APS News

APS Launches New Mass Media Fellowship Program

The APS is accepting applications for the first recipients of its Mass Media Fellowships, to be awarded in early 1997. In affiliation with the popular program instituted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society will sponsor two 10-week fellowships for physics students to work full-time over the summer as reporters, researchers and production assistants in mass media organizations across the nation.

The purpose of the program is to improve public understanding and appreciation of science and technology and to sharpen the ability of the fellows to communicate complex technical issues to non-specialists. It was proposed by Natalia Meshkov, past Secretary-Treasurer of the APS Forum on Education (FED), in conjunction with FED member and APS Councillor James Wynne (IBM/T.J. Watson Research Center) and FED Past-Chair, Ruth Howe (Ball State University). "The APS Forum on Education has focused its attention on programs to educate the public - both students of physics and adults," said Meshkov. "Ultimately, we decided to have physicists join the ranks of science reporters, at least temporarily, through a short-term fellowship program."

The Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowship Program has been in existence for 21 years, and has placed approximately 350 fellows with news magazines, newspapers, TV networks and many local media organizations. About half of those fellows returned to traditional science and engineering careers, while the other half have since made careers in the mass media.

Graduate students, outstanding advanced undergraduates, and postdocs in physics or a related field are eligible to apply. The deadline for applications is January 15, 1997.


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