Taking charge of history
In the May 12 issue of AIP Matters, I described a special symposium held at the American Center for Physics that commemorated the career contributions of Spencer Weart. Spencer is retiring as Director of AIP's Center for History of Physics, having served in this capacity since 1974. I am very pleased to announce that we have completed an international search for Spencer's successor. Early next year, Gregory A. Good will assume directorship of the Center. Greg has the experience, credentials, and support of the history community to continue the fine work pioneered by Spencer. See last week's AIP press release for more details. Spencer has graciously agreed to remain at AIP for the next several months to ensure an effective transition.
Greg is currently Chair of the History Department at West Virginia University. His professional interests include the history of physics and of the earth sciences in the 19th and 20th centuries. Earth science is a multi-disciplinary field involving many areas of science (physics, chemistry, biology, oceanography, and astronomy). Greg's research, publications, and teaching have focused on the interactions of these disciplines, shifting research programs, and the commitments (social, institutional, and political) that affect progress in geosciences. Among his published works is, The Earth, the Heavens and the Carnegie Institution of Washington (1994). He has also served as editor of the two-volume Sciences of the Earth encyclopedia (1998).
Greg is no stranger to the AIP, our Member Societies, or the History Center. He has used the center extensively for his research and has helped AIP by serving on the AIP Archives Grants Committee in 2000, chairing our History Advisory Committee since 2004, and, most recently, serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the very successful symposium on May 9 that honored Spencer's accomplishments. AIP and the physics community are fortunate to attract such high-caliber historians of science as Spencer Weart and Greg Good to the helm of the History Center. I look forward to working with both gentlemen in their new capacities: Greg Good as the incoming Center Director and Spencer Weart as the retiring Director, who will remain involved in the continuing development of the Center's special web exhibitions.
Library-themed birthday bash for Scitopia
Several AIP staff members participated in the Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) in Seattle, WA, last week, June 15-18. This key conference, which attracts 5,000-6,000 librarians, is a magnet for major publishers, societies, and other vendors who cater to these essential customers. With this in mind, AIP sponsored the PAM (Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division) Hospitality Suite and a birthday reception for Scitopia, which was officially launched at last year's SLA meeting. Scitopia is a vertical search portal to the research most cited in scholarly work and patents; it helps researchers quickly find the quality content they need.
There was much talk in the exhibit halls of data mining and developing products and services that can be embedded into researchers' workflow. Unsurprisingly, plenty of discussion centered on Web 2.0 and how libraries can use the many tools that are now available in a way that's useful for their patrons.
What does it mean to be a citizen scientist?
Would you vote for a physicist who ran for mayor or the school board? Should some physicists abandon their particle research to help solve the energy problem? What does it mean to be a citizen scientist? Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ) plans to tackle questions like these and the overarching theme of scientific citizenship at its 2008 Congress. Held every four years, this event is scheduled for November 6-8 at Fermilab, one of the world's largest scientific instruments, and will explore the greater role of the physicist in our society. The construction of the first atomic bomb prompted many scientists to engage in government and public organizations, sharing their knowledge of the world to help shape public opinion of science, to assist with government policy decisions, or to otherwise connect their work with the broader community. This legacy continues today, with more physicists elected to the US Congress than ever before, to give just one example. Participants in the ΣΠΣ Congress will not only hear from noted citizen scientists but will engage in workshops to map out the honor society's future. See the ΣΠΣ Congress website for more information.
All systems go!
This month, Publishing Technology and Business Systems and Operations performed one of our three annual disaster recovery exercises at the IBM facility in Sterling Forest, NY. Additional staff joined in the test via remote access from Melville and College Park. This round of tests focused on the Fulfillment and Marketing Services, Financials, and Accounts Receivable business units. Teamwork is critical to recovery events, and all participants worked together successfully. Our next exercise will center on Online and Production Services and will take place in November.
Don't forget your shades!
The longest days of the year are upon us, so remember to protect your skin and eyes against the damaging effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays. The Aetna and HIP websites offer some tips: limit sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm, wear light-colored clothing, and use sunscreen frequently and liberally.
You know it's good . . . it's organic
AIP is pleased to present a publication called APL: Organic Electronics and Photonics (APL:OEP). Launched in May, this new online-only publication aggregates articles from a topical section of the same name within Applied Physics Letters (APL), allowing institutions and researchers to subscribe to an important subset of papers from APL. Papers in APL:OEP focus on emerging technologies, like organic light-emitting devices, thin-film transistors, capacitors, photodiodes, and photovoltaic cells, and on basic research in organic electronic and photonic science. With APL:OEP, AIP plans to be at the forefront of developments in this rapidly evolving field, delivering greater visibility for researchers as well as a more focused access to this research field. Visit APL:OEP for details.
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