APS as a Welcoming Global Hub Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is a Welcoming Global Hub?

Through a “global hub,” APS will offer a welcoming community where physicists across the globe can connect with each other and advance their shared interests. In furthering the Society’s international engagement, APS does not presume to be the world’s physical society.

A welcoming global hub should provide:

  • An opportunity for all physicists, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, to contribute to and benefit from, the global scientific enterprise;
  • An opportunity for physicists of diverse levels of achievement and prosperity to build and strengthen relationships within the global physics community; and
  • Expanded partnerships and collaborations with other national physics societies and international physics organizations.

2) Why has APS decided to become a Welcoming Global Hub?

This strategy is based on recommendations of the APS Task Force on Expanding International Engagement, adopted by the APS Council in 2018. Most importantly, the Task Force suggested that APS serve as a “global hub”—offering a welcoming community where physicists across the globe can connect with each other and advance their shared interests. The Task Force’s survey of 10,000 APS members worldwide revealed that, regardless of nationality, members value “being part of a larger physics community” as the primary reason for their APS membership.

APS also values inclusiveness and diversity, and a Welcoming Global Hub is consistent with the ideal of the US as a place where diverse cultures are appreciated and celebrated. Diverse participation in APS meetings, programs, and publications strengthens physics, and strengthens APS.

Additionally, this strategy seeks to underpin the APS mission "to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics for the benefit of humanity.” This entails a complementary approach, recognizing that:

  • Physics across the globe advances physics in the US;
  • Physics in the US advances physics beyond US borders; and
  • International collaboration among physicists advances physics worldwide.

3) When will it take effect?

Though the phrase “Welcoming Global Hub” is now being used, this effort is a natural evolution of APS that has been underway for some time. Today, physicists living outside of the US account for over 66% of articles in APS journals, nearly 25% of APS membership, and over 30% of participants in the March Meeting.

Over the next several years, APS will implement short-, mid-, and long-term goals to ensure that the Society’s programs, activities, and resources serve and are inclusive of the global community. APS is also increasing its engagement with international partners to broaden its reach.

4) What does it mean for me as an individual member of APS?

APS aims to increase diversity among its membership and also broaden the network of physicists with whom members interact. Members will benefit from new and expanded programs, activities, resources, and meetings that are designed to better serve and enable participation from physicists worldwide. The APS mission “to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics for the benefit of humanity” is at the core of this strategy.

5) What changes will occur within the organization as a result of the Welcoming Global Hub?

As APS implements this strategy, new opportunities and initiatives will be instituted. For example, many existing APS programs that have previously only been relevant or accessible to members in the United States will involve exploring how to diversify offerings more broadly and inclusively.

The APS Committee on International Scientific Affairs has developed a roadmap with pragmatic steps to reduce barriers to engaging with APS. By expanding partnerships with other national and international scientific organizations, there will be new opportunities to engage with APS and the broader international physics community.

6) How will APS members know that the organization has achieved success as a Welcoming Global Hub?

Through engagement with physicists and scientific organizations worldwide, APS anticipates an increase in the international diversity and representation across the organization, including its membership, meetings, and leadership.

7) Will the APS name change after the Welcoming Global Hub is implemented?

No; the Society’s name will not change. APS continues to serve and represent the US physics community in addition to its efforts to serve a global community. As such, APS will maintain its name.

Additionally, APS does not aim to be the world’s physical society, but rather a welcoming community where physicists across the globe can connect with each other and advance their shared interests.

8) Where can I obtain additional information?

The APS International Affairs webpage provides additional background information, including a video explaining the Welcoming Global Hub strategy in more detail. Additionally, feel free to contact APS staff at international@aps.org with any questions or comments you have.

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