APS News

In Brief

Units' Leadership Convene at APS Headquarters

Seventy APS members, representing 5 forums, 7 topical groups, 14 divisions, 6 sections, and one committee, gathered at APS Headquarters in College Park, Maryland, on January 24 for the annual APS unit convocation. The principal topic under discussion was unit participation in the upcoming APS Centennial celebration in Atlanta, Georgia next year, specifically the types of sessions and exhibits each planned to organize. The meeting opened with a series of small group meetings on such issues as improving unit membership, meetings and newsletters, as well as the types of information services available for unit use, and a summary of current unit accounting and financial reporting procedures. Various APS officers reported on APS activities, finances and publications. The APS Centennial Staff, led by Franmarie Kennedy, Brian Schwartz, and Sherrie Preische, concluded by supplying the attendees with an update on current plans for the celebration. Finally, the unit representatives provided short reports based on their discussion of their plans for symposia and exhibits.

Gibbons Retires as Science Adviser; Replaced by NSF's Lane

In February, John Gibbons, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy for the last five years, announced his resignation, effective March 15. Before coming to the White House, Gibbons was the Director of the congressional Office of Technology Assessment. President Clinton announced his intention to nominate NSF Director Neal Lane as Gibbons' replacement. Replacing Lane will be Rita Colwell, currently the President of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

"I don't think any science advisor ever served in more trying times for science than did Dr. Gibbons," said Rep. George Brown, Jr. (D-CA) of the resignation. "Crowded by efforts to shrink the deficit, shouted at by ideologically driven voices of irrationality, and sometimes prodded by friends who thought he should do more, Jack's term was not all sweetness and light. But Jack spoke forcefully for reasoned policy and legislation, and he will be remembered as a principled advocate for science in a time when irrational forces might have capsized the enterprise."

Colwell, nominated as the new NSF director, has a PhD in marine microbiology from the University of Washington. She has served on the National Science Board and has been the president of the American Society for Microbiology, the International Union of Microbiological Societies, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

National Science and Technology Week To Be Held in April

The National Science Foundation will sponsor National Science and Technology Week April 26 - May 2, focusing on the theme of "Polar Connections," relating impact of the science and engineering research undertaken in the Arctic and Antartic regions on the rest of the world. Established in 1985 to increase general public awareness of the importance of science and technology, the event has since been expanded to include observance on national, regional and local levels.

The current program features public participation through extensive media coverage, and through public events and activities to engage audiences in science and technology, with the aim, in particular of attracting young people to science and engineering careers. Several sites in the NSTW Regional Network will be distributing Teaching Activities packets this month, containing innovative, hands-on science, mathematics and technology learning activities for students in elementary and middle school grade levels. Information on NSTW '98, as well as updates on scheduled plans and events, can be obtained by contacting the NSF, Room 1245, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230; phone: 1-800-682-2716; E-mail: nstw@nsf.gov. This information is also available on the NSTW Web site: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/nstw/start.html

OMISSION

The "In Brief" item on recipients of the NSF PECASE awards in the January 1998 issue of APS NEWS omitted two APS members who were honored: Daniel van der Weide of the University of Delaware, who was honored for his pioneering research on nanoscale-dimension electronic circuits and development of a Web-based virtual laboratory providing student access to advanced scientific instrumentation; and Daniel Lathrop of Emory University, who was honored for his innovative contributions to research and education of undergraduates in nonlinear properties of fluid interfaces relevant to understanding turbulence, optical fibers and black holes. The complete list of NSF awardees can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1997/pr9765/pr9765.txt

New APS Fellows

Two new APS Fellows, nominated by the Forum on History, should be added to the list of new Fellows published in the March 1998 issue of APS News.

Schweber, Silvan S.
Brandeis University
Forum on History
For his deep analysis of the historical development of fundamental physics, particularly in this century, and its relation to the broader intellectual and social context.

Siegel, Daniel M.
University of Wisconsin
Forum on History
For his unique, detailed study of the nature and development of Maxwell's electromagnetic theory as a high point in nineteenth century physics.


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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin