H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

Dear Colleagues,

As we watched with horror the tragic events at Virginia Tech, we were all distressed by the senseless and unspeakable violence. I'd like to express our deepest sympathy to colleagues, students, and their families at Virginia Tech. Please read the "Today, we are all Hokies" story below.

Science and technology in the news
Have you watched a local television news program and been pleasantly surprised to see a story about the impact of science and technology on some aspect of your life? What you may not know is that the story may have been produced by AIP on behalf of 20 scientific societies that sponsor Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Science (DBIS). The DBIS team, led by AIP Media & Government Relations' director Alicia Torres, produced its one thousandth segment in 2006.

DBIS segments start with a seemingly impossible task: to convey in 90 seconds, and in simple language, some important scientific study, technical marvel, engineering or medical advance, and make it interesting to watch. Our in-house production team peer reviews story ideas, including those from the 20 sponsoring organizations, and prepares them for professional production by Ivanhoe Broadcast News (our commercial partner). DBIS delivers 12 new segments every month. They are shown on more than 110 TV stations across the country, exposing some 40 million viewers to stories that demonstrate how scientific R & D translates into improvements in our economy, education, health and security. They also expand the public's general knowledge of the world, from subatomic to extragalactic dimensions.

You may wonder how effective these efforts are in the environment where we are bombarded with messages delivered through print and digital media every waking hour. Studies funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation show that the exposure to DBIS segments has measurably improved the appreciation of science among target viewers. This fact is very important as the scientific community, including AIP and its Member Societies, continues to advocate for increased support for scientific research and science education from the U.S. Congress, individual citizens and corporations.

Sincerely yours,
Fred

 

Scitopia.org searches 3 million articles, spanning 150 years of scholarship
Scitopia.org, a new federated vertical search portal, created through the imagination and collaboration of 13 leading science and technology societies, including AIP, goes live in June 2007. With a single click, the site enables users to explore the research most cited in scholarly work and patents, allowing searches of more than three million documents, spanning 150 years of science and technology, including peer-reviewed journal content and conference proceedings. To learn more, click here.

ASME digital library to launch in June 2007
As part of their new digital library to launch on Scitation® in June 2007, ASME International will be expanding its journal archive with the addition of the 1990-1999 volumes and adding a new publication, ASME Conference Proceedings (2002-2006). The ASME Digital Library will feature RSS feeds, article bundle packages, and e-first publication mode. Users will be able to navigate all of the ASME online publications on Scitation®.

"Today, we are all Hokies"
Student physics meetings are usually fun events, with egg-drop competitions, research presentations, career panels, and lots of food. But this weekend, there will be a notable hole in the schedule for the members of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) at Virginia Tech. While the entire country is still reeling from the news of the tragedy, the Virginia Tech physics department, which planned to host an SPS Zone 4 meeting (VA, MD, and DC) on Saturday, announced the cancellation of the meeting due to last week's terrible events on campus.

The department chair and the SPS advisor wrote to AIP letting us know that while none of their immediate physics "family" was injured or killed, many had friends and colleagues who were victims in the Norris Hall shootings, and have been deeply affected. As an example, here is an open letter from a Virginia Tech freshman physics major and SPS member Mark Malloy, continued on the SPS website, www.spsnational.org.

Today we are all Hokies

Physics Today online blog marks first anniversary
Physics Today's News Picks blog marked its first anniversary on April 5, 2007, with more than 1,400 postings to date. Every business day staff members select four to five news stories from the 100 to 500 stories released on the Web that have a timely physics-related component and post them to http://blogs.physicstoday.org/newspicks/. Approximately 1,200 visitors to the Physics Today homepage read the headlines and visit the blog every day. The blog also has an RSS feed to which visitors can subscribe: http://blogs.physicstoday.org/newspicks/atom.xml.

Policies & standards & databases
Wondering where to get a copy of the latest hardware and software standards? Unsure of the signatures required for that unbudgeted PC? Lost your link to Paragon? The Business Systems & Operations (BSO) website can help. The website has information on the IRM Committee, departmental database links, business continuity and other technical services. We welcome your comments and suggestions for additional content. To submit your comments, contact Wendy Marriott.

Compensation training
Human Resources (HR) will offer compensation training sessions in the next few months. Through these sessions, you will find out about AIP's compensation structure and AIP's performance evaluation system, and how the two work together to determine individual salaries. HR will contact you directly about attending these informative sessions. For more information, contact Jonathan Goodwin or Laura Cannillo.

 

We invite your feedback to this newsletter via email to aipmatters@aip.org.