The American Physical Society selected the 1995-1996 Congressional Fellow at its annual spring meeting in Crystal City, Virginia in April. Kevin Aylesworth, a consultant with a law firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and an APS general councillor, will serve one year as a special legislative assistant in a congressional office of his choice, following an intensive, 10-day orientation period and interview process.
Aylesworth received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Nebraska in 1989, specializing in the magnetic and structural properties of magnetic thin films and multilayers. He spent two years as a postdoctoral associate at the Naval Research Laboratory, and then worked as a technical assistant/paralegal for an attorney in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose caseload often involved scientific issues.
During his tenure at NRL, Aylesworth became increasingly concerned about the tight job market for young scientists. This led him to form an electronic bulletin board in May 1990 called the Young Scientists' Network (YSN), intended to publicize the difficulties facing young scientists and to help them discover career alternatives. It now has a membership of over 2,000 from many branches of science. He was elected to the APS Council in 1993 after a successful write-in campaign placed him on the ballot.
Because of his involvement with YSN and employment issues he was invited to testify before Congress and meet with representatives of the NSF and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. He has participated in numerous panel discussions on employment-related issues, and has authored several articles appearing in scientific publications as well as coauthored a book with Sheila Tobias. It was his increasing interest and involvement in science policy, and a desire to learn more about the workings of Capitol Hill, that led him to apply for the APS Congressional Fellowship.
Although he has gained the most recognition for his work on funding and employment issues, Aylesworth also has strong interests in science and law and in hydrogen energy policy, which he hopes to become more involved with during his year as a Congressional Fellow. However, since he views the fellowship as an educational opportunity, he believes he would probably be happiest contributing to a new area of policy such as technology transfer, transportation or health. "I hope my contribution will be to analyze the arguments relevant to a given policy issue and explain to the decision makers the strengths and weaknesses of alternate positions," he said.
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