Robert McKeown, Jefferson Lab & College of William and Mary

General Councilor

Educational History

  • Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University (1979)
  • B.A. Physics, SUNY Stony Brook (1974)

URL for Full Bio or CV

Top 5 Honors, Awards, or Recognition

  • APS Division of Nuclear Physics Mentoring Award (2018)
  • Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics, KamLAND and Daya Bay experiments (2015)
  • APS Tom W. Bonner Prize for Nuclear Physics (2009)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (1993)
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award (1984-1989)

Most Recent APS Volunteer History

  • Mentoring Award Selection Committee, Division of Nuclear Physics (2019)
  • Dissertation Award Selection Committee, Division of Nuclear Physics (2014)
  • Past Chair, Division of Nuclear Physics (2014)


I have long been a member of three APS divisions as well as a topical group, and have served in many positions of leadership and service in my primary home, the Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP). This has included the DNP Executive Committee, Program Committee, Mentoring Award Committee, Fellowship Committee, the Physical Review C Editorial Board, and serving as Chair of the DNP. I was a Professor of Physics at Caltech for 30 years before coming to Jefferson Lab and the College of William and Mary nine years ago. I can bring a broad perspective and experience to the role of General Councilor that reflects APS, the physics community, physics education, academic research, and the national laboratory environment. I also have participated in many international collaborations in my research career, including projects in Germany, Japan, and China, so I have substantial experience in that area.

With its 2019 Strategic Plan in place, APS is well-positioned to carry on its great traditions in serving the membership, disseminating scientific knowledge, and advocating for physics and science in general. We must continue to increase our efforts to address the issue of lack of diversity in physics and to provide leadership to foster a welcoming environment for a broad and diverse community. The environment for international scientific collaboration is challenged by current political and cultural trends, and it is important for APS to advocate for open scientific communication and collaboration. Today the integrity of science is being questioned to a greater degree, and APS and other scientific societies will need to be vigilant and active in addressing this issue. In fact, the communication of science to the public has never been more important, as technical and scientific issues loom larger than ever in public policy. Finally, the stature and reputation of the APS journals are of great importance to the physics community and we must ensure their continued health.

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Robert McKeown