H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

Empowering next-generation scientists for Capitol Hill and beyond
Almost all basic science and a considerable amount of applied science research in the US are funded by the federal government. In FY 2009, which ended on the last day of September, the federal government provided an estimated $165.4 billion for research and development—a considerable increase from the $143.8 billion in funding from the year before. Much of this increase—$18.4 billion—was from the economic stimulus legislation passed in January. Members of the scientific community, from students to seasoned veterans, need to be cognizant of this largess from the American taxpayer and need to be trained in communicating to both the Congress and the public that science is essential for the nation's well-being.

AIP plays an important role in facilitating communication between scientists, policymakers, and those who make decisions about allocating resources for education. AIP informs the scientific community about important legislative and funding developments in the federal government through FYI news bulletins. Through the AIP Congressional and State Department fellowships program, scientists learn how to provide input and interact with the government. Although funding for these fellowships is limited to a few postdoctoral candidates a year, the impact of these few individuals has been considerable.

Dr. John Mather - Photo credit: Library of Congress We were very pleased to announce last week an expansion of AIP's program to train young scientists in science policy matters. This opportunity was presented to AIP when Dr. John Mather, a renowned astrophysicist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, contacted us earlier this year. Mather and his colleague George Smoot from the University of California, Berkeley, were awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for their role in unraveling the very early phases of the universe from analysis of the low level, background infrared light that still permeates the cosmos. Mather committed a significant portion of his Nobel Prize funds to endowing a graduate fellowship program in the space sciences, and was interested in supporting a program that would teach undergraduates about the important role of science policy in maintaining the nation's commitment to science. Mather chose to concentrate on undergraduates because he wanted to reach students during their formal education but before they began the focused work of graduate studies. AIP has had considerable success—through the Society of Physics Students—in reaching the undergraduate population.

Mather's vision seemed to be a perfect match for the SPS summer internship program. Each summer for the past nine years, SPS has brought bright, energetic undergraduate physics majors from across the country to the Washington, DC, area to engage in scientific research, outreach, or policy with various local organizations, including several Member Societies, NIST, and NASA Goddard. Mather's gift to AIP will endow two additional undergraduate internships for promising students of physics to work in the halls of Congress or at one of the federal agency headquarters. The new Mather Policy Interns will be immersed in the world where science funding is developed, debated, and allocated to US research institutions. We are very grateful to Dr. Mather for his generous gift and the essential statement his gift makes to promote science policy to next-generation scientists. You can read more about the launch of the Mather Policy Intern Program in last week's AIP news release.


Reaching out to researchers across the globe
Reaching out to the field of energy sources and power engineering, Maya Flikop (left) attended EuroPES, where she discussed new developments with attendees such as Professor S. P. Chowdhury of the University of Cape Town, South Africa (right). Director of Special Publications and Proceedings Maya Flikop represented AIP at the recent EuroPES 2009—The Ninth IASTED European Conference on Power and Energy Systems in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Flikop learned about new developments in the field and promoted AIP services and publications, including the AIP Conference Proceedings program and Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. Presentations at EuroPES 2009 covered such topics as alternative energy; analysis, management, and modeling; nuclear energy; planning, operation, and control; and policies and economics. A highlight was the keynote address from Professor Joeri Van Mierlo of Vrije Universiteit Brussel on "Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Technology."

IASTED logo Founded in 1977, the International Association of Science and Technology for Development (IASTED) is a multinational association of organizations and individuals interested in economic development through the advances of science and technology. IASTED organizes multidisciplinary conferences, in industrialized and developing nations alike, for academics and professionals in the fields of engineering, science, and education. Visit IASTED's website for information about its programs.

Physics Today benefits from e-mail alert
PT email screenshot On Wednesday, October 7, Physics Today sent a special e-mail alert to 58,000 subscribers registered for access to Physics Today Online (PTOL). The e-mail spotlighted three stories on the site about the 2009 Nobel Prize laureates in physics and chemistry. PTOL editor Paul Guinnessy stated that the alert was read by 45% of the e-mail subscribers, considerably higher than the industry average of 13-19%. According to Jeff Bebee, Physics Today's marketing director, "The e-mail was a great way to celebrate one of the biggest days of the year in physics, and it produced several responses to ads in the alert within the first hour." Sign up to receive e-mail alerts from Physics Today.

