Volume 23, Number 1 January 1994
Book and Other Reviews Needed!
The P&S reviews column needs contributors who are willing to write a review of a book, magazine article (or collection of articles), movie, video, or other work that might be of interest to P&S readers. Any topic that illuminates the relationship of physics to society would be appropriate. If you have completed a review (1000 words maximum, please) or just an idea of something you would like to write, contact Ken Krane at the National Science Foundation, 703-306-1666, or e-mail to kranek @ physics.orst.edu. Reviews can be sent in hard copy or electronically.
The October quarterly APS subunit statistics have been run. There are currently 4,978 members of the Forum on Physics and Society, representing 12.1% of the total APS membership. These figures are up from 4,800 and about 11% in December 1992 (see Physics and Society, October 1993, page 13), but they still surely represent only a small fraction of those APS physicists who are interested in societal aspects of physics. Urge your colleagues to join our Forum. It's free, to APS members! Simply check "Forum on Physics and Society" on the annual APS membership renewal form, or send in the form printed at the end of this news section.
APS members who may wish to dispose of old issues of The Physical Review are requested to kindly send them to me at the address below. I am collecting these for the Technical Library in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I can also arrange for a pickup in the San Francisco Bay Area. Your donation of copies will be greatly appreciated.
The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) is seeking candidates from academia, business, industry, and the public sector for its Congressional Fellowship Program. Up to six Fellows will be selected for one-year appointment in Washington, DC, usually beginning in September 1994. The program provides an opportunity for individuals of proven ability to assist Congress in its deliberations of science and technology issues affecting public policy and to gain understanding of the ways Congress establishes national policy related to these issues.
Candidates must have extensive experience in science and technology issues or have completed research at the doctoral level. OTA encourages applicants with diverse backgrounds and work experiences to apply. Applicants must be prepared to perform balanced, comprehensive analyses; to work cooperatively in an interdisciplinary setting, and to present reports in clear, concise language.
Salaries range from $35,000 to $70,000 per year, based on the Fellow's current salary and/on training and experience. In some instances a Fellow may accept a salary supplement from his or her parent organization.
Applications must submit the following:
--a resume limited to two pages, including education, experience, and area(s) of special interest;
--a one-page listing of most recent published works;
--three letters of reference, sent directly to the address below;
--a statement of up to 1,000 words that either evaluates an issue and describes why it is of interest to you, or summarizes the public policy findings of work you have done;
--a statement of up to 250 words explaining how the Fellowship fits into your career objectives.
Applications and letters of reference must be received by 1 February 1994. Send application and reference letters to: Morris K. Udall Fellowships, Personnel Office, Office of Technology Assessment, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003.
We met at the Ranaissance Hotel, Washington DC, on 14 April 1993. Attendees were Anthony Fainberg (chair), Marc Ross (chair-elect), Tony Nero (vice-chair), Carol Herzenberg (secretary-treasurer), Al Saperstein (vice-chair elect), Ruth Howes (past chair), Barbara Levi (councillor), Lisbeth Gronlund, Tina Kaarsberg, Robert Lempert, Julia Thompson (executive committee members), Art Hobson (newsletter editor), Jo Levinger, Chuan S. Liu, Barret Ripin, Nancy Forbes, Peter Zimmerman (nominating committee member), Dirk Plummer, Edward Gerjuoy (program committee member), J.E. Felten, Dave Hafemeister (editorial board member), Richard Scribner (editorial board member). Executive committee members absent: Badash, Garvey, Schwartz, Wittels.
Fainberg called the meeting to order at 2:16 p.m. Herzenberg circulated minutes from the 1992 executive committee meeting, and the treasurer's report (Table 1). At the suggestion of Levi, it was decided to keep the $5,000 previously transferred into the general account in the awards account.
Table 1. Treasurer's Report
Income Account Balance 4/1/92 $24,494 Revenues Dues equivalent $11,995 Interest income 1,239 Registration equivalent 7,161 Other 30 Revenues total: $20,425 Expenses Newsletter $11,027 Stipends 735 Meetings 855 Forum award transfer 5,000 Travel 1,014 Conference proceedings 2,508 Other 125 Expenses total: $22,436 Balance 4/1/93 $22,483 Award account Balance 4/1/92 $1,917
Herzenberg reported on the election of new executive board members. Alvin Saperstein was elected Vice Chair, and Tina Kaarsberg and Robert Lempert were elected to the executive committee.
Program Chair Ross reported on past and future programs sponsored by FPS at APS meetings. At the Seattle meeting, there were 2 invited sessions and a jointly sponsored session; during the 1993 Washington meeting, 3 invited sessions and 2 jointly sponsored sessions. It was suggested that the Program Chair's report give time and date of sessions and attendance. The possibility of having sessions at other meetings was discussed. The possibility of organizing a contributed session, at the Washington meeting, was discussed.
