H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

Retreat to the front
At the end of this week, the AIP Executive Committee will convene in St. Michaels, MD, for their annual planning retreat. Though the location may seem to be an idyllic retreat setting, our dedicated Executive Committee members will be intensely engaged on several key issues that affect the health of the institute and the physical sciences community. Given the variety of business and outreach activities AIP presents to our governing bodies during the year, few topics can be treated in depth. So we use this retreat to tackle a few selected issues and take advantage of the critical review offered by this knowledgeable group.

Last year many AIP staff members contributed to the production of three-year strategic plans for both the Publishing Center and the Physics Resource Center (PRC). Likewise, many of our Board and Advisory Committee members contributed to and reviewed these plans. We have since begun to systematically implement many of the recommendations put forth in the plans. At this week's retreat, we will be spending a full day examining a number of new initiatives in the Publishing Center that take advantage of AIP's reputation in applied physics, including a proposed new journal and web products. We will also examine two business plans that are hot off the keyboard from PRC for Physics Today and Physics Today Online (PTOL), and for Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science (DBIS). Solid business plans are required to keep these important enterprises financially viable and valued by their audiences.

AIP's Physics Today Advisory Committee, which usually confines its advice to editorial matters, was instrumental in urging AIP to consider the opportunities of strengthening and broadening PTOL for various services to the Member Societies and physical science community. The DBIS series is AIP's primary science-news outreach to the general public—producing 90-second news items on science topics and reaching more than 47 million viewers via local TV newscasts. As the number of participating stations (100+) and the number of partner organizations (23) grow, a thorough plan is needed to guide the program and maintain its high quality.

We thank our Executive Committee, who are also volunteers, for making the time commitment to focus on these important programs. By the time the retreat winds down on Saturday afternoon, we will have arrived at a consensus on the best way to move forward.

Sincerely,
Fred

 

Doug LaFrenier (left), Lori Carlin (center), and Fred Dylla (right) host visitors from Kinokuniya. (Darlene Walters also served as host to our Kino friends one last time before her upcoming retirement, but she was unavailable for the picture.) Kinokuniya's representatives visit the Publishing Center
On June 2, AIP welcomed Yoichiro Fudeyasu, Shigeharu Ono, and Sakae Yotsuya of Kinokuniya, our exclusive distributor of journal subscriptions in Japan. Also present at this annual meeting were several members of the APS staff. Japan represents a significant percentage of our subscribers and authors and is a unique market. During the meeting, subscription activity, consortia arrangements, promotional efforts, and product developments for 2009 were reviewed. Kinokuniya staff also briefed AIP on developments in the education sector. For example, in response to a shrinking number of young people, national public universities are merging, which reduces the number of large physics research units. Decreases in government funding will also negatively impact research activity. Nevertheless, with the help of Kinokuniya, AIP and its publishing partners are well poised to respond quickly to changing conditions, and we rest assured that key information about our products is well disseminated throughout the Japanese physics and library communities.

SPS interns SPS National Interns arrive
The 2008 Society of Physics Students National Interns began their summer experiences last Monday and will work with organizations such as SPS, APS, AAPT, NASA, NIST and MRSEC through August 6. Some are conducting scientific research; others are working on education or outreach projects. We invite you to read their introductions posted on the SPS website and to return often to read their weekly journals.

 

Books of the future: Dickinson goes digital
Human–Computer Interaction Lab AIP technology staff attended the 25th annual symposium of the University of Maryland's Human–Computer Interaction Lab. Presentations were grouped under the themes "Books of the Future," "Diverse Users," and "Understanding Information." Of interest were results of a study on how people handle paper books versus digital tablets and a paper on Ecoblogging that makes use of UMD's Swoogle and the OWL ontology language. Attendees enjoyed an interactive demo on the work of Emily Dickinson. The demo featured zooming in on scanned manuscripts, side-by-side dragable document comparisons, and rich commentary with full text. See more in The Technology Blog.

Club Quarters Hotel membership
AIP is a member of Club Quarters—a private, full-service hotel chain that offers unique, user-friendly services for the business traveler in a club-like setting. As a great fringe benefit, staff, their families and guests may use any of the 13 Club Quarters locations for personal overnight stays, weddings and other special events at low rates 365 days a year. Rates begin at $56. To make reservations visit http://www.clubquarters.com (password "AIP"), or call Club Quarters Member Services at 212-575-0006.

Carpe diem!
Seize the day, not the carpet. When it came time to replace the old carpeting throughout the College Park offices, AIP took the opportunity to make an eco-friendly choice. The new carpeting is lighter and made from at least 35% recycled materials and without any PVC thermoplastics. The "green" upshot is reduced chlorine and volatile organics in the environment and lower fuel costs.

 

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