APS News

APS Creates Physicist Networking Database

APS creates a technical professional network for members that spans all employment sectors

The APS is creating an exciting new service, which will be of interest to APS members needing technical advice. This APS Technical Network for APS members is a web-based database of information with the primary purpose of establishing a large professional network of physicists (defined broadly) across , national labs, industry, and other places where physicists work. The new service, which is intended to be a benefit to APS members and does not generate any income whatsoever for the APS, will be developed in two phases. In the first phase, members who are willing to share their knowledge informally with other APS members, will be asked to list information on their areas of technical expertise. In the second phase, members will be able to search the database by area of expertise, state, or keyword.

The idea for the database came from discussions with industrial physicists, particularly those in small companies, who expressed need for such a database of APS members whom they could contact informally when they had a technical problem. Since those discussions however, the scope of this Network has broadened. Many physicists and other professionals decide to change the direction of their research, enter new disciplines, or transition from academia to industry (or vice versa). The APS Technical Network can not only foster the technical development of these physicists, but can help them establish professional contacts in those new areas of research and help them find mentors to facilitate those transitions.

Arlene Modeste Knowles and Norval Johnson have been leading the efforts to plan and construct this new service. It is now being beta-tested. The completion of the search engine will be the next phase of the Network's development, and will be launched once 100 physicists are enrolled in the database. We invite all of you to be a part of this Network, to fill out the enrollment form, and send feedback on the service process to Arlene Modeste Knowles (knowles@aps.org).

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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette