AIP | Matters
-- -- October 22, 2012
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Fred Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

Literature and legacy flow along the Rhine

The month of October is known to everyone in the publishing business as the time to head to Germany for the annual Frankfurt Book Fair. This event is believed to be one of the oldest trade fairs in the world, having started more than 500 years ago when every book was handmade. You can read about why AIP has been participating in the Frankfurt Book Fair for the last 25 years in “Publishing Matters” below. The German Rhineland is indeed an appropriate location to celebrate the written word.

Sculpture of Hildegard von Bingen at the Abbey Church of St. Hildegard in Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany, 1900–1909.

Located about an hour’s drive from Frankfurt, nestled along the western bank of the Rhine River, is the small village of Bingen. After a productive week at the book fair, my wife Linda and I headed for this town, contemporarily reputed for its fine Riesling wines. But Bingen’s true allure lies in remarkable historical events from the Roman era onward that transpired on its soil; the region was witness to many defining developments of European history. More than 900 years ago, Bingen was also the home of an influential woman, a bright signpost of scholarship, “Hildegard von Bingen.”

Hildegard began her journey to fame at the age of eight when she was sent to a convent. By the time she died at the age of 81 in 1179, she had established three convents of her own, written three major theological studies and one treatise on the natural sciences, invented an alphabet, established a new form of music with over 70 original compositions, and ensured her legacy by making sure archival versions of her life’s work were produced and distributed from the Mediterranean to the British Isles.

First print of Physica, 1533 (Museum on the River)

It is humbling to contemplate what an exceptional individual Hildegard was. Remarkably, most of her work has been preserved; the convents that she founded were not so fortunate. In Middle Europe, where the strategic Rhine Valley was a scene of near constant conflict, only traces of original majestic structures remain on the Rhine hills. But her works, which she first transcribed onto wax tablets, were transcribed by the copy machines of the day—monks with quill pens on parchment—and they have remained intact for nearly 1000 years. After Gutenberg, of course, copies of her work proliferated. The town museum in Bingen has an archival 1533 edition of Hildegard’s work Physica, containing her studies on plants, medicine, minerals, and metals. Visitors can stroll through a nearby garden displaying the plants she cultivated for their medicinal qualities.

What Hildegard discovered and taught about medicinal botany no doubt gave comfort to the many that visited her convent. The contemporary visitor can often be treated to perhaps her most enjoyable bequests to mankind—her music. During our recent visit to Bingen, we heard two superbly simple, breathtaking performances of Hildegard’s music performed by small women’s choirs, whose voices were amplified by the perfect acoustics of a stone chapel.

I close with a final bit of trivia of particular interest to our community—the International Astronomical Union has named one of the thousands of minor planets that orbit the sun for Saint Hildegard of Bingen: number “898 Hildegard.”

Publishing Matters

AIP Publishing exhibits at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair

Each year the publishing community gathers en masse for the Frankfurt Book Fair, joining others in the book and media industry (booksellers, agents, film producers, hardware and software providers, and authors) for five days of intense activities. With more than 7,200 exhibitors and more than 3,200 events, there were a lot of potential takeaways. Carving out a personal experience amidst the panoply of activities requires careful planning. Our sales team conducted 28 meetings, arranged well in advance, to optimize the opportunity. Adriana Acosta, chief marketing and sales officer, and Arlene Gonzales, sales representative, discussed business for 22 countries, 8 consortia, and met with 14 sales agents. They met with Accucoms, who represents AIP in Italy and Turkey, and learned about Accucoms' activities in other regions such as India, the Middle East, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe.

A flurry of sales meetings took place at AIP's booth in the exhibit hall.

Organizers of the fair presented VP of Publishing John Haynes (left) and CEO Fred Dylla (right) with a cake in recognition of AIP's 25th year of participation.

Just before the fair began, AIP attended the STM (Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers) meeting, themed “Publishers Must Tell their Story.” Timed to coincide with this event was STM’s announcement of the results of their video competition, “What do publishers ‘do’?” AIP’s entry won first prize! Honorable mentions went to the American Chemical Society, and Springer Science and Business Media.

The core project staff for the video competition sport their very own chocolate Oscars made by Laura Magri of Human Resources. Bravo to the cast and crew! From the left, Jenny Lee, Laura Magri, Brian Goss, Jennifer Chiacchiaro, Paul Dlugokencky, and Dave Baker. Missing is lead actress Alison Waldron.

More about Nobel Prize coverage

In follow-up to last week's story about Nobel Prize coverage, there are a few noteworthy statistics to share: The five Nobel Prize-related posts on Physics Today's Facebook page garnered more than 21,000 views, 546 likes, and 266 shares. AIP's strategy to crosslink our various resources also worked in our favor. News items on both the AIP home page and the AIP journals page linked to Physics Today's story, and as a result, 40% of its readers were directed there from other AIP pages.

Physics Resources Matters

What's a new physics bachelor's degree worth?

After receiving their degrees, 40% of physics bachelor's from classes of 2009 and 2010 had entered the workforce. They secured jobs in all areas of the economy and in a wide variety of fields. Their range of starting salaries varied according to the sector in which they work.

Private sector positions in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and civilian government positions that are almost exclusively in STEM fields tend to offer higher starting salaries. For the classes of 2009 and 2010, physics bachelor's employed in these sectors had median starting salaries of $50,000 and $46,000, respectively. Physics bachelor's employed in the private sector in non-STEM fields had a much wider range of starting salaries due to the diversity of positions included. Many of the higher salaries for private sector non-STEM positions were in finance or banking.

Collecting, analyzing, and reporting initial employment data on new physics and astronomy degree recipients is a service that the AIP Statistical Research Center (SRC) has been providing to the physics and astronomy community for several decades. These data come from an annual AIP survey of physics and astronomy degree recipients. The results of this study provide important information about initial career opportunities and initial employment outcomes to students, perspective students, degree recipients, and faculty advisors, as well as the community in general.

AIP sales retreat

Sales representatives for AIP journals and magazines convened at Gurney's Inn Resort Spa & Conference Center in Montauk, NY, for their annual retreat.

AIP journals and Physics Today magazine rely on outside sales and marketing staff to generate revenue by selling advertising products and institutional subscriptions. To better inform sales representatives and to provide them with useful information for their clients, AIP holds an annual retreat of educational workshops. The 2012 meeting took place on September 25—27 at Gurney’s Inn Resort Spa & Conference Center, Montauk, NY. AIP staff members from Journals, Exhibit Management, Magazines, and Marketing & Sales joined the sales reps and meeting facilitators at this relaxed venue, chosen to inspire an exchange of ideas and good camaraderie.

Martin Akel of Martin Akel & Associates led an informative session on “Constructing and Selling the Integrated Media Mix,” whereby the reps learned how to effectively convey to clients the options for introducing their company’s products through a variety of media, such as online banners, e-alerts, print ads, or a combination of these. Nancy Engelhardt of The Energeia Partnership facilitated an open discussion between the reps and AIP staff on topics ranging from “rate cards vs. actual selling rates,” customer satisfaction, and how AIP management can best support the reps with doing their jobs.

Around AIP

SPS Observer, Volume XLVL, Issue 12

About the cover: 3D perspective view of an event recoded with the CMS detector in 2012 at a proton-proton center of mass energy of 8 TeV. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of the standard model Higgs boson to a pair of photons (dashed yellow lines and green towers). The event could also be due to known standard model background processes. Image by Thomas McCauley and Lucas Taylor, CMS Collection. ©2012 CERN.

Coming Up

October 21–22

  • AIP Journal Editors Conference (College Park)

October 22–26

  • ASA 164th Meeting (Kansas City, MO)

Tuesday, October 23

  • ACP Art Reception

October 28 – November 2

  • 59th AVS International Symposium & Exhibit (Tampa, FL)

Monday, October 29

  • Brown-bag lunch talk by Rachel Ivie, associate director of the AIP Statistical Research Center, “The Effects of Limited Resources and Opportunities on Women’s Careers in Physics: Results from the Global Survey of Physicists.” (College Park)

Tuesday, October 30

  • ACP board game brown-bag lunch. Bring a board/card game. Candy provided!

October 30 – November 15

  • ACP Food Drive

November 2 – 4

  • AAPT/AAS/APS New Faculty Reunion meeting (College Park, MD)

November 6 – 11

  • AIP Governance meetings, SPS Governance meetings, and PhysCon (Orlando, FL)
    November 6, AIP Executive Committee meeting
    November 7, AIP Governing Board meeting and SPS Council meeting
    November 8, PhysCon tours of Kennedy Space Flight Center
    November 8 – 10, Quadrennial Physics Congress of Sigma Pi Sigma
    November 11, SPS Executive Committee meeting
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