Hobson presented and circulated a report on the newsletter, Physics and Society. Hobson requested articles from the invited sessions. Hobson was unanimously renominated as editor of the newsletter.
Liu and Ripin reported on the proposed Dwight Nicholson Award for Humanitarian Service (a memorial of the tragedy in the University of Iowa physics department), and circulated copies of a proposal. The Division of Plasma Physics will find $2,000 to start an endowment to make up a medal, with an intended trial 5 awards sequence. A motion to support the award was moved by Howes and seconded by Herzenberg, and passed unanimously.
Gronlund reported on discounts on subscriptions to the journal Science and Global Security for members of the Forum. There was considerable discussion, and note made of the lawsuit by the publishers, Gordon and Breach, against the APS and former Forum secretary/treasurer Heinz Barschall for libel (in conjunction with the subscription-costs issue that Barschall raised). Howes made the point that FPS should not be in the business of endorsing any commercial product. A decision was reached not to promote this journal.
Gronlund presented a speakers bureau report, and circulated recommendations from that committee. Speakers bureau options were considered. It was considered not feasible to have a speakers bureau to address the public because of the cost. Gronlund suggested that the Forum emulate the committee on the status of women in physics in providing a speakers list. A screening process is needed; Gronlund suggests abstracting talks. Nero suggested starting with invited speakers that the Forum has sponsored already. This listing could be sent out with the women in physics and minorities in physics lists.
Levi gave the awards committee report. This year's Szilard Award went jointly to Roy Woodruff and Ray Kidder, and the Forum Award went to Harvey Brooks. Letters went to the recipients indicating that they would be receiving cash awards in addition to the trophies, so cash awards will be made this year. However, care must be taken that such letters do not go out next year so that the awards will be limited to trophies in future years. Levi indicated that there was a possible conflict of interest in soliciting and selecting candidates for awards. Gronlund suggested creating two subcommittees for the two purposes.
Fainberg presented the report of the fellowship committee for Valerie Thomas, who was not present. FPS nominees for Fellow of the APS this year are: Art Hobson, Ruth Howes, and Carol Jo Crannell.
Councillor Levi reported that the APS Council would hold its meeting in two days. She indicated the agenda, and said she would write a summary for the newsletter (see the July 1993 issue). There will be a meeting of senior APS members on the following day, and that she will go and promote Forum activities. Forum membership is up to 4,800 from 4,300 in 1991. The international physics group is extremely active; they gave away $1.3 million in grants, supported 3,000 physicists in various ways. A joint meeting is planned with the Mexican Physical Society. There was a proposal that the APS Council endorse a statement critical of the state of Colorado because of the recent amendment.
Howes reported on coordination with the new Forum on Education.
Herzenberg volunteered to provide coordination with the Forum on the History of Physics.
Fainberg and Hafemeister discussed the APS Panel On Public Affairs. POPA decided to do a study of renewable energy. Issues that had come up in POPA included ethics, RF fields, Patriot missile effectivenss, and funding cuts on advanced nuclear power. POPA is looking at the anti-gay boycott in Colorado. POPA is having trouble locating a chair for the renewable energy study. POPA has been involved with the physics planning committee. Fainberg suggested that FPS should have a representative (Hafemeister or Kaarsberg) at every meeting of POPA, with FPS covering travel costs.
Howes and Zimmerman reported on a study on conventional weapons. About 10 names and topics had been identified, but this was postponed since they found themselves over committed.
Saperstein proposed a new study of the job situation, which may lead to a book. Saperstein has 10 authors lined up for 12 chapters, and wants to have a meeting of the authors. Howes moved to allocate $5,000 for a study of employment. The motion was seconded by Thompson, and passed unanimously.
Thompson presented a report on the minority students' summer research program at the University of Pittsburgh, and Levi suggested that they report at the recruiting and retaining minorities conference put on by the AIP/APS.
It was reported that the study of the hydrogen economy was still at an early stage, and Fainberg suggested that it be deferred until next year.
Gronlund reported on physics and education after attending the AAAS meeting on that subject, and will prepare a written report for the newsletter. Howes suggested a joint invited session with the Forum on Education for the April 1994 APS meeting.
Fainberg reported that he and Levi will look into endowing the Szilard and Forum awards. They are to meet with Harry Lustig on that.
The possibilities for use of an electronic bulletin board for the Forum were discussed, and a subcommittee composed of Nero, Fainberg, and Chonacky is following up on this.
The issue of the anti-gay rights referendum in Colorado came up. It was noted that there are no meetings scheduled in Colorado. Levi, as councillor, was given guidance to express the Forum's support of equitable treatment of physicists irrespective of sexual preference.
The meeting adjourned at 4:58 p.m.
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)!
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