| On Friday, October 21, President Barack Obama personally presented 12 deserving scientists and engineers with the 2010 National Medals of Science and the National Medals of Technology and Innovation; these awards hardly made a ripple in national press. The National Medals of Science have been awarded since 1962 and are administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Under the administration of the Department of Commerce, the first companion National Medals of Technology and Innovation were bestowed several years later, in 1985.
Unlike the Nobel Prizes, or many of the top-level awards offered by professional societies or foundations, there is no monetary award associated with the National Medals. However, these prizes are the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers, and innovators, making these awards our nation's equivalent to the Nobel.
I had the honor of attending the awards ceremony on October 21 for the 2010 laureates, and I came away from the ceremony in awe of the contributions these ladies and gentlemen have made to our knowledge of the world and to our quality of life. A sample of the awards will justify my reaction:
The full list of awardees is available through www.whitehouse.gov.
Vice President of Publishing John Haynes kicked off the conference with a presentation titled "The Nature of the Competitive Challenge." Ron Davidson, editor of Physics of Plasmas and editorial policy advisor, followed with a report on the progress of two editors' working groups, which are looking at guidelines for ethical issues and editorial best practices. The editors also discussed issues of concern for their journals and heard a presentation by AIP's News and Media Services staff about opportunities for bringing more journal content into the popular news stream.
This was the first time the editors conference has been held at ACP. The editors will reconvene on February 26, 2012, for their spring conference in Boston, held in conjunction with the APS March Meeting. Marsha Lester, editor of The Journal of Chemical Physics, will preside as the newly elected conference chair.
|Outstanding Student Award for Undergraduate Research. It is given to one or more SPS members annually, based on the quality of the applicant's research abstract, letters of recommendation, and active participation in SPS. The prize consists of a $500 honorarium for the recipient and $500 for the recipient's SPS chapter, along with an all-expense-paid trip to the annual International Conference of Physics Students (ICPS). The 2011 ICPS was held August 11–18 in Budapest, Hungary. Following are reflections about the conference by the award recipients.
Lauren Richey, Brigham Young University
"I am grateful for the opportunity I had to travel to Budapest to present my research and be part of an international community of physics students, and for the support from the AIP and Sigma Pi Sigma members that made it possible. Overall, the conference was very enjoyable and well organized, creating a good mix of scientific discussion and cultural exploration."
Lena Bradley, Penn State University
"This year marked the 25th anniversary of the ICPS. Since its founding, the conference has been held in many cities across Europe, but the ICPS returned to its home in Budapest in 2011 to celebrate this milestone. As has become the norm, the conference included mostly student lectures and poster presentations, as well as invited lectures, parties, and an excursion. Overall, ICPS was a very rewarding experience."
Thomas Markovich, University of Houston
"All in all, the ICPS was a great meeting—it is responsible for sparking my interest in international travel and collaboration. It was really nice to talk to a variety of people about the different educational systems around the world. I would definitely recommend that SPS continue to fund this award. It provides students with a unique experience in a foreign nation that helps significantly enrich their education."
To see photos, abstracts, and full feature articles about the recipients' experiences at the 2011 ICPS, visit the SPS website.
AIP is proud to have sponsored science-policy fellows for over 20 years. Fellowships are open to members of Member Societies. More info can be found on AIP's public policy webpages. Also see the recent interview with former AIP-AVS fellow Chris Spitzer, "A Year on the Hill."
October 31–November 1
October 31 – November 4
Monday, November 7
Tuesday, November 8