Task Force on Prizes & Awards

Charge to the Task Force

The presentation of Prizes and Awards is one of the important responsibilities of the American Physical Society. In 1997, APS President Bromley appointed a Task Force on APS Prizes and Awards, and one of its recommendations was that such a group be appointed every four or five years "to review policy issues regarding prizes and awards to insure that current policies are functioning as intended and to recommend new policies or changes where necessary." In line with that recommendation, and in response to some recent concerns, we are now appointing a new Task Force on APS Prizes and Awards.

Since 1997, several new prizes and awards have been established: the Francis Pipkin Award, the prize in gravitational physics, the George E. Valley Prize, and the history of physics award. Additional prizes are currently in various stages of discussion and development.

We request that the Task Force address and make recommendations on the following issues:

  1. What should be the Society's response to the proliferation of proposals for new prizes?
  2. Are the value and awarding frequency of the prizes and awards appropriate, given the potential pool of recipients? Do some prizes overlap in a detrimental way, and, if so, can correction be made?
  3. APS currently bestows 36 prizes and awards, many of which have their own rules and idiosyncrasies. Should there be some attempt at standardization of the process?
  4. Should there be a designated minimum time interval between bestowing two different APS prizes or awards to a single individual?
  5. Should selection committees be urged to seek more international candidates for APS prizes and awards?
  6. In the administration of each prize and award, what is the appropriate balance between the role of the unit involved in that prize or award and the Society's responsibility to ensure adequate uniformity in the selection process?
  7. Are the size and mechanism of appointment of selection committees appropriate?
  8. Are there comments on any other topics relevant to the issue of prizes and awards that the Task Force wishes to provide?

Members of the 2002 Task Force

  • Myriam Sarachik (Chair)
  • Robert Cah
  • Jerry Gollub
  • Wick Haxton
  • Richard Hazeltine
  • Timothy Lodge
  • Dennis McWhan
  • Alan Chodos (APS Senior Staff Liaison)


Gray arrow  Prizes & Awards Information Sheet Format - PDF

Reports to the APS Executive Board and Council by the Task Force on APS Prizes and Awards

Gray arrow  April 2002
Gray arrow  February 1998