X + Diversity > X
The 2008 joint annual conference of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) begins this Wednesday, February 20, in Washington, D.C. The four-day conference opens with a diversity briefing—the Physics Diversity Summit—for members of Congress on Capitol Hill, followed by a valuable program of plenary lectures, contributed presentations, and student workshops at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
The conference typically attracts about 500 attendees and represents a unique opportunity for strengthening the diversity of the physics community. AIP is supporting this conference in a number of ways. Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus, the distinguished Chair of AIP's Governing Board, will present a plenary lecture. The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is participating in panels: on careers using physics, and on how to start an SPS student chapter at a college or university. SPS will also hold a diversity "jeopardy" game for attendees. A student reporter will cover the meeting while some SPS members will present posters. Also, AIP and APS marketing will promote a new program that gives greater access to physics journals at minority-serving institutions, including free access to AIP's and APS's entire journal collections in 2008. Furthermore, AIP has been persuading AIP Corporate Associates member companies to use the conference as an opportunity to recruit future employees.
AIP is a strong supporter of diversity, and not simply because it is the right thing to do; it is also a smart thing to do. In a recent New York Times article, Scott Page of the University of Michigan talks about his book, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies. He claims diversity makes organizations stronger because problems are approached from many angles: "Diverse groups of people bring to organizations more and different ways of seeing a problem and, thus, faster/better ways of solving it." Page's research team developed a "formal model that showed mathematically that diversity can trump ability, and also when it does"—namely, in problem-solving and making predictions.
Communities, content, and connectivity
In early February, the Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP)—representing more than 300 national and international publishers—held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. With a theme of "Interactivity 2008: Communities, Content and Connectivity," the event was attended by more than 300 participants and exhibitors, including more than a dozen AIP staff members. AAP is our primary "trade association," and AIP's strong attendance serves many purposes. The publication services sales group, headed by Rich Kobel, uses the PSP Exhibit to generate interest in AIP Publishing Services. The editorial and technology staff attends to learn about the latest implementations of new ideas in publishing. The management team interacts with counterparts from other publishers, discussing important issues such as the implementation of the NIH policy on access to publicly-funded research. During the meeting, Fred Dylla was appointed to the PSP Executive Council, which governs AAP.
Brodsky honored by CrossRef
Marc H. Brodsky, AIP's Executive Director Emeritus, was honored at a dinner for the CrossRef Board of Directors for his many years of service on the Board. As captured in the photo (right), Board Chairman Robert Campbell of Wiley-Blackwell presented Brodsky with a set of cufflinks in recognition of his many contributions as a founding member of CrossRef. Brodsky is only the third person to be so honored. CrossRef (an independent, not-for-profit membership association, founded and directed by publishers) connects users to primary research content. CrossRef is the official DOI® link registration agency for scholarly and professional publications, operating a cross-publisher citation linking system that allows a researcher to click on a reference citation on a publisher's platform and link directly to the cited content on another publisher's platform.
Physics Today Career Network completes best year ever
In 2007, the total number of Physics Today Career Network (PTCN) online job postings rose to more than 3,000—an increase of 22% over the number posted in 2006, and a 26% increase in revenue. PTCN hopes to maintain the pace in 2008, by aggressively marketing job-board services for all of PTCN, including the partner career centers for the American Physical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers, and AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing. Currently about 5,500 job-seeker resumes reside in the PTCN's database.
Sigma Pi Sigma Chapter Awards
AIP Education is proud to announce the recipients of the 2008 Sigma Pi Sigma Chapter Project Awards in recognition of chapter efforts to raise public awareness of the honor society, build Sigma Pi Sigma's student/alumni community, and promote inter-chapter activities. The winning chapters receive $500 to help them achieve proposed activities; they are . . . Mesa State College in Grand Junction, CO; St. Mary's University in San Antonio, TX; The University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL; and University at Louisville in Louisville, KY.
Which of these four chapters won for fusing their Sigma Pi Sigma annual "egg-drop" competition for local high school students and physics majors with their induction ceremony, capitalizing on this opportunity to link and broaden Sigma Pi Sigma's community? The first 10 people to email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the correct answer will win a deck of playing cards featuring modern physicists.
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