Both Houses of Congress were back at work on April 16 after their traditional spring recess. The next several months will be very important in determining the level of federal support for scientific research and for the strengthening of the country's education programs for future scientists and engineers. Important bills are being formulated in the House and Senate to increase federal support for the physical sciences. This funding has been flat (after accounting for inflation) since the end of the Cold War era in the early 1990s. Bipartisan legislation now before Congress, based on funding levels first proposed last year in the Administration's "American Competitive Initiative," would set the stage for unprecedented increases in physical sciences funding. Significant increases in federal funding for science education would also be authorized. This action follows mounting concern that our nation's competitive edge is being eroded. Congress reacted with a similar boost in science funding following the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik in 1957.
It should be no surprise to any AIP or Member Society staff member that funding frontier scientific research and educating future scientists and engineers are absolutely essential to the health of the nation. For the last 18 years, AIP has been providing a well-respected policy bulletin service that delivers timely reports on federal developments affecting the federal funding and conduct of science. This bulletin service, coined "FYI," was launched in 1989 and is written by Richard Jones and Audrey Leath of Media and Government Relations. Since FYI first appeared, more than 2,800 issues have been produced that are distributed via email and posted on AIP's Public Policy website. At this time of year, Richard and Audrey spend a good fraction of their time on Capitol Hill reporting on congressional hearings and other activities relating to federal agencies that fund the physical sciences (DOE, NSF, NASA, NIST, DOD and USGS). The resulting FYI bulletins are uniformly praised by readers for being accurate, unbiased, complete and timely accounts of politics in action. Reviews such as this are rare in political reporting, and we at AIP should congratulate Richard and Audrey for their efforts on our behalf. If you would like to see examples of FYI or sign-up for distribution, go to http://www.aip.org/gov/.
New journal from across the Atlantic
Production Operations staff are preparing articles for the premier issue of Human Frontier Science Program Journal, a new publication from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP). Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, HFSP Journal aims to foster communication between scientists publishing innovative interdisciplinary research at the interface between biology and the physical sciences. AIP will provide online hosting, printing and subscription fulfillment services for the journal.
Earlier this month, key publishing staff gathered at an off-site location for brainstorming and discussion on the Publishing Long Range Plan 2008 - 2010. A second off-site planning session will take place in Melville on May 16. The planning process began last September at the Executive Committee retreat meeting in Portland, and has continued at the fall 2006 and spring 2007 Publishing Policy Committee meetings. The plan will be completed over the next several months and presented to the AIP Governing Board this fall.
Keeping spiders out of the library
The Niels Bohr Library & Archives recently received a collection of old textbooks that were infested with brown spiders. The library's world-class book collection is built from donations, but old materials do sometimes carry pests. So when ACP was built we made a "receiving room" with a sealed door and its own air-handling system. New "old" collections go there first, and we watch them for a couple of weeks. If things crawl out, we will use standard archival methods to treat the items that are valuable enough to be worth the expense.
SNAP publishes article on Physics Today Buyers' Guide
Jeff Bebee, Physics Today's marketing director, recently turned his hand to writing. The Society of National Association Publications (SNAP) published his article, "Reviving a Buyers' Guide in a Google World," in the January/February 2007 issue of Association Publishing magazine. Although Jeff's article primarily deals with advertising, it addresses issues fundamental to all publishing, such as the merits of print versus online publications. Ironically, Jeff's article is not available online; interested readers should contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIP Internet File System
You can access financial reports, policies and procedures through a central, web-based repository: the Internet File System (IFS). The system, originally based on vendor software, has recently been replaced and customized to match AIP's unique needs. Access is controlled via user name and password, and you can view the information online or print it. We update IFS with financial reports by business area and department each month. Content relating to policies and procedures is refreshed as items are approved for release. For more information, contact Moris Bardach.
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