activities have obtained the official certification of 'continuous educational courses' for the personnel of the National Health System.
SISM is an associated member of the International Federation of Societies for Microscopy (
I.F.S.M.) and since January 2002, it is a member society of the European Microscopy Society (E.M.S.).
SISM has more than 300 members belonging to public institutions (i.e. Universities, National Research Council, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Environment, Hospitals, etc) as well as private companies and industries.
The biennial meeting of the Society takes place, since nineties, within the Multinational Congress of Microscopy, that is organized in turn by the Austrian Society of Electron Microscopy, the Croatian Society for Electron Microscopy, the Czechoslovak Microscopy Society, the Hungarian Society for Microscopy, the Italian Society for Microscopical Sciences, the Slovene Society for Microscopy and Serbian Society for Microscopy.
Young researchers are one of the most important concern of SISM. Many efforts are continuously made in order to favour the participation of young scientist to national and international meetings by announcing grants and awards for best contributions. More recently, the Society has also introduced the SISM award for scientist using microscopic techniques as an important tool in their research.
The society publishes twice a year the journal 'Microscopie', that is distributed to all SISM members. The journal contains scientific papers as well as information concerning the society and events for microscopists.
The Society, since years, set up the web page (www.sism.it) in order to keep informed all microscopists about national and international meetings, awards and job opportunities. Through the web page it is also possible to be linked to other Societies, to join SISM and to register to SISM activities.
A collaborative interaction is also established between SISM and commercial or industrial partners for the organization of seminars, workshops and courses. In addition, the Society aims to support spin-off actions realized by members of the Society promoting their activities and products.
In conclusion, researchers, professional operators and specialized personnel in industries within the microscopy field, that use or are planning to use microstructural techniques, will find in SISM the natural place to discuss any problems they may encounter in their work and to follow the development and applications of any kind of microscopy.

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