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Ed Berger is an elementary particle theorist working in the High Energy Physics Division of Argonne National Laboratory. He earned an undergraduate degree in Physics from MIT and a PhD from Princeton University. He is a Life Member and a Fellow (1975) of the American Physical Society. Prior to joining the staff at Argonne, he was on the faculty of the Physics Department of Dartmouth College and a research fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He worked in the Theory Division at CERN for four years and has held visiting positions at SLAC, the Kavli Institute in Santa Barbara, the KITPC in Beijing, the National Center for Theoretical Sciences in Taiwan, and elsewhere. He has participated as a speaker or organizer in numerous workshops in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
Berger has served as a member of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel and on several DOE review committees, on the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee, and on the Brookhaven High Energy and Nuclear Physics Advisory Committee. He was elected twice to the Executive Committee of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society, serving as Chair of the Executive Committee in 1990. He has been very active in the organization of major international meetings, notably as Chair of the Organizing Committee for the 1990 Snowmass Summer Study on High Energy Physics, and Co-Chair of the 2005 Snowmass International Linear Collider Workshop.
Within the APS, Berger has served as a member and Chair of the Committee on Meetings, as a member and Chair of the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws, and as a member of the Committee on International Scientific Affairs (CISA).
As members of the Forum on International Physics of the American Physical Society, we are self-selected individuals brought together by our special interest and experience in international relations among physicists. Born and educated in diverse nations, we have worked and traveled elsewhere and may well make our contributions in societies far from our original homelands. We are bound by our appreciation of the open culture of the scientific enterprise, and we want to “give back” by facilitating scientific opportunities for aspiring students in regions not yet fully represented in the field.
As a Society, the APS has recognized the importance of its international membership in the governance of the Society with a recent Constitutional change to increase the representation of International Councilors. Our role in FIP is complementary. We can serve as an essential, grass-roots sounding board for how we wish the APS and its programs to evolve internationally, while simultaneously enhancing the effectiveness of the national and regional physics societies in our separate regions. I would like to see FIP join in this conversation among us at meetings, in the newsletter, and on blogs.
With sophisticated and expensive facilities available in only one region of the world – whether a mountain-top observatory, a deep mine with low radiation backgrounds, or the highest energy accelerators – issues of access are important for all of us, including but not limited to visa and taxation matters. We can also be pro-active in the transfer of more facilities to still developing nations, and in the organization of appropriate workshops and summer schools, partnering with educational and philanthropic organizations who share the goal of fostering the growth of science and technology in underrepresented regions.
Lastly, the APS has over 50 thousand members, but fewer than 4 thousand of us are members of FIP. To be more representative and more effective, we should consider ways to make participation in FIP more attractive.