APS News

February 2000 (Volume 9, Number 2)

Outreach and Community Service I

To Advance & Diffuse the Knowledge of Physics

100 Years of the American Physical Society

Herman Feshbach with Elena Bonner, Andrei Sakharov, and Alexi Semenov, Moscow, 1987.
Herman Feshbach with Elena Bonner, Andrei Sakharov, and Alexi Semenov, Moscow, 1987.
The ferment of the Viet Nam era and the concomitant rise in social consciousness propelled APS into community service. New programs reflected contemporary issues:
  • human rights
  • diversity
  • employment
  • education
  • government relations

These programs for physicists and the public augmented the Society's ongoing work of advancing the knowledge of physics.

Human Rights

In the last thirty years, many members of the Society have decried violations of the human rights of dissident scientists in the Soviet Union, China, and elsewhere. Today, the APS Committee on International Freedom of Scientists fights injustice wherever found.


Two new committees improved the climate for women and under-represented minorities in physics. The Committee on the Status of Women in Physics helped to triple the fraction of those entering physics that were women. The Committee on Minorities established a scholarship and mentoring program that has enabled dozens of students to pursue physics training.


Rumors of physicists driving taxis or bartending were rampant during the job crisis of the late 1960s and 1970s. This led to a precipitous drop in physics PhDs. In response, the APS offered career counseling and improved placement services.

With the creation of the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics in 1995, APS recognized the increasing fraction of physicists employed outside of academe.

Curator: Sara Schechner Genuth, Gnomon Research
Exhibit Director: Barrett Ripin
APS History: Harry Lustig
Journals History: R. Mark Wilson
Researchers: George Trigg, Ruth Kastner, Steven Norton, Amy Halsted
Exhibit Design: Puches Design Inc.
Fabrication: Malone Displays

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette

February 2000 (Volume 9, Number 2)

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Articles in this Issue
Chodos is New Associate Executive Officer
Man of the Century
APS Career Efforts Focus on Physics Departments
Mass Media Fellow Learns "Nuts and Bolts" of Journalism
Outreach and Community Service I
In the Journals
APS and BNL Host XXX e-Print Archive Mirror
In Brief
Poll Reveals All-Star Physicists
Cosmic CD Available at Last!
US R&D Spending Trends
Exploring "Who Did It?" with Forensic Science
Cornell "Nanoharp" Studies Vibrating Materials at High Frequencies
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science
Inside the Beltway: A Washington Analysis
The Back Page