March/April Sessions

Below you will find the FPS-sponsored sessions for both the March and April meetings. The sessions should be of interest to FPS members and the speakers are not typical faire for physics meetings, so we want to encourage you to attend the sessions. At the April meeting, there will also be an FPS executive committee meeting and an FPS business meeting on Sunday morning, April 12 before the FPS/FIP awards session that morning. We also want to urge the members to start thinking about what sessions they would like to see (organized by the member or by someone else) at future meetings. Any suggestions can be sent to Ruth Howes (, who will be the FPS program chair for the March and April 2016 meetings.

APS March Meeting 2015 • Forum on Physics & Society • March 2-6 San Antonio, TX

Wednesday, March 4

8:00 am (with History of Physics)

Physics at the Intersection of History, Tech, and Society
Chair: Joe Martin

This session will investigate the relationship physics has maintained with society in the last century and a half, particularly in relation to technological change.

Speakers: Spencer Weart
Bruce Hunt (University of Texas at Austin)
Cyrus Mody (Rice University)
Bob Crease (Stony Brook University)
Aimee Slaughter

11:15 am

Artificial Intelligence: Existential Risk or Boon to Humanity?
Chair: Arian Pregenzer

Artificial intelligence is progressing rapidly: robotic surgical assistance, self-driving cars, and smart security systems. Future possibilities include robot/human hybrids and autonomous weapon systems. How to balance benefits and risks?

Speakers: Stuart Russell (UC Berkeley)
Guruduth Banavar (IBM)
Gill Pratt (DARPA)
Benja Fallenstein (Machine Intelligence Research Institute)

Thursday, March 5

8:00 am (with FIAP)

Additive Manufacturing: Societal Impacts
Chair: Arian Pregenzer

Additive manufacturing (3-D printing) promises to revolutionize how companies design and make complex components from jet engines to medical implants. But, some raise concerns about management of intellectual property and potential security risks.

Speakers: Michael Cima (MIT)
David Keicher (Sandia)
Prabjhot Singh (GE)
Bruce Goodwin (LLNL)
Katherine Vorvolakos (FDA)

11:15 am

Network and Grid Resilience
Chair: Micah Lowenthal

Much attention has been given to reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing resilience of electrical grids and information networks. Speakers will address technical issues associated with each of these, and concerns and strategies that link them.

Speakers: Dan T. Ton (DOE)
Scott Bachhaus (LANL)
Chen-Ching Liu (Washington State University)
Chuanyi Ji (Georgia Tech)

APS April Meeting 2015 • Forum on Physics & Society • April 11-14 Baltimore, MD

Saturday, April 11

10:45 am (with GERA)

Energy / ARPA E
Chair: Valerie Thomas

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy supports high-potential, high-impact energy technologies. Solar energy advances and other technologies are discussed, as well as the challenge of developing transformational energy technologies.

Speakers: Ellen Williams, Director, ARPA-E
Howard Branz, Program Director, ARPA-E

1:30 pm (Coordinated with morning plenary)

Big Science and Challenges
Chair: Pushpa Bhat

Exploring the nature of our universe at very small and very large scales requires Big Science projects with huge challenges. This session will focus on funding and competiveness in the fields of space and accelerator-based high energy physics.

Invited Speakers: John Mather (NASA)
Rolf Heuer (CERN DG)
André Rubbia (ETH, Zurich)
John Grunsfeld (NASA)

3:30 pm

Exploration for Life in the Universe: Implications for Society
Chair: Arian Pregenzer

Astrobiology explores the origins and distribution of life in the universe. In this session we will discuss the search for extra-terrestrial life, the impacts its discovery might have on society, and implications for life on earth and elsewhere.

Speakers: Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona
David Grinspoon, Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
Mary Voytek Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, NASA

Sunday, April 12

8:00 am

FPS Executive Committee Meeting

9:15 am

FPS Business Meeting

These contributions have not been peer-refereed. They represent solely the view(s) of the author(s) and not necessarily the view of APS.