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Panel on Public Affairs

Recommendations on all APS statements up for review in 2016 were presented to the APS Council of Representatives and Board of Directors at their November meetings. Statements 06.1, 06.2, 06.3, 01.1, 01.2, and 91.5 will remain active statements of the Society. Statement 96.2 — Energy: the Forgotten Crisis — has been rewritten; the Board has approved a proposed replacement statement. It was sent to the full APS membership for comment on December 1, 2016.

The APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) National Security Subcommittee is planning a workshop on the scientific obstacles and challenges to the elimination of highly enriched uranium in civilian applications, to be held in early 2017.

The POPA Physics & the Public Subcommittee is working to finalize a report on the obstacles and incentives for recruiting teachers in high-need STEM areas. The report is the product of a 2016 survey of current majors and recent STEM graduates in physics, chemistry, computer science, and mathematics, and was issued by APS, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Computing Research Association, and the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership.

Have a suggestion for a POPA study? Contact Jeanette Russo with your idea at russo@aps.org.

Media Update

Simon R. Bare, co-chair of the committee that produced the APS, ACS, and Materials Research Society (MRS) helium report Responding to the U.S. Research Community’s Liquid Helium Crisis, published an op-ed October 19 in The Hill newspaper, citing ways scientists can help abate the helium crisis, as outlined in the report.
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Chemistry World published a news story October 20 on the helium report produced by APS, ACS, and MRS titled "U.S. urged to address helium cost increases."

Chemical & Engineering News also published a story on the helium report October 10, titled "Societies recommend ways to address helium shortage."
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Have something important to say? APS Members have a resource in Press Secretary Tawanda W. Johnson. Contact her with your story at tjohnson@aps.org.

Administration Outreach

Working with the Physics Policy Committee, the Office of Public Affairs is developing an informational document for the Trump Transition Team.


At the 2016 APS Division of Plasma Physics Meeting, 408 attendees contacted Congress about the priorities of the physics community. The message addressed the need to pass a longer-term federal spending bill and increase support for the federal science agencies.

At the end of October, Greg Mack was a colloquium speaker for the University of Tennessee's chapter of the Forum on Science, Ethics, and Policy, where he addressed an audience of undergraduates, graduate students, and professors about how APS and its members decide which policy issues to investigate or act upon; the importance of advocacy and different levels of APS member involvement; and ethical considerations for these decisions.

If you'd like us to visit your home state and provide resources for grassroots advocacy, contact Greg Mack at mack@aps.org.

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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Rachel Gaal
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik