Volume 22, Number 3 July 1993
Forum Election Results and New Officers
The Forum's recent elections elicited 900 votes, 20% of the Forum's membership. The newly-elected officers are Alvin M. Saperstein as Vice Chair, and two new Executive Committee members: Tina Kaarsberg and Robert Lempert. The complete list of Forum Officers for 1993-94 is as follows:
Chair: Marc Ross Chair-Elect: Anthony Nero Vice Chair: Alvin Saperstein Past Chair: Anthony Fainberg Secretary-Treasurer: Caroline Herzenberg Forum Councillor: Barbara Levi Executive Committee: Lisbeth Gronlund, Tina Kaarsberg, Robert Lempert, Cindy Schwarz, Julia Thompson, Jill Wittels
Councilor's Report on APS Council Meeting
The APS Council met in St. Charles, Illinois on 24 October 1992. The following were some of the agenda items that might be of interest to Forum members:
Report from the APS Executive Committee: (1) The future of NSF and its possible redirection towards greater support of industrial research has been of concern to the APS. The Physics Planning Committee drafted a letter to NSF, voicing APS concerns, and the letter has been well received. (2) APS has appointed a task force to plan the celebration of its centennial in 1999. Mildred Dresselhaus chairs the task force. (3) APS also appointed a task force on discriminatory behavior, which has representatives from the Committee on Membership, the Committee on Minorities, and the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics.
Ground has been broken for the American Center for Physics, APS's future home near the University of Maryland. Richard Werthamer is hopeful that APS can occupy the new building in less than a year.
During the report of the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws, there was some discussion of the requirement that the membership of each subunit of APS be at least 3% of APS membership to entitle that subunit to at least one seat on the Council. The criterion will be reviewed in another year. There are now four subunits that call themselves a Forum (Physics and Society, History of Physics, Education, and International Physics). Is there some short name by which the Forum on Physics and Society can distinguish itself from the other forums? Think about it.
As part of its ongoing charge to conduct periodic reviews of APS committees, this year the Committee on Committees reviewed the Committee on Membership. The COM recently finished the analysis of a survey of APS members, and the report is quite interesting. There will be an announcement in APS News as to how members can send for a copy of the survey.
Harry Lustig reported on the finances of the society. The fiscal picture is good at present, but Lustig expects the finances in future years to be more tight, especially with rising costs of journal publication and increasing cancellations of library subscriptions. The Council passed an increase in dues, but added a new "junior" category of membership, with lower dues.
The candidates for fellowship were approved. The new Forum Fellows are Carol Jo Crannell, Art Hobson and Ruth Howes. Congratulations to all three.
The big issues concerning publishing are electronic publishing and declining library subscriptions. The committee is studying ways to accelerate the former and decelerate the latter. Physical Review will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year. Physics Today plans to publish some relevant articles and there will be special sessions at society meetings.
The Committee on Membership reported on various activities being planned to help physicists caught in the tight job market. APS has run a trial career workshop at Fermilab, and others along the same line are planned. Some subunits and some universities are planning special career counseling at their meetings. Physics Today hopes to run vignettes of physicists in non-traditional occupations.
The Panel on Public Affairs has decided to undertake as its next major study "The Technical aspects of Renewable Energy." Specifically they will focus on photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind, and biomass. They are seeking a chair (or co-chairs) and then will try to solicit funding.
The Committee on International Scientific Affairs has proposed a cooperative basic research program in physics with Vietnam. The council voted approval for CISA to explore how it might obtain the resources and institutional cooperation needed to implement such a program.
Innumerable other projects conducted by subunits or committees of APS were barely discussed, due to time limits.
Barbara Levi, Forum Councilor
The Forum is primarily responsible for two of the SPS's annual awards: The Forum Award for promoting public understanding of issues at the interface between physics and society, and the Leo Szilard Award for the use of physics for the benefit of society in such areas as the environment, arms control, and science policy. The Forum invites nominations for these awards. Nomination forms may be obtained from Lawrence Badash, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106.
In its operations the Forum on Physics and Society depends on committees, such as the Awards Committee, Fellowship Committee, Nominating Committee, and the Editorial Board for Physics and Society. If you are a member of our Forum and would be willing to help, please let us know. Contact our Chair: Marc Ross, Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48109.
One of the Forum's most effective fora for developing and presenting important issues within the APS is that of the invited-paper session. Those attending Forum sessions get the direct benefit of hearing outstanding researchers and policy makers in their respective fields, and this benefit is extended to the entire Forum membership through the publication of most Forum sessions in Physics and Society. So think about what session you might like to see happen and, most importantly, organize! And think in terms of the meetings that you are most likely to attend in terms of potential topics of interest to that part of the APS. Send suggestions or volunteer to Anthony Nero, the upcoming Program Chair, at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory 90-3058, Berkeley, California 94720.
Given the upsurge in research on Forum-related issues arising from national and international changes in the last two or three years, the Forum is encouraging contributed papers for a session at the next April meeting, 18-22 April 1994, in Crystal City, VA. The overall session subject will be "Energy, Environment, and Arms Control: A New Era?" To help assure enough papers for the session, contributors are encouraged to draft an abstract by September or so, and to send a copy to the Forum's program chair: Anthony Nero, Building 90 - Room 3058, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720. Further, if you know someone who ought to contribute a paper, you might encourage that person to do so.
Physics and Society, the quarterly of the Forum on Physics and Society, a division of the American Physical Society, is distributed free to Forum members and libraries. Nonmembers may receive it by writing to the editor; voluntary contributions of $10 per year are most welcome, payable to the APS/Forum. We hope that libraries will archive Physics and Society . Forum members should request that their libraries do this! APS members can join the Forum and receive Physics and Society by mailing the following information to the editor (see page 2 for address)!
I am an APS member who wishes to join the Forum: