H. Frederick DyllaDirector's Matters

One of the pleasures of interacting with the scientific community is periodically sharing opportunities to recognize significant achievements by our colleagues. Although lacking the pomp of the film industry's Academy Awards, the scientific community's Nobel Prizes generate lasting fame among scientific colleagues and brief notoriety among the general press. Beyond this pinnacle, scientific societies have established and endowed a wide variety of prestigious awards and prizes to recognize their colleagues' accomplishments—from early career "rising star" awards to recognitions of lifelong contributions. Last week we were fortunate to hear of two career awards for colleagues who have intersected my life and the lives of many in the AIP community.

Mildred S. Dresselhaus, 2009 Vannevar Bush Award recipient. On March 9, the National Science Board announced that Mildred S. Dresselhaus of MIT, former chair of the AIP Governing Board, will receive the board's esteemed Vannevar Bush Award. All Millie's colleagues at AIP and our Member and Affiliated Societies are thrilled to see this award given to Millie. On the occasion of Millie's retirement as chair of the AIP Governing Board last March, I related, in the April 7, 2008, issue of this newsletter, how Millie's science and leadership have affected our community. Coincidentally, she has also influenced my own career. I was fortunate to enroll at MIT as an undergraduate student just a year before Millie joined the faculty in 1968. Our scientific and professional interests intersected over the next four decades. Vannevar Bush Award Millie was once dubbed the "Queen of Carbon" for her many contributions to science and application of this common but essential element for life and commerce. As my scientific career progressed from high-temperature plasma research, to the design of superconducting accelerators for nuclear physics, to laser research, I found myself constantly using data and information that Millie's research team had amassed on various forms of carbon.

Friedrich Wagner, Stern-Gerlach Medal 2009 recipient. On March 4, Friedrich Wagner, president of the European Physical Society (EPS) and distinguished researcher at Germany's Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics, was awarded the highest honor by the German Physical Society (DPG)—the Stern-Gerlach Medal 2009. This award recognized Wagner's illustrious career, which spanned contributions to plasma physics, particularly his discovery of a means to manipulate the magnetic confinement of high-temperature plasmas. This discovery enabled the first demonstration of significant power generation in fusion power experiments (in the Joint European Torus in the UK and the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor in the US) after more than 50 years of concerted worldwide efforts. I have been fortunate to know Fritz Wagner as a friend and colleague, as I related to you in the September 17, 2007, issue. We met in 1976 as we both attended our first workshop in plasma physics. In 2007 we shared a joint mission in association management as he began his tenure as EPS president, and as I assumed my fortunate role as Executive Director and CEO of AIP. Learning, teaching, experiencing, and advocating science are all contact sports. We are fortunate to be employed in an endeavor and organization with such remarkable contacts.


Future vision
viewplus logo In mid-February, AIP Publishing Services hosted Bob Kelly, director of APS Journal Information Systems, and John Gardner, founder and president of ViewPlus Technologies, at the Melville Publishing Center. Approximately 40 AIP staff from various departments attended a presentation about making physics articles accessible to people who are blind or have other reading disabilities, such as dyslexia. A prototype Physical Review Letters article was read in full (including the math!) by a computer-generated voice. The presenters also spoke about other potential general benefits of this technology, including the ability to add content and intelligence to items within an article, such as tables and figures. AIP fully supports this APS initiative and is actively participating in a working group with the goal of "developing software and procedures necessary for scholarly publishers to produce and deliver accessible journal articles to their subscribers." AIP Publishing Services also visited ViewPlus Technologies' offices in Corvallis, OR, to discuss production-related issues and concerns and to identify the next steps necessary to realize this vision.

