APS News

August/September 2004 (Volume 13, Number 8)

Latest Membership Survey Rates APS Activities

APS members feel that lobbying, informing the public, and improving education are what the Society should make its highest priorities, according to a survey of regular and junior members that was completed in June. (Junior members are those within 3 years of their PhD.)

The survey was sent out electronically in late March to approximately 5000 APS members, and after two additional reminders, a 61% response rate was achieved. The survey concentrated on membership issues; other surveys are planned for further specific areas of Society activity, such as meetings and publications. Respondents chose staying abreast of developments in the field (53%) as the highest ranking reason they continue as APS members.

Other highly-rated reasons included keeping in touch with the physics community (51%) and supporting the physics community (50%). Forty-four percent listed receiving Physics Today as a reason that they continue as members.

Junior members in particular appreciated the ability to submit abstracts at APS meetings (43%) and the reduced meeting registration fees (47%), although these benefits were rated only at 28% and 22% by all the respondents.

Survey respondents had the opportunity to provide comments as well as answer questions.

Although lobbying activities were ranked as a high priority by 76%, the survey collected a wide range of individual views, from "I put high priority in APS using its clout to educate the public and Congress, and to actually lobby" to "APS is strongly mistaken if it tries to become a lobbying organization. Its strength is that it can promote the education of the public in general, which is where the power resides for the future of physics."

APS Director of Membership Trish Lettieri noted that a 1996 membership survey had found that the APS was not communicating effectively with its members. After much attention was paid to this issue, a 2001 survey showed that the situation had improved considerably. Lettieri said that the current survey confirms the trend that members generally know about, and approve of, the activities that the APS is conducting.

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette

August/September 2004 (Volume 13, Number 8)

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Articles in this Issue
UN Declares 2005 the International Year of Physics
Executive Board Urges Review of Moon/Mars Mission Proposal
Latest Membership Survey Rates APS Activities
Physics Department Chairs Make Their Case on Capitol Hill
APS Members Urged to Help Jailed Russian Researcher
Spotlight on the Physics Profession
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Workforce Issues Dominate Policy Briefing
NRC Releases "Physics of the Universe" Strategic Plan
DAMOP Lecture Wows the Public
Fred Stein Heads for the Hills
APS Selects 26 as 2004-2005 Undergraduate Minority Scholars
APS-Led Teacher Prep Program is Seeing Results
Librarians Honor APS Journals
Inside the Beltway: A Washington Analysis
The Back Page
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science