At its meeting in late September, the APS Executive Board instituted two new policies, one regarding unit newsletters, and one regarding requests for funding from APS committees.
Last summer, material published in the newsletter of the Forum on Physics and Society was picked up first by blogs and then by the media, resulting in inaccurate and inflammatory reporting including the erroneous claim that APS had changed its position on anthropogenic global warming. Taking note of the way in which information, and misinformation, can propagate on the internet, the Board mandated a policy on unit newsletters requiring “a disclaimer on each paper and electronic newsletter file, including the statements that the article has not been peer reviewed and does not necessarily represent the views of the APS.” In addition, the policy requires the establishment of a unit Editorial Board to oversee the publication of newsletters for units whose newsletters regularly carry editorial or opinion articles.
The Executive Board also approved the following policy regarding APS committee requests for activity funding for amounts over $10,000: “Occasionally APS Committees wish to start new programs that will need additional APS funding. This requires that these programs be considered for inclusion in the budget for the following year. Committees that wish to request over $10,000 additional funding for the following year should make a brief written proposal and submit it to the Executive Officer by April 1. The Executive Officer will make sure that all such proposals are put before the Executive Board at its spring meeting. The Executive Board will then make recommendations to the Budget Committee about the inclusion of the new programs in the APS budget. The final decision of the Council will, of course, be influenced by the projected income and other needs of the Society.”