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Scientific Societies

FYI is supported by the American Institute of Physics, a federation of 10 scientific societies. FYI covers issues of special concern to these societies and their positions on select issues as well as the activities of other major scientific societies.

Governments and science organizations around the world are grappling over the extent to which sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine should extend to scientific exchanges.

A new study sponsored by the American Physical Society concludes that U.S. systems for intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles cannot be relied on to counter even a limited nuclear strike and are unlikely to achieve reliability within the next 15 years.

The Department of Justice is setting a higher bar for criminal prosecutions of academic scientists as part of a pivot away from its controversial “China Initiative,” while maintaining a high priority on countering malign activity by the Chinese government.

The American Physical Society is launching an initiative aimed at countering scientific misinformation and increasing trust in science, which was also the subject of a related panel discussion last month at the society’s Annual Leadership Meeting.

In the midst of a national reckoning over systemic racism and police violence, the physical sciences community is searching for ways to deepen its efforts to make physics more inclusive and equitable.  

Universities are suing to block a new policy by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would force international students to leave the country if they can only take online classes in the fall. Together with scientific societies, they have warned the policy could have catastrophic effects on the U.S. higher education system and the lives of countless students.

A bipartisan group of 16 lawmakers has introduced legislation that aims to guard against rival governments exploiting the U.S. research system. The bill has met with mixed reactions in the academic community, with some arguing the scope of certain provisions could have a chilling effect on international exchanges.

Responses to the White House’s request for input on options for increasing public access to research outputs run the gamut from denouncing the prospect of government intervention in the publishing sector to calling for a new paradigm that offers immediate free access to papers.

Scientific societies and university associations have proposed emergency measures to address disruptions to the research enterprise from the coronavirus pandemic, hoping Congress will include them in its next broad relief package.

The last-minute decision has attendees scrambling to reschedule travel, get refunds, and find alternative ways to network and share their research.