Robert Kirby-Harris, chief executive of the Institute of Physics (IOP), visited AIP and APS in College Park last week. This was a reciprocal visit: I met with him and the IOP senior staff in London in July. IOP is similar to both AIP and APS in some regards. Like AIP, IOP provides umbrella activities for other physics-related societies, including publishing services for the European Physical Society. Also like AIP and APS, IOP is one of the largest and most dynamic publishers of physics information in the world. Its flagship magazine, Physics World, has a similar audience as Physics Today. Unlike AIP, however, but similar to APS, IOP has its own individual members—34,000 worldwide, primarily in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Furthermore, all three organizations have missions that focus on the interests of physics and the physics community. These common characteristics and interests make regular communications among IOP, AIP and APS quite natural.
The purpose of the recent visit was to explore how the three organizations can collaborate and leverage resources to better serve the international physics community. We have agreed to collaborate with respect to endeavors such as promulgating new and exciting results of physics research to the non-scientific community, science career development and services, educational initiatives, and promoting physics as an important field to study. Studying physics gives a basic understanding of fundamental scientific principles, which can be applied to a host of sub-fields and related disciplines; and a physics background is valuable to many professions beyond the sciences, including engineering, business, medicine, and even public service, as solutions to social concerns often have technical components (e.g., energy and climate).
AIP has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with IOP. The Publishing Center has worked with IOP on various endeavors, starting with a project called CoDAS (Condensed Matter Direct Alerting Service) in the early 1990s, and most recently with Scitopia. Before CrossRef, IOP was the second organization with which AIP made a linking agreement. Currently, representatives from AIP and IOP sit on the boards of CrossRef and STM, and IOP participates in the AIP/APS Virtual Journals. In addition, AIP provides fulfillment services for all IOP North American customers. Close collaboration is mutually beneficial, indeed.
*The AIP Executive Committee will meet on Thursday and the Governing Board will meet on Friday of this week at ACP in College Park. Please give them a warm welcome.
AIP streamlines customer service
In an effort to improve customer service for the Society members, subscribers, and institutions we serve, the Scitation Help Desk and the Membership Services Department of Fulfillment & Marketing Services are being integrated. The new, unified team now handles customer queries regarding subscriptions and online access, as well as technical support for Scitation. The team has complete access to the MACS customer database and are cross-trained to respond to all customer needs in a comprehensive manner. Having a single point of contact will result in more efficient service for both individuals and institutional customers, and demonstrate AIP's continuing commitment to excellence.
Editorial support staff visit Production
In mid-October, Production Operations hosted a visit by 12 editorial support staff members, representing many of the remote offices of the AIP Journals. These staff members, working at more than a dozen editorial office locations throughout the U.S., provide support for the Editors and facilitate the entire peer-review process. The support staff—most using Peer X-Press for web-based editorial management—work closely with authors and reviewers on submitted manuscripts. A fraction of the manuscripts submitted are accepted for publication and transmitted to AIP. The visit was an opportunity for the remote editorial staff to gain a better understanding of the production process and, consequently better streamline their own office procedures.
MGR and SPS collaborate to promote awards to media
When Austin Basye won the SPS Outstanding Student Researcher Award including a $500 prize and a trip to London, how would anyone find out? Often, local reporters in the Abilene, TX, area would not be apprised of this prestigious winner in their midst unless one of the physics professors at Abilene Christian University wrote an article and submitted it.
To rectify this, the Media and Government Relations team has created an online media kit for SPS to use. Now when a local student receives an Award, these kits make it a lot easier to get the word out. Read more about Austin and fellow winners, Claire Ryu and Gregory Carson.
On September 27, 2007, Physics Today editor-in-chief Stephen Benka traveled to the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to speak at the physics department's traditional Thursday colloquium. In his talk, La física está viva en Argentina, Benka emphasized that physics is more than a university curriculum: In the 21st century, physics is not only involved in uncovering profound truths but also intertwined with many other intellectual endeavors in finding solutions to profound problems in the world. To Benka, the study of physics embodies a sense of curiosity, an intellectual adventure, and a deep-seated need to understand. While in Argentina, Benka learned that the country's recently stabilized political and economic conditions are allowing physicists to acquire experimental equipment, in short supply for many years. If you are proficient in Spanish, you can read the University's article about Benka's talk.
CORRECTION: In the Sleepless in Seattle story last week, the PT Career Network's role at the AVS International Symposium was incorrectly stated. The Career Network was promoting the online job site, urging exhibitors to post jobs on the AVS Online Job Board.
Trick or treat
Halloween is just two days away. On October 31, we invite you to wear a Halloween costume and join in the festivities. College Park will have its annual party and costume contest, while employees that come dressed in costume in Melville will have their names entered in a raffle. If you win the raffle, you may receive a trick or a treat. College Park employees will compete against the rest of ACP employees for various prizes by trying to be the scariest, the funniest and/or the most creative. See you on Halloween!
The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) was founded in 1930 with the mission of advancing the greater good through physics education. AAPT maintains its strong commitment to advancing physics education at all levels by supporting teachers through professional and curricular development, research, public policy, and student outreach. Shortly after its formation, the nascent association became one of the five "Founder Societies" of AIP.
Originally housed in Stony Brook, New York, the association now has a staff of 30 at the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland. AAPT celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2006. Today it boasts nearly 12,000 members from every state and 30 countries and net assets of more than five million dollars a year. More than 1,000 members attend each winter and summer annual meeting.
AAPT serves its colleagues in science and the larger community with two world-class journals: The American Journal of Physics, a unique collection of peer-refereed papers that span the full spectrum of physics; and The Physics Teacher, which concentrates on the teaching of introductory physics in the pre-college, college, and university settings. Interactions Across Physics and Education, a non-technical magazine focuses on the people, places, programs, and policies affecting physics education. Interactions debuted in January 2007.
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