The official count of APS membership has been tabulated and has reached a new record of 47,947 members as of January 2010, surpassing last year’s record by 758 members.
For the second year in a row, the number of student members has dramatically increased, driving up the number of members overall. In 2009, APS added 954 new students to its rolls.
APS Director of Membership Trish Lettieri credited much of the increase to the continued efforts by the Forum on Graduate Student Affairs to inform students of the benefits of membership in the APS. Junior Memberships, discounted membership rates available to recent graduates, were also up almost 5 percent in 2009.
“The fact that the Society membership has continued to grow in these tough economic times is very impressive,” said Lettieri, “Other scientific societies have seen both their membership and meeting attendance decline over the last year, yet APS seems to be holding strong in both of those areas.”
The number of international memberships increased modestly as well, growing by almost 200 people. About 10,000 international physicists make up 21 percent of APS’s overall membership.
These membership counts are held every year to assess the health of the Society. The membership numbers are important also in enhancing the Society’s grass roots lobbying efforts when advocating for improvements in science policy and increased research funding.