Who we are—Publishing Systems Development and Operations
The Publishing Systems Development and Operations group directed by Bob Hollowell is responsible for the development and operational support of the systems and software applications that run AIP's core publishing business processes. The group includes Production Systems managed by Matt Stratton, Online Systems managed by Charles Minder, and Systems Administration supervised by Mark Berry (see the organizational chart, pages 34-36).

From the left, front row: Thelma Murray, Stephanie Fornabaio, Hellen (Hong) Chen, and Chiat Lam; second row: Bob Hollowell, Mark Berry, Elenora Gudkova, and Linda Liu; third row: Charlie Minder II, Kevin Killilea, Anthony Filaski, and Matt Stratton, back row: David Schaeffer and Chris Hamlin.  Not pictured is Jing Liang. The Production Systems group provides applications development, software integration, and technical support to Production Operations, Editorial Operations, and the Publishing Center Office. The group is responsible for the design, development, and support of an array of custom and third-party applications that support journal production, publishing workflows, database systems, AIP's publication archive, publishing partner portals, and the quality control and enrichment of the XML content that serves as the underpinning of the Scitation platform.

The Online Systems group performs software development, architectural design, and systems integration for AIP's premier online platform, Scitation. The team of software engineers provides technical solutions and services for e-commerce (online sales of journals and books), workflows, a quality control application for external publishing partners, an internal production staging area, platform authentication and access control, reference and cited-by linking, abuse monitoring, and search engine support. Additionally, the team is engaged with the development of Scitation C³.

The Systems Administration group is responsible for the maintainability and availability of all Unix servers, disk storage subsystems, and other ancillary hardware connected to the production and online servers.

AVS logo The AVS International Symposium and Exhibition took place November 8-13 in San Jose, CA, and several AIP staff were there to take part. AIP Industrial Outreach hosted an applied physics networking forum on Sunday evening on "Photovoltaics and Nanotechnology"—a theme quite appropriate for Bay Area businesses, a healthy segment of which works to harness the Sun's energy to develop affordable and effective alternative energy solutions. Several of these companies sent representatives. They joined local physics students, local members of the APS Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics, and AVS symposium participants to hear about key technical challenges facing the industry and about opportunities for future growth. From the right, Liz Dart Caron, Rudy Ludeke, Bob Street, and Jim Hollenhorst sport their new solar formal wear, designed by Larry Kazmerski (left). The forum was designed by AIP Corporate Associate and AVS volunteers, who secured two excellent speakers: Larry Kazmerski of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Center for Photovoltaics to address solar thin-film photovoltaics, and Mike McGehee of Stanford University's Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics to offer the "nano" perspective. Senior product manager for Journals Alison Loudon videotaped the talks and will make them available on the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy's website. Thanks go to Rudy Ludeke and Jim Murday of AVS and Jim Hollenhorst of Agilent Laboratories for putting together an excellent event aimed at facilitating interactions among scientists working on or interested in industrial applications of physics. The event drew 125 attendees, who had ample time to mingle and network during the reception that followed. Loudon and director of Journal Advertising and Exhibits Bob Finnegan peppered the reception space with AIP exhibit displays. Manager of Member Society Relations Liz Dart Caron, who helped organize the forum, will poll the participants to get a better sense of the value they derived from the event.

Loudon staffed a booth at the exhibit, drawing attention to several journals and key AIP services including UniPHY. Finnegan promoted advertising and exhibit sales. Representing Physics Today were publisher Randy Nanna and marketing director Jeff Bebee, who hosted the Physics Today Exhibitors Lounge, which provided exhibitors with a respite from the busy exhibit floor, and AIP with the opportunity to share information about our magazines. AIP media relations staff prepared several press releases to publicize the meeting, highlighting program draws for the scientific community and the general news media: Clean Energy, Skin Cream, Platinum, Pollution, and Plasmas; Major Nanotechnology, Energy, and Biomedical Conference; Biotechnology and New Medical Materials Highlight AVS 56th International Symposium and Exhibition; and The Birth of Radio Broadcasting. AIP will be tracking news pickup over the next few weeks to assess the success of the campaign. Congratulations to AVS for another successful meeting!

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