Monday, April 12, 2010
H. Frederick Dylla

Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

APS hosts largest ever March Meeting

APS logo Teams from the AIP Publishing and Physics Resources Centers took part in the 2010 APS March meeting, from March 15 – 19 in Portland, OR. This was APS's largest meeting yet, with more than 100 invited sessions, 550 contributed sessions, and more than 7,500 participants. AIP typically invests heavily in this meeting because it attracts such significant numbers of physicists of all ages, from undergraduate students to PhD physicists nearing the end of their careers.

AIP's media team publicized the March meeting, wrote and disseminated press releases, staffed the APS press room, and organized press conferences. This year's press conferences focused on cutting-edge topics such as ultracold chemistry, new electronics, the physics of the nervous system, disease detection, the physics of baseball, breakthroughs in fluid dynamics, novel designs for batteries, and more. AIP staff worked with APS to set up a virtual press room and image gallery; they also gathered stories for Inside Science News Service. A number of scientific publications, including Nature, Scientific American, Science News, New Scientist, Science, and Physics World sent reporters.

Education staff helped facilitate the tutorial, "Careers in Industry and Government Laboratories", presented at the Teachers Day events, and chaired sessions organized by the Forum on Education and the Society of Physics Students (SPS). SPS ran two contributed sessions for undergraduate research along with a reception and graduate student panel, and partnered with APS to host a poster session and an awards reception for undergraduate students. SPS played a significant role in organizing a panel on careers using physics. Career Network, which manages APS' online Career Center, held a job fair. Twenty employers conducted interviews onsite to fill over one hundred job openings related to physics and engineering.

The AIP booth at the APS meeting was in a prime location, and drew a good crowd to learn about AIPís many products and latest offerings. AIP Publishing ran a lively booth, promoting AIP journals and partner journals. Plasma screens showcased partner journals' homepages and AIP UniPHY. Booth visitors who completed our social media survey were entered into a raffle for an iPod Touch. UniPHY attracted a significant number of attendees and exhibitors, many of whom registered for the network on the spot.

Physics Today (PT) sponsored the Exhibitors' Lounge where exhibitors could relax, enjoy refreshments, and conduct meetings with clients. PT also ran a booth and surveyed visitors. The survey's responses revealed APS members' preferences: they value Physics Today (98% want to keep receiving it); and 76% of the respondents prefer to receive PT in print, despite the proliferation of digital applications. Physics Today editors also attended meeting sessions, interacted with readers, and returned with over a dozen leads for future news stories.

Publishing staff took part in the "Energy Research Opportunities" workshop organized by the recently formed APS Topical Group on Energy Research. AIP's Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (JRSE) sponsored the networking reception that followed. Read more in Brandon Miller's blog post on JRSE Clean. Together with APS, AIP sponsored the Meet the Editors reception, providing conference attendees with an opportunity to interact with many of the APS and AIP journal editors, who welcomed questions, comments, and suggestions on making the journals more valuable to community. Staff gathered feedback from attendees on their use of online journals.

Based on the diversity of research presented, the volume of conducted business and the sheer numbers of attending scientists, the physics community is thriving. Congratulations to APS for orchestrating this successful meeting!

PRC Matters

Science education not left behind

Congress is currently working on sweeping education legislation, and AIP is working to make sure science education is included as an important part of this effort. Also known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) authorizes federally funded education programs that are administered by the states. Unfortunately, since passage of NCLB in 2002, there have been significant reductions in science instruction for grades K-12, an unintended outcome of standardized testing in reading and mathematics—the only two subjects that count toward a school's measure of success. AIP and its Member Societies have been actively engaged in lobbying Congress on the science education provisions of the ESEA reauthorization to ensure the promise of a quality science education for our nation's children. Recently, this included a letter, signed by several Member Societies, to the leadership of the House Education and Labor Committee, which specifically encouraged the following:

  1. Including science in accountability measures while recognizing the importance of laboratory and inquiry-based learning;
  2. Including language directing school districts to set aside a portion of the teacher quality funds for science professional development programs; and
  3. Creating an office at the Department of Education to oversee the department's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs.
Around AIP

What have you been up to?

A feature of the Employease Network allows us (and you) to track your education and professional development. If you have attended a workshop or seminar in the past few years, or if you have received a certification, you should update your records with this valuable information. Sign into the Employease_Network and click on the "personal" tab, then "talent." Choose from active "goals" and follow the directions. After saving, you will receive a message that your request has been sent to Human Resources for processing. The information will be accepted after you provide Human Resources with a copy of your training certificate. Contact Judy Rance or Donna Jones if you have any questions.

Physics community mourns the loss of Howard Voss

Howard G. Voss Committed volunteer Howard G. Voss, age 74, passed away March 29, 2010, after a brief illness. Howard was professor emeritus at Arizona State University, where he was chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1994 to 2000. A longtime member of AAPT, he served on multiple committees and was president in 1994. Howard served AIP on its Governing Board from 1993 to 1995 and on many committees, including the Publishing Policy Committee, 1983–92; the Journals Subcommittee, 1988–92 (as chair); and the Physics Programs Policy Committee, 1989–92. Howard was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, and leaves behind 2 brothers, 3 sons and daughters-in-law, 11 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

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