APS News

In Brief

APS Committee Sponsors Petition

The APS Committee on International Freedom of Scientists (CIFS) has jointly sponsored a petition on behalf of 18 physicists and other scientists in the People's Republic of China, who have been imprisoned or mysteriously "disappeared" because of their exercise of freedom of expression. Signature drives were held at both the March and April APS general meetings. Among the physicists listed were Zhu Xiangzhong, whose release has not been confirmed despite the expiration of his prison term, and Lu Yangua, a graduate student at Lanzhou University detained in 1992, who is believed to have been secretly tried and sentenced. Co-sponsors of the petition include the AAAS Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, the New York Academy of Science's Committee on the Human Rights of Scientists, and the Committee of Concerned Scientists. The petition is also endorsed by the Academic Freedom Committee of Human Rights Watch.

Ohio Section holds its Annual Spring Meeting

The APS Ohio Section held its annual spring meeting, May 1-2, at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, in conjunction with the Indiana and Southern Ohio Sections of the American Association of Physics Teachers. The program featured five invited speakers. Leon Lederman, director emeritus of Fermilab, addressed current issues in K-12 physics education. Philip Sadler of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, discussed several common misconceptions in physics. Mark Trodden of Case Western University summarized the status and future of particle cosmology. Speaking on the topic of the "Mars Direct" was Robert Zubrin, president and founder of Pioneer Astronautics, a space-exploration R&D firm. Finally, Alfred Hubler of the University of Illinois described a special feature of his introductor physics courses called "CYBERPROF" - a Web-based homework grading system.