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-- -- December 19, 2011
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Fred Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director

Season's Greetings!

I wish all readers of AIP Matters—staff, governance, donors, Member Society leadership and other AIP-associated colleagues—a festive holiday season. Thank you for your hard work, support, advice and time during 2011. AIP's continued ability to deliver value in science depends on you. I hope you make time to relax and enjoy the holidays, and I look forward to working with you in the New Year.
Best regards,


AIP Matters will resume on January 9, 2012.

Physics Resources Matters

GR team works the periodic table

periodic table In addition to working with AAS and AGU to lobby for funding to restart domestic production of Pu-238 (plutonium), AIP is hopping back up to the top of the periodic table to support APS' efforts with the US Senate to introduce legislation that ensures a stable and competitively priced helium supply to the nation's scientific enterprise. Helium is critical to a variety of industrial, scientific, and medical markets, including medical devices (MRIs), industrial welding, high-tech manufacturing (microchips and fiber optic cables), space exploration (NASA), and scientific research. The current approach to managing the domestic helium supply mandates the sale of existing federal helium assets at a specific price set forth in law, which distorts the private helium market, creating price fluctuations and shortages for commercial, federal, medical, and scientific users. AIP and several of our Member Societies have agreed to support the Helium Stewardship Act of 2011, soon to be introduced in the Senate. The act includes provisions to promote the responsible management of federal crude helium assets; stimulate development of private sources of helium, thereby stabilizing the market; and authorizes the Secretary of Energy to support research and development of technologies that aid the natural gas industry and helium users in capturing, gathering, producing, recycling, and conserving helium.

Dynamic Fluids

Ray Villard of the Space Telescope Science Institute explains the importance of understanding your audience when talking to and through the media.Last month, AIP's Media Services team provided outreach support for the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting in Baltimore. FFrom DFD's image gallery, Nematode swimming in an aqueous drop. Credit: R. Ghosh (Princeton University) and J. Sznitman (Technion). More than a dozen news releases were issued on topics ranging from how mosquitoes can fly even when slammed by much heavier raindrops (this story went "viral" and the release alone was viewed by more than 80,000 people) to the science behind the swirling of wine. In addition, AIP helped organize an online gallery of fluid motion, which contains many evocative images and animations. While on site, AIP also organized a media training session for attendees. Journalists and communication experts shared their views on what makes compelling science stories and how scientists can help bridge the gap between scientific precision and public understanding. A video from that event will be made available on the APS/DFD website.
Coming Up

Monday, December 19

  • AIP Publishing Center holiday lunch (Melville, NY)

Through Tuesday, December 20

  • ACP holiday gift drive, benefitting College Park Youth and Family Services (College Park, MD)

Wednesday, December 21

  • AIP holiday lunch (College Park, MD)

January 8–12

  • AAS 219th Meeting (Austin, TX)