October 15, 2000
Members Present: H. Birnbaum, W.Brinkman, N. Connell, J. Cramer, C. Davis, J. Doyle, W. Edelstein, W.Frazer (via Teleconference), L. Gronlund, B. Klein, L. Krauss, F. Lamb, D.McWhan, M. Riordan,R. Saxon, L. Schwartz, M. Sher, G. Trilling, J. Tsang
Members Absent: H. Abarbanel, E.Garmire, R. Richardson
Liaisons Present: E. Chudnovsky, B.Crasemann
APS Staff: A. Chodos, J. Franz, C. Hood, M. Johnson, M. Lubell, C.Niedermeier, F. Slakey
Minutes of the April 16, 2000 meeting were approved with minor editorial changes.
1. F. Slakey gave an update on the Climate Focus project. APS is one of 10 societies supporting a pilot program.Starting February 2001, the Climate Focus newsletter, describing peer reviewed science that has recently been in the news, will be sent out, on a monthly basis, to a constituent scientist in each of the 50 states. These scientists will bring the scientific issues, addressed in the newsletter, to the attention of congressional staffers and in some cases the members themselves. The American Chemical Society is taking responsibility for setting up a web site.
2. L. Schwartz reported on a meeting that he attended on Global Climate Change. Some of the topics discussed dealt with the removal of green house gases (other than carbon emissions) andthe effects of solar activity on climate change. One speaker expressed theidea that the weak link in addressing global climate change is not scienceor economics but the lack of a global - political organization to address scientific issues.
3. A proposed Statement on Energy Policy culled from previous Council statements for immediate use in lobbying the transition team was discussed.
ACTION: New statement on Energy Policy for the21st Century to be drafted and forwarded in time for November APS Executive Board and Council meeting.
Subcommittee members: Larry Schwartz (chair), John Doyle, Howard Birnbaum, Neville Connell, and William Edelstein
4. J. Tsang led a discussion of the AAAS Ethics Survey and whether APS should respond institutionally or encourage participation by physicists.
ACTION: Alan Chodos to include a box in APS Newscalling attention to the AAAS Ethics Survey
5. Archived statements. At the April meeting, POPA recommended deleting the last paragraph of statement 93.8.However the Council requested, POPA propose a new statement instead.
ACTION: A new statement on Protection Against Discrimination was approved and forwarded for approval at the November Council meeting along with a recommendation that the present statement 93.8 be archived.
6. J. Tsang and C. Davis led a discussion of changes affecting the health of physics including changes in undergraduate education and in where physicists are employed
ACTION: J. Tsang and C. Davis will develop suggestions for topics for a series of articles (journalistic rather than scholarly effort) on challenges facing the profession and how people are facing them
Discussion of challenges and changing nature of physics will be scheduled for the January POPA meeting
7. W. Frazer and F. Lamb gave an update on the activities of an advisory committee on National Missile Defense set up to advise the APS president whether APS should launch a study of NMD, to outline the topics a study might address and in the event of a recommendation to proceed, to suggest possible study leaders. F. Lamb will present report of advisory committee at November Executive Board and Council meeting.
8. Department of Energy: While concerns about the DOE are largely the responsibility of PPC, members discussed what role (if any) POPA should play in helping the plight of this organization.
9. Other reports: J. Franz gave an update of the PPC.
Brief introductions were given for both C. Niedermeier and C. Hood. C. Niedermeier will be working with the transition team of the next administration in order to get APS' agenda items out early. C. Hood has joined the Washington office as its first Fellow and she will work on the issues of science education, grassroots, and how the Washington office can better serve the APS membership.
M. Lubell gave an update on bills being passed in Washington.
10. A. Chodos gave a brief report of a recent workshop sponsored by the National Academy on the topic of “Scientific Communication and National Security” and noted a talk given by Neal Lane at that workshop supporting need for open international scientific communication.
ACTION: M. Riordan will look at Lane's talk and recommend whether APS should develop a statement in support of Lane's position
11. W. Edelstein led a discussion of compensation for radiation workers. Provision for compensation for radiation workers was included in HR 4205.
ACTION: J. Doyle and L. Gronlund will find relevant portion of the bill and determine what has been authorized before recommending possible action (or inaction) on this issue.
NEW BUSINESS: Slake relayed a special request from Bob Park that we schedule a session at the January meeting on claims to "free energy"
The meeting was adjourned at 3:30