APS News

New Forum on Outreach Off and Running

Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public

Gray arrow FOEP Website

The brand new APS Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public (FOEP) has conducted its first election, and now has a duly constituted Executive Committee, which plans to meet in conjunction with the March Meeting in Boston.

FOEP is the first new forum since the Forum on Graduate Student Affairs was formed in 2001. Organizers say that its aim is to involve members of APS who are interested in bringing the excitement of science to the public. Outreach and engagement can encompass a broad range of activities including, for example, working with the media, political engagement, hosting science cafes, or blogging.

 “My hope for FOEP is that we can raise awareness within the APS membership in ways that are effective in engaging the public and help them find avenues to reach out and share their knowledge and experience and excitement about what they do,” said Patricia Sievert, STEM outreach coordinator at Northern Illinois University and the Forum’s newly elected vice-Chair.

Paul Chaikin of New York University was elected Chair, Ivan Schuller of the University of California, San Diego  is the Chair-elect, and James Kakalios, University of Minnesota, will fill the past-Chair position. The Secretary-Treasurer E. Dan Dahlberg, who is also from the University of Minnesota, Charles Falco from the University of Arizona, Beth Parks from Colgate University, Laura Greene from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Diandra Leslie-Pelecky at West Virginia University round out the Executive Committee.

“There’s all kinds of ways we can interact with the public,” Sievert said. “I think it’s our responsibility to share that excitement.”

The Forum is the result of a push from APS’s Committee on Informing the Public to provide a way for members interested in outreach and engagement to network and share ideas. Signatures for its formation were collected over the latter half of 2010. In November the APS Council formally adopted a draft of its by-laws. The Forum accrued more than 800 members over the following year. Council approved the final draft of the Forum’s bylaws in November, 2011, and elections were held early in 2012.

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Editor: Alan Chodos