AIP | Matters
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Fred Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

ACP’s tradition of celebrating art in science

shot of 3 artistsOn Tuesday evening, October 23, the American Center for Physics (ACP) hosted our biannual installation of new art for exhibition in the Center’s rotunda, conference rooms, and main hallways. For more than a decade we have benefitted from the keen eye of our exhibition curator, Sarah Tanguy, who has brought us a new trio of artists every six months who exemplify the fascinating intersection between art and science.

The new exhibit, entitled “From Here to Infinity,” brought to our senses an extraordinary group of artists: Jeffrey Kent, who works in large-format oil paintings; Yu Chen, who has turned microscopic images of biological cells into captivating and vibrant photographs; and Susan Van der Eb Greene, a sculptor with a devotion to geometry.

Jeffrey KentOver the next six months, visitors to ACP can view these works at their leisure. On the opening night of the exhibition, however, visitors are treated to an introduction by our curator and personal remarks by the artists themselves as they describe their inspiration for their work.

Kent’s oil paintings are representations of one of the most famous line of cultured cells produced in medicine—the so-called HeLa cells, grown originally from a 30-year-old victim of cervical cancer, Henrietta Lacks. The legacy of Lacks’s contribution to medical advancement was the subject of a poignant book several years ago. Her cultured cells have been used to develop treatments for cancer and antiviral vaccines. Phase contrast images of HeLa cells were the inspiration of Kent’s explosion of color and shapes that seem to take the viewer alternately from inside a cell to a telescopic image of colliding galaxies.

Dr. Yu Chen is not an artist by training; he is a physicist who made an early career change to applying various imaging techniques to biological problems. Many of his images chosen for the ACP exhibit are based on fluorescence of tagged molecules within a biological cell. The bright reds, yellows, and greens pop from a dark-field background, which again evokes comparisons with the deep cosmic images we have seen from the Hubble telescope. Yu Chen with artThe general viewer is awed by the beauty of the vibrant, imposed colors and complicated geometry of the intracellular environment. The trained biologist sees function from the illuminated form.

Sculptor Susan Greene gave a thoroughly charming account of how her career moved from science to art. As a young student, Greene was especially interested in geometry and mathematics, and this soon morphed into a love of science with her first exposure to chemistry. She admits to an innate talent for visualizing 3D images, which she parlayed into a successful career as a research chemist in industry. Susan Van der Eb Greene with artGreene was fortunate to work for a company that encouraged mid-career transitions to other fields. She chose to apply her talents in visualization to sculpture and earned a fine arts degree as a measure of her dedication.

Please take a walk around the display cases of the ACP’s rotunda and you will see shapes that tease the mind and please the eye. For those who won’t have the opportunity to visit ACP over the next six months, see Curator Sarah Tanguy’s engaging description of the work of our guest artists.

Publishing Matters

AIP adopts JATS: A new industry standard markup language for publishers

NISO logoAIP has adopted the National Information Standards Organization (NISO’s) new Journal Article Tag Suite, also known as “JATS”. JATS provides a common format in which publishers, archives, and third party data aggregators can exchange journal information. By using JATS, publishers are preserving the intellectual content of their journals independent of the form in which that content was originally delivered. AIP is among the first major publisher to adopt and implement this new standard. Before converting to JATS, AIP used a markup language that made it difficult for others to use our content.

JATS-CON logoOn October 16, AIP ’s content management team, which included Rich O’Keeffe, Jennifer McAndrews, and Faye Krawitz, made a presentation at JATS-Con 2012, hosted on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, MD. The team shared that AIP had adopted the new prescribed standard and encouraged other publishers to do the same. The presentation was well received and provided the team with an opportunity to interact with other JATS users as well as to engage in follow-up discussions of the AIP implementation with a number of interested conference attendees.

Physics Resources Matters

AIP GradschoolShopper.com goes to China

GradschoolShopper.com in China
Chinese students visited the AIP GradschoolShopper.com booth at the Chinese Physical Society 2012 Fall Meeting at Guangzhou, China, September 20–23, 2012.

AIP GradschoolShopper.com’s global product and market development project manager, Julie Zhu, joined Mark Cassar and Robert Harington, publishers of AIP journals, to attend the Chinese Physical Society 2012 Fall Meeting—the largest annual gathering of Chinese physics researchers and students. At the conference she promoted GradschoolShopper.com and other programs, products, and services from the AIP Physics Resources Center (PRC), including SPS, the Statistical Research Center, and Physics Today Career Network, to the large group of student attendees through exhibitions, presentations, and surveys. Zhu discussed with leaders of Chinese physics departments the benefits of enlisting their department profiles on GradschoolShopper.com and its print companion book, Graduate Programs in Physics, Astronomy, and Related Fields, as well as their interests in forming Society of Physics Students chapters on their campuses. The AIP delegation also visited ten Chinese universities and research institutes affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to promote AIP journals and PRC programs, products, and services. This trip was GradschoolShopper.com’s first major promotion in China, held in advance of the upcoming 2013 edition of Graduate Programs in Physics, Astronomy, and Related Fields, which features profiles of three leading Chinese physics departments. For details about the trip, read Zhu’s blog series, GradschoolShopper.com goes to China.

POff the Press

Physics Today October 2012 coverPhysics Today, November 2012

Cover: In this atomic force microscopy (AFM) image of hexabenzocoronene, all is not as it seems. The small hexagons’ constituent carbon–carbon bonds, known from x-ray diffraction measurements to be nearly equal in length, are visibly distorted. From those length discrepancies—and from differences in the bonds’ apparent brightness—fractional differences in bond order can be distinguished in a single molecule. (Image courtesy of Leo Gross, IBM Research, Zürich.)

 

History NewsletterAIP History Newsletter, Volume 44, Number 1

Feature stories:

  • Herschel Family papers now open for research at The Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin
  • A perfect evening to celebrate 14 billion (and 50) years
  • Charles Irwin Weiner (1931–2012)
  • History of Astronomy at AIP
Coming Up

Wednesday, November 14

  • Staff birthday breakfasts (Melville and College Park)

Through November 15

  • ACP Food Drive

Thursday, November 15

  • ACP Annual Harvest Breakfast

Friday, November 16

  • 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)
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