I was the founding editor of the European Journal for High Ability, which subsequently became High Ability Studies, serving from 1989 to 1997. During this term of office I placed particular emphasis on stabilizing the existence of the newborn journal (regular appearance on time), on publishing papers going beyond a conceptualization of high ability as high academic ability to include sporting ability, musical ability, artistic ability and the like, and on inclusion of contributions from the (at that time) newly emerging countries of the former Soviet Union. During this period I was very grateful for the support of the ECHA Board and the scholars who contributed their work to the journal, thus ensuring its survival.
I joined ECHA in 1991 and was privileged to be elected to the General Committee in 1994 when the conference was in Nijmegen - my fondest memory of that conference was racing Francoys Gagne to the Dessert Table at the Conference Dinner - he won! In 1998 I joined the Executive. I was then re-elected in 2004 and took on the role of Secretary until September 2012. I had many happy times during my close involvement with ECHA - the music at the Vienna Conference, the organisation of the Oxford Conference, the heat in Debrecen, moving the venue of the 2002 Conference to Rhodes. Vineyards in the dark in Pamplona, The stunning venue of the conference dinner in Lahti and the elegance of Prague. More hot weather in Paris and the great numbers in Munster.
During 14 years I had the privilege to serve as ECHA Secretary and Treasurer, succeeding Pieter Span in this office. My assistant Menna Jones took meticulously care of the membership files and correspondence, what I gratefully acknowledge. The implementation of credit card payment of membership fees was a significant improvement for easy money transfer from a multitude of countries.
In 1983 Franz Mönks introduced me to 'the world of the gifted', which was the start of things to come. In august 1986 I participated in the first Portuguese conference on gifted education in Porto (Fig 1.). During the conference the president of the Portuguese association, Luiz Nazareth and I agreed on a proposal to found a European association. The objectives of this association should be the study and development of high ability, including the international exchange of information related to that subject. This should also include countries in east Europe, behind the iron curtain. I sent this proposal to European participants of recent conferences on giftedness and to local associations in European countries. Almost all the responses were positive. Only some respondents objected: they thought that Europe was not yet ready for such an association and at least there should be a link with the World Council. (The reader should remember that in those days there was a strong resistance against special attention for the gifted.)
www.echa.info is the website of the European Council of High Ability (ECHA)
The domain www.echa.info is registered by Prof. Dr. Christian Fischer
Published by Péter Csermely, President of ECHA
Development and technical support: Nieschlag & Wentrup; Nettrix
The picture of the home page is originated from Tyler Olson (Shutterstock)
Before applying for membership, please make sure you have read through "fundamental documents" carefully. Standing orders contains information concerning membership and fees, the General Committee, Procedure for the election of the General Committee, Executive Committee, Correspondents' network, National Branches, finances and dues.
Download the standing orders.
Please make sure you have read the Articles of Association before you apply for membership.
The team of Prof. Dr. Christian Fischer was honoured with the conference award by the city of muenster for hosting the 13th International ECHA Conference. It was held in combination with the 4th Muensterscher Bildungskongress in September 2012 and was managed by Dr. Christiane Fischer-Ontrup and Anne Vohrmann.
Between 8th and 10th May a very successful conference was organized with the title: "Towards a European Talent Support Network" in Budapest, Hungary. The conference had 250 participants from 30 European countries. Participants discussed the ideas on a future European Talent Support Network. (See quite a few points in Europe dealing with talent support.) Thanks to the organizers led by Csilla Fuszek the conference was a great fun. Please find a few excellent photos taken by Andras Mayer at a photo gallery page of Tehetseg.hu.