AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXIX , No. 2, Fall 2007


Orville Butler (left) and Joe Anderson (right)

Physicists in Industry: Field Work Winds Up

The AIP History Centerís study of the History of Physicists in Industy has just completed its last major site visit. The photo shows Orville Butler (left) and Joe Anderson leaving the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Detroit. Since 2003, the AIP History Centerís professional staff has visited industrial R&D labs at 15 of the largest high-tech companies in the U.S., conducting 132 interviews with physicists, R&D managers and information professionals.

They also visited archives that preserve industrial records in this country, the U.K. and Germany, and conducted career-length interviews with 14 high profile corporate physicists.

The History Center staff is loading interview transcripts into NVivo, a software that helps analyze the data. The study should offer a new understanding of career patterns, organizational structure, and research trends in contempory corporate physics, as well as help from strategies for preserving the records that document the still largely hidden history of this important field.

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