Goudsmit (R) and Lt. Toepel in Stadtilm, Germany, Alsos Mission, ca. 1945 Samuel Goudsmit Papers go online
The Niels Bohr Library and Archives recently received funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for an exciting new project to scan and make available online the complete contents of the Samuel A. Goudsmit Papers. Goudsmit (1902–1978) was a Dutch-educated physicist who spent his career in the US and was involved at the cutting edge of physics for over 50 years. He was an important player in the development of quantum mechanics in the 1920s and 1930s; he then served as scientific head of the Alsos Mission during World War II, which assessed the progress of the German atomic bomb project. Goudsmit became a senior scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and editor-in-chief of the American Physical Society. The papers consist of an estimated 66,000 documents, which include correspondence, research notebooks, lectures, reports, and captured German war documents; the collection is the most used in the library.

This is the first manuscript collection that we will digitize, and it will become one of the few complete history-of-physics collections online. We plan to make the collection freely available online by summer 2010.

Who we are—Fulfillment and Marketing Services

AIP Fulfillment and Marketing (F&M) Services provides membership management, subscription processing, marketing services, fulfillment, meetings registration, and fundraising support to more than 18 societies. Division director Lori Carlin leads an efficient team (see the organizational chart, page 20). Through the customer service unit, F&M supports the user community for subscriptions and membership maintenance, as well as the Scitation hosting platform. Through the marketing services unit, F&M supports all Publishing Center marketing efforts for the AIP family of publishing products and services. This includes exhibits, promotions, and marketing collaterals; the team also provides support to a number of our Member Societies and other partners.

From the left: Bruce Shriver; Victoria Gentile; Bernadette Garcia; Gina Bruno; Lori Carlin; Donna King (front); Ruth Levins (back), Kimberly Matura (back); Yvonne Reyes (front); Kimberly Fischer; Elissa Remus & Paul Lurrie. Daniel Wilk is not pictured.

APS anticipates a blockbuster March Meeting
APS March Meeting The American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting begins today in Pittsburgh, PA, and runs through Friday, March 20. Attendance is expected to reach an all-time high, with the sole exception of the APS Centennial Meeting 10 years ago, when the March and April meetings were combined. Scientists from around the world, professionals and students alike, will present more than 7,000 research papers on subjects ranging from condensed-matter physics to chemical and biological physics.

AIP has a large cadre of staff attending, in many different capacities: as invited speakers, session moderators, exhibitors, workshop facilitators, reception sponsors, and committee participants, and to run the job fair and press office. The March meeting is both heavily focused on technical sessions and a means by which AIP connects with our colleagues and constituents. Physics Today staff members are using the opportunity to develop material for future magazine content. The Statistical Research Center staff are presenting the latest data on supply and demand in physics and offering insight into physics and science workforce issues. AIP Education's Society of Physics Students (SPS) is providing one of the largest groups of undergraduate presenters ever to a March meeting, with 25 oral presenters and 20 poster presenters in the student sessions, and many more presenting in the regular sessions. Members of the SPS chapters of St. Peter's College and SUNY Fredonia are serving as meeting reporters.

The APS exhibit show, managed by the AIP Exhibits division, is expected to be lively. AIP itself has representatives running two booths: one for AIP Journals and another for Computing in Science and Engineering magazine (CiSE), as about half of AIP's CiSE subscribers are APS members. Physics Today staff members are also running the exhibitor lounge, which provides refreshments and seating for 200 companies and 700 exhibitors. These efforts promote our products and help AIP relate to our editors, authors, reviewers, advertisers, and prospective customers. Physics Today Career Network staff members are operating the APS job fair and have arranged for more than 20 organizations to interview prospective candidates.

The convergence of key players from across the physics community creates a prime opportunity to hold satellite meetings, such as the 2009 Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) Conference and AIP's Review of Scientific Instruments' board meeting. You'll likely hear more about these important meetings in future issues.

So, how can you learn more? Tap into the virtual pressroom. The AIP media relations staff is working closely with APS to coordinate press efforts and publicize this event to the greater community. To keep current on the cutting-edge research, Pittsburgh is the place to be this week.

We invite your feedback to this newsletter via e-mail to aipmatters@aip.org.

For past issues of this newsletter, visit the AIP Matters archives.