AIP | Matters
-- -- March 25, 2013

Fred Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

Gearing up for the Assembly of Society Officers

AIP is pleased to host a very important meeting for all of our Member Societies and Affiliates each year—our annual Assembly of Society Officers. The 2013 Assembly is fast approaching, and will take place April 4 at the American Center for Physics. This year's Assembly will focus on three topics that impact the mission of all of our societies: (1) minority representation in the physical sciences, (2) open access pressures on scholarly publishing, and (3) advancing science policy issues that are important to our constituents and communities. The detailed program is available on the Assembly website.

Morning sessions will take a close look at the barriers to minority representation in the physical sciences and federal funding and programs geared to increasing diversity. We will have a conversation with several federal science agency representatives about the available resources for improving outreach and involvement of minorities in science and engineering. 

Afternoon sessions will examine publishing and science policy. First, we will examine the latest developments in the rapidly changing policy environment on open access for scholarly publications and data. In response to the OSTP directive last month, US federal agencies are in the midst of developing public access plans. The UK is also grappling with implementation of the open access and funding stream recommendations of last summer's Finch Working Group. The session will wrap up with a discussion of the physics community's unique relationship with the arXiv preprint repository and CERN's current open access initiative (SCOAP3).

In the final session we will hear from several of our past congressional fellows, talking about current science policy issues that affect our community. The session and closing reception has been planned to celebrate the Congressional Fellowship Program, which, over the last 25 years, has brought the voice of science to the halls of Congress.  The program has enabled many scientists—all members of AIP's ten Member Societies—to gain insight into the workings of government, learn how to contribute their voices and knowledge to the policymaking process, and perform a public service by providing skilled support to inform policy decisions. ASA has been an important part of this program for several years as a cosponsor; AVS has also cosponsored past fellows. AGU, APS, and OSA each run their own fellows programs, and AIP has been very fortunate over the years to share fellows applications with APS.

In order to encourage spirited engagement with the audience, attendance for the Assembly is limited. However, if these topics interest you and your society, space is still available but an RSVP is required by the end of this week.

Physics Resource Matters

AIP Publishing works toward clarity and connection

AIP Publishing contracted data management firm Access Innovations to comb through its entire set of journal metadata—from more than 800,000 articles—to produce a comprehensive list of distinct authors and institutions involved in publishing physics papers worldwide. The goal of this project is to improve the interconnectivity among publishing physical scientists around the globe.

According to the press release issued by Access Innovations, “Each author or affiliation record includes a full list of the DOIs (digital object identifiers) for every article from that source in the AIP collection. The result is a database of publishing physicists complete with a record of affiliations, areas of expertise, papers published, and coauthors. The original list of 5.5 million potential names resulted in about 980,000 unique author records.” The process also identified 33,000 unique institutions. Several issues were taken into the account, such as variant use of abbreviations, initials, language, etc. For more information, read the full release.

Physics Resource Matters

Interpersonal and management skills new physicists use

New physics PhDs utilize a range of skills and knowledge, some acquired as part of their physics training or on-the-job experience. Working on a team and technical writing are skills that are essential to nearly all new PhDs, regardless of the type of employment they hold. However, the use of some skills and knowledge, e.g., “working with clients,” varies dramatically by type of employment and work environment.

Statistical chart

These data are published by the Statistical Research Center in a new report titled focus on Recent Physics Doctorates: Skills Used & Satisfaction with Employment. In addition to interpersonal and management skills used, the report discusses scientific and technical knowledge that new physicists regularly use. It also provides information about qualitative aspects of jobs, such as whether the positions are appropriate for a PhD-level education and whether the positions are professionally challenging.

Lyne Starling Trimble Science Heritage Lecture Series

Freeman Dyson: Maverick Genius coverAIP received a donation from Virginia Trimble that initiated an endowment fund for the AIP Science Heritage Lecture Series. In recognition of this generous gift, AIP has renamed its lecture series after her late father, Lyne Starling Trimble (1912-1992). Lyne Trimble held patents for a number of color-reproduction systems and was an innovative chemist. The series has featured prominent science historians and writers who highlight the important roles that science plays in modern society and culture. For more information, read the press release.

The first lecture under the series' new name will take place on April 25 at ACP. Guest lecturer Phil Schewe will talk about the life and accomplishments of Freeman Dyson.

Physics Resource Matters

Computing in Science & Engineering - March/April 2013 issue

CISE coverCover illustration: Andrew Baker

» Read the issue.

Coming Up

Wednesday, April 3

  • AIP Audit Committee meeting (College Park)
  • AIP Executive Committee meeting (College Park)

Thursday, April 4

  • Assembly of Society Officers (College Park)

Friday, April 5

  • AIP Governing Board meeting (College Park)

Wednesday, April 10

  • Staff birthday breakfasts (Melville and College Park)

April 13-16

  • APS April Meeting (Denver, CO)

Tuesday, April 23

  • ACP Art Reception (College Park)

Thursday, April 25

  • Lyne Starling Trimble Science Heritage Public Lecture, 6-8 pm.
    Phil Schewe will discuss his new book, Maverick Genius: The Pioneering Odyssey of Freeman Dyson (College Park).