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In April, the presidents of the American Physical Society and the Korean Physical Society agreed to a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) between the two societies to promote scientific exchanges across the Pacific.
“There is a shared interest in promoting physics and diffusing the knowledge of physics in published work and meetings,” said APS President Robert Byer. “There is also a shared interest in education and outreach and in improving international cooperation and collaboration. The MOU affirms that both the APS and the KPS will collaborate in areas of common interest.”
Signed by Byer and KPS president Sung-Chul Shin, the memorandum encourages the two societies to work closely together, and to foster scientific partnerships between the two nations.
Specifically it calls for joint meetings to be held in areas of physics in which both societies share an interest. In addition, it calls for more support for physicist exchanges and for the APS Office of International Affairs to maintain close contact with KPS’s International Cooperation Committee to continue discussions of future collaborations.
“The MOU formally establishes a partnership and gives clear goals for joint activities. This increased collaboration will have a ‘snowball effect,’” said Amy Flatten, APS Director of International Affairs. “The more we do, the more we can do with activities, further strengthening relations, communication and collaboration, and thus better serving physicists from both communities.”
The agreement came about after a meeting between Byer and Shin in February when Byer was visiting Seoul for a separate meeting. The two presidents met for a brief, informal conversation, and began discussing the idea of a memorandum between the two societies. After Byer returned to the United States, the final wording of the agreement was worked out. APS past President Barry Barish brought the final draft of the agreement to Seoul in April when he was visiting for the 60th anniversary celebration of the KPS. At the celebration, Shin signed his name to the document, formalizing the agreement between the two societies.
The memorandum builds on a reciprocal agreement signed in 1993, which allows members of both organizations access to each other’s meetings, as well as the ability to submit papers to these meetings. APS has so far signed such reciprocal agreements with a total of 43 national and regional physical societies.
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Editor: Alan Chodos