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Dear APS Members,
A number of recent violent events have led to increased tensions in the U.S. and around the world, and have distressed many of us. It is important to acknowledge the impact of these events and to extend support to our colleagues who are members of affected communities.
Critical to the APS objective, of advancing and diffusing the knowledge of physics, is supporting our members to reach their full potential in physics. When any of us is threatened or excluded, or feels unsafe or unwelcome, it is difficult to bring our best thinking and our best efforts to our work. In such an environment, over the long term, the enterprise of physics will suffer, along with its many benefits to humanity.
I believe that, as physicists, we must come together as a community that welcomes, respects, and supports all who study or practice physics, regardless of race, nationality, religion, class, physical ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression. We must actively work against intolerance and bias, including systemic bias, that can limit individuals and divide communities. The diversity of our community is a strength, and collaborations among individuals with different experiences and perspectives bring a robust and dynamic vitality to our field.
APS is firmly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive physics community. The Society invests significant resources in programs, initiatives, and collaborations that encourage and support the full participation of women, underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities, LGBT individuals, and other historically marginalized groups. While much has been accomplished, there is still more to be done.
Fortunately, we are bound together by our common passion for physics and drive for discovery. This unity serves as a strong foundation for our community and perhaps can help nucleate a much-needed broader unity in society.
I urge everyone to act compassionately as we come together to mourn these tragic incidents.
2016 APS President