H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

Diversity matters
Diversity is a recurring topic among physicists and other scientists. Many in the physics community aspire to make their community more representative of the broader population. Why is this important? Some argue (and I agree) that the future health of our field depends on it—that drawing from a larger pool of racially and culturally diverse individuals will not only tap more brainpower, but also bring different approaches to practicing science. To achieve diversity, the community must first be aware of the challenges facing underrepresented minorities in the physical sciences, and then create more opportunities for them to successfully engage.

OSA representative Anthony Johnson (right) and Fred Dylla (AIP, center) confer with committee chair, Quinton Williams (NBSP). Most federal agencies encourage and support programs that are designed to increase diversity in science. Many scientific societies have issued statements that promote increased diversity as a goal of their society. AIP and the 10 Member Societies are no different—we collectively recognize the importance of this issue and want to do what we can to improve the representation of minorities in our fields. AIP helps promote Member Society efforts through the Liaison Committee on Under-represented Minorities (LCURM), which convened at ACP on September 22. Representatives from the Member Societies, the Society of Physics Students, the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) met to discuss commonalities among their programs and identify opportunities for collaboration.

Often the question is how to move from dialogue to action. One deliverable that arose from prior LCURM discussions was a project to make scientific journals more accessible to historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions. Initiated in 2008 by AIP and APS for a one-year period, the program provided these institutions with the entire suite of their journal offerings free of charge. AAPM, ASA, and AVS subsequently joined the program, and, together, we agreed to extend it through 2010, to help these institutions weather the recession. The goal is not only to strengthen science communication in the short term, but to find a long-term pricing formula that will allow these institutions to maintain access to this content for the future. LCURM discussions have also yielded increased publicity for awards and opportunities for minorities offered across the Member Societies and increased Member Society participation in the annual NSBP/NSHP meeting.

NSHP representative Dave Ernst (right) shares ideas with Ines Cifuentes of AGU and Paul Gueye of AAPM. This year's discussions led the group to identify needs and areas where several societies can work together. For example, societies can encourage academic departments to more carefully monitor the progress of minority students to provide them with timely support and assessment. The participants are now tasked with reporting back to their respective societies, advocating for continued or increased support of diversity programs, and encouraging collaboration on the projects and programs discussed at this latest meeting. The diversity issue is most certainly to be with us for decades, but with due diligence and more solidarity we can make progress.


The C³ journey continues with the launch of eBooks for SPIE
Scitation In September, Scitation launched the highly anticipated eBooks service, which marks another exciting stepping stone in the C³ journey. This new service was driven by the growing demand for and acceptance of eBooks in scholarly publishing and the desire of our publishing partners to combine their publication content into multiproduct services on a single platform. SPIE—the international society for optics and photonics—is the first Scitation publishing partner to benefit from this dynamic new publishing model. SPIE's eBooks site—hosted on AIP's Scitation C³ platform—provides three valuable series of SPIE Press titles in optics and photonics to institutions and individuals, via subscriptions or purchase of individual book chapters. The eBooks are fully integrated into the SPIE Digital Library so that researchers and students are now able to cross-search and access journals, proceedings, and books on a single site. Feature items such as book and chapter summaries, cover images, and the ability to "drill down" from book series to individual books to separate chapters are just a few of the key functionality tools that provide ease of navigation. AIP's eBook capabilities are possible due to the enrichment and discovery tools of Scitation's new C³ infrastructure, which sets the stage for content mixing, faceted browsing, guided search, and new features that allow users to find related content across a publisher's entire catalog—all in a rich, user-focused environment. User activity is tracked and made available to subscribing institutions through AIP's COUNTER 3 compliant usage statistics service. Scitation's newly enhanced C³ platform establishes a strong foundation for the eBook programs of scholarly publishers and offers a high degree of flexibility and extensibility for future growth. Read the press release.

Emilio Segrè Visual Gail D. Adams looking at vacuum tube for 300-MeV betatron, January 1950. Archives receives historic photos of 300-MeV betatron
In conjunction with the recent large donation of images by the physics department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, AIP's Emilio Segrè Visual Archives (ESVA) received a donation of photos taken by Carl Pittman, a laborer on the betatron project in the late 1940s. Pittman took a series of photos, one of which was published in the March 20, 1950, edition of Life magazine (which had a three-page story on the invention and operation of the 300-MeV betatron—a turning point in accelerator technology). As the images were taken in his capacity as a UIUC employee (he had to turn over his check from Life for the published image), there are no copyright issues involved in making them available. These unpublished images nicely complement photos of the betatron already held by ESVA.

See all betatron photos in the ESVA.

See the Carl Pittman photos
 in the ESVA.

New education policy goals
The AIP government relations staff has often worked with Member Societies to develop new legislative objectives to advance the education of physics and other sciences. Recently, AIP, AAPT, and APS have been closely coordinating efforts to promote this agenda in Congress, and they look forward to working with other Member Societies on the goals. The legislative agenda includes the establishment of a position at the Department of Education to oversee the myriad of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs managed by that department, the institution of a tax credit for science teachers, and the inclusion of science in the Adequate Yearly Progress measure of school effectiveness. A final goal is altering the No Child Left Behind Act to make more effective use of funds for teacher professional development. The three societies have worked with representatives Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Mike Honda (D-CA) to introduce and garner support for several bills that address these concerns.

Club Quarters, World Trade Center now accepting reservations
Club Quarters Club Quarters is now accepting reservations for all dates starting October 15, 2009, at their newest property, located at the World Trade Center. The hotel is situated at 140 Washington Street on the south side of the World Trade Center, with unfettered views of what will become one of the United States' most famous landmarks, the 1776-foot Freedom Tower. AIP is a member of Club Quarters—a private, full-service hotel chain geared toward the business traveler. Request AIP's Club Quarters password.

Who we are—ACP Child Care Center, College Park, MD
The ACP Child Care Centeris one of only a handful of centers in Maryland accredited by both the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Maryland State Department of Education. The center provides early childhood education services for children and legal dependents, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of eligible ACP tenant society employees. Director Audrey Pabs-Garnon has managed the center team (see page 54 of the organizational chart) since the center's opening 16 years ago. She is assisted by degreed and certified staff members, who stay abreast of current development and research in early childhood education. The center is licensed by the Maryland State Department of Education Office of Child Care and has a capacity of 18 children from the ages of six weeks through five years. The center is an ideal setting for parents employed at ACP, who hold the center's open-door policy, learning opportunities, and convenience of care in high esteem.

The center uses the Creative Curriculum, a comprehensive and dynamic approach for assessing, reporting, and planning curriculum for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Interns from the University of Maryland Undergraduate Early Childhood Program fulfill the field placement components of their course work at the center, chosen for demonstrating best early-childhood practices and services. Recently, in support of AIP's initiative to go green, the center transmits lesson plans, daily sheets, and newsletters to parents electronically and has introduced the concept of protecting the environment in educational activities.

ACP Child Care Center staff, from the left: Ngozi Enwere-Maduka, Lindsay Adorjan, Erika Weaver, Shannon Shirley, Audrey Pabs-Garnon, Amy Remington, and Ericka Bendana.

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