APS Affirms Importance of Undergraduate Research
Panel on Public Affairs Seeks Feedback on Draft Statement
December 11, 2013
The APS board has invited the membership to comment on the recently approved statement affirming its support of undergraduate physics research. The statement calls on the country’s colleges and universities to “provide all undergraduate physics and astronomy majors with access to significant research experiences.”
“At the most basic level what we’re saying is every undergraduate should have this kind of experience because it’s really foundational,” said Paul Cottle a physicist at Florida State University and chair of APS’s education committee.
The committee on education put forward the statement in response to concerns about the classroom emphasis on the theoretical underpinnings of physics. Having undergrads do real research would offer them a chance to see what physics is really about.
As part of the society’s bylaws, after the board approves any statement the membership is encouraged to submit comments about it. Once all member comments have been received, APS’s Panel on Public Affairs will review the responses and consider revising the statement before a final version is put to the council for a vote.
The statement reads in part “The American Physical Society calls upon the nation’s colleges and universities and their physics and astronomy departments to provide all undergraduate physics and astronomy majors with access to significant research experiences.
Members can read the statement online.