AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXIX , No. 1, Spring 2007


Announcing the Marc H. Brodsky Fund for Oral
History of Physicists in Industry

From l to r: Lois and Julian Brodsky,
Fred Dylla, Marc and Vivian Brodsky

“It is my pleasure to announce the new Marc H. Brodsky Fund for Oral History of Physicists in Industry,” said Fred Dylla, incoming Executive Director and CEO of the American Institute of Physics. Spontaneous applause greeted this surprise announcement at the March 29th gala farewell dinner honoring Marc Brodsky’s exemplary 14 years of service as AIP’s Executive Director and CEO. “We give our great thanks to the benefactors for this Fund honoring Marc’s distinguished career,” Fred continued. “Please join me in thanking the Lois and Julian Brodsky Family for their initial generous pledge and concept for the Fund, and John and Elizabeth Armstrong, for their generous gift to establish this as a permanently restricted endowment for the Center for History of Physics.” Fred also thanked AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing, William Brinkman, Robert Doering and Texas Instruments, Morrell Cohen, Bruce Curran, Millie Dresselhaus, Roderick Grant, Mark B. Ketchen, Daniel Kleppner, James McGroddy, Richard Meserve, Stanford Ovshinsky, Roland Schmitt, Trey Smith and SAIC, and James Stith who were other lead donors to the Fund.

This permanently restricted endowment will enable the American Institute of Physics, Center for History of Physics and Niels Bohr Library & Archives to interview several important industrial physicists each year, transcribe and preserve their oral histories, and make them available to researchers now and in the future.

Lois and Julian Brodsky initiated the Fund through a generous gift of $50,000. Julian, Marc’s brother, is a founder, Director and Vice Chairman of Comcast Corporation. The gift recognizes Marc’s past work as an industrial physicist, and also is a memento of Julian’s personal experience of the value of oral histories both in his company’s archival efforts, and in creating a history of the cable television industry. “In 1991 a fire at my company destroyed our records, and in recreating them, we conducted several oral histories of key personnel.” Julian further comments, “Recognizing Marc through this Fund is very appropriate because of his stellar reputation in the industrial physics world as well as his work at AIP. The Fund honors both aspects of Marc’s career.”

The Fund comes at a critical time. Very little has been done to document the history of physicists in industry, and even less is currently being done to preserve the recollections of the many unsung heroes who are responsible for many beneficial technologies. Under Marc Brodsky’s leadership, AIP is conducting a pioneering project to document the History of Physicists in Industry to conclude at the end of 2007. The Marc H. Brodsky Fund for Oral History will help us to continue this work in perpetuity.

With the addition of this new Fund, the current endowment for physicists in industry is about $150,000, providing only a fraction of what is needed to preserve the broad history of industrial physics. If you wish to help preserve this history, please donate online at, or contact the AIP Development Office at 301-209-3141.

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