AIP | Matters
-- -- March 11, 2013

Cathy O'Riordan Director's Matters

Guest column by Catherine O'Riordan, Vice-President, Physics Resources

Feedback matters!

Readers of this column know that AIP is going through significant organizational changes. On February 1, our Governing Board announced the formation of AIP Publishing LLC, a new subsidiary with a separate board that will oversee and manage AIP's scholarly publishing activities. The parent corporation's mission is now concentrated on the science outreach activities for our Member Societies and other stakeholders that are produced and distributed by AIP's Physics Resources Center (PRC).

2013 PRC Advisory Committee

From the left: Charlie Carter, News and Media Services committee chair, John Mather, Development Board advisor, Tim Cohn, Physics Resources Policy Committee co-chair, and Alison Baski, Government Relations Advisory Committee member.

Thus, it was opportune when more than 60 volunteers from our community assembled at the American Center for Physics (ACP) on February 28-March 2 to critically review PRC's programs. Most of these volunteers were nominated by our Member Societies based on their interest in or knowledge of specific programs, and others were experts from the larger community, who also served to broaden the review experience. The advisory committees align with the principal programs of the PRC: statistical research, government relations, news and media services, history programs, career resources, and education, along with Physics Today and Corporate Associates whose committees met in the months prior.

The chairs met with an umbrella committee who must render an overall judgment on PRC’s effectiveness at the next meeting of the AIP Governing Board on April 5. This multilayer feedback works in two directions: it gives AIP staff and management critical feedback on how we are delivering on PRC products and services to our most important customers, and it informs our Governing Board, who provides overall guidance on AIP’s performance.

Primed with a draft version of PRC’s strategic plan, which a select group of Governing Board members helped to draft, each committee set about developing high-level goals for each PRC program and individual goals for each PRC employee.

Several themes emerged during the committee’s deliberations, such as, “How can the PRC better fill niches not addressed by Member Societies, and how can we ensure that Member Societies are taking full advantage of PRC programs where they or their members can benefit?” The committees also felt that, although PRC intraprogram collaboration has improved, more can be done to encourage PRC divisions to leverage their resources and work together. One example was pulling career resources from Education, SRC, and the Career Network to create a web tool that extends and enhances the resources already provided by many Member Societies.

Bonnie Feldman and committee members

Career Network Advisory Committee members Chris Gresham (left) and David Bradley (right; chair) pose with manager Bonnie Feldman.

One of the challenges discussed was the underrepresentation of women and some minorities in the physical sciences. Efforts are underway throughout PRC to address this issue, but they may make a larger impact if they are better linked to each other and to the efforts of the Member Societies. This will be an important discussion at the Liaison Committee for Underrepresented Minorities when it meets at ACP on March 23.

Overall, the committees were pleased with the progress made in the past year. We thank all of the volunteers for their help and support in improving all of PRC’s programs, products, and services.

On March 7, Fred Dylla conducted a live online chat with Science Magazine, entitled “Should Scientific Papers Be Free?” Read the transcript from the conversation.

Physics Resource Matters

AIP Publishing to exhibit at the APS March Meeting

APS 2013 March Meeting

Click on the image to go to the 2013 APS March Meeting website.

AIP Publishing will take part in the APS March Meeting exhibit next week in Baltimore, MD. The meeting runs from March 18-22.

AIP Publishing’s journal authors are invited to participate in our “We are Physics” testimonial campaign and will receive a glow-in-the-dark atom t-shirt for contributing. In addition, attendees can sign up to receive e-alerts for our new journal, APL Materials, and will be entered into a drawing to win a free iPad. Several of our editors will be spending time at the booth, including Nghi Lam, editor of Applied Physics Letters; Al Macrander, editor of Review of Scientific Instruments; and Chang Beom Eom, Brian LeRoy, and Seunghun Hong, associate editors of APL Materials. Exhibit attendees will have the opportunity to speak with these distinguished editors about their journals and the fields of science that they encompass.

APL Materials will be sponsoring a wine and cheese reception in the exhibit hall on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Click here for a complete list of (more than 100) participating exhibitors.

Physics Resource Matters

Gearing up for IPF

IPF logoAIP will be teaming up with APS to hold an Industrial Physics Forum (IPF) at the 2013 APS March Meeting from March 17-19. Organized by the AIP Corporate Associates and the APS Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics (with support from the APS Division of Biophysics), the IPF will explore the theme “Physics and the Future Economy.” Invited sessions will focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, nanomanufacturing, and biophysics. Those who will be attending the APS March Meeting are welcome to participate.

A treasure trove of donated tomes

For a few years, AIP’s History Programs have been calling for scientists to “Give us your dirty old books!” Many have generously responded, including Richard Garwin, well known for his work in nuclear physics and science advising. Garwin has also served on AIP's History Advisory Committee. He invited Greg Good, director of the Center for History of Physics, to visit his home and his office at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, to select books for the Niels Bohr Library and Archives (NBL&A).

The net result has greatly enriched NBL&A holdings in critical areas in the history of 20th-century physics and its relation to society: 269 books total, plus an equally rich batch of archival material. The donation includes proceedings of Pugwash and Erice (Italy) seminars on arms control and nuclear war, books by and about Solly Zuckerman and Georges Charpak, and essential publications regarding the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, or “Star Wars”), nuclear proliferation, and science advising. On the archival side, he donated biographical materials, institutional histories, the journals of physicists on official visits to China in the 1980s, and the archival collection of his reports and symposium materials. These include Drawing Back the Curtain of Secrecy: Restricted Data Declassification Decisions: 1946 to the Present, JASON reports such as Science of Cyber-Security and Arms Control in Outer Space, along with many others.

AIP’s History Programs rely on our donors and patrons. During the last year, we have received over 1000 books from 45 other donors, including Charles Duke, William Lanouette, Ken Ford, Paul Forman, and the wives of Victor Weisskopf (Duscha Weisskopf) and Paul Rosenbaum (Joan Rosenbaum). A complete list of book donors in 2012 will be in the History Programs’ forthcoming newsletter.

Read the oral history interview transcript that AIP conducted with Richard Garwin.

Member Society Spotlight

AVS education and outreach programs

AVS banner

AVS promotes communication, dissemination of knowledge, recommended practices, research, and education in a broad range of technologically relevant topics. The society conducts various local and national educational programs for engineers, scientists, and technicians and supports numerous outreach activities aimed at teacher enhancement and student science awareness and education. The various programs supported by AVS are summarized on the AVS website. AVS members and nonmembers alike are warmly invited to participate.

Coming Up

Tuesday, March 12

  • WOW drawing and dessert celebration, 2:00 pm (College Park)

Wednesday, March 13

  • Staff birthday breakfasts (Melville and College Park)

Thursday, March 14

  • EinsteinEinstein’s birthday. Not an event, just a nod to one of the greatest physicists of all time. Here’s a quote from Einstein on true brilliance: “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.” See more quotable Einstein quotes in the Christian Science Monitor.

March 18-22

  • APS March Meeting (Baltimore, MD)
  • Industrial Physics Forum (March 17-19)

March 23

  • Liaison Committee for Underrepresented Minorities meeting (College Park)