Call for Nominations for FHP Leadership

The FHP Nominating Committee, chaired by Gloria Lubkin, is charged with selecting candidates to stand for election to FHP Executive Committee positions. The next election will be held around the beginning of 2011. The Nominating Committee will meet over the next several months and wel­comes suggestions from FHP members, including self-nominations. The sug­gested candidates must be members of FHP at the time of nomination. The positions that must be filled are:
  1. Vice-Chair, whose primary responsibility is to help the Chair-Elect develop and arrange FHP sessions at meetings, as well as chairing the FHP Fellowship Committee. The Vice-Chair is expected to become Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past Chair in subsequent years.
  2. Two At-Large Executive Com­mittee positions. The At-Large mem­bers serve three-year terms and hold positions on various standing and ad hoc committees of the forum.

Please send suggestions to the FHP Secretary-Treasurer, Tom Miller.

The FHP Bylaws state that if more than 5% of the members (approxi­mately 195 persons) suggest the same person, and if that person expresses willingness to serve, their name will appear on the ballot in addition to persons selected by the Nominating Committee.

Call for Physics Department Histories

Has your institution written the history of its physics department and submitted a copy to the Niels Bohr Library and Archives? As history appreciators, it would be sadly ironic if any physics department’s history were lost.

We recently received A History of the Department of Physics of the Univer­sity of Colorado at Boulder 1876-2001, by Albert A. Bartlett and Jack J. Kraush­aar. This impressive book, the size of a telephone book of a small city, was beautifully written, illustrated, and referenced. Few will have the time to pull together so thorough a history. However, the concern of importance is to get it written down, even if the product looks more like a student term paper than a commercially-published tome (one can always make it look nicer in the next edition!). As Bartlett and Kraushaar noted in their Introduc­tion, "It was evident that the faculty who joined the Department during the first post-war wave of expansion, starting in the 1950s, were retiring and were cleaning out their file cabinets and were otherwise disposing of their records."

In a letter of 28 September 2009 that was written to department chairs, the FHP Executive Committee said encouragingly, "We are not asking department chairs to undertake the writing of departmental histories. We are asking you to preserve and make available historical accounts of what your department has done and accomplished. We are also ask­ing that you encourage your retiring faculty to leave a vita and comments on their accomplishments, from their perspectives, on their careers. Also their future plans. These accounts need not represent a complete history. The best departmental histories that we have seen represent the gathering of material collected and summarized by a succession of different authors at different times…The most beneficial locations for these…histories are likely to be departmental websites. But we hope that you will also deposit a copy in the Niels Bohr Library & Archives…and please let us know when you do so." The NBLA contact person is

Joe Anderson
Director, Niels Bohr Library & Archive
American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740-3843
(301) 209-3183

If you have any questions, please contact Bob Arns, University of Ver­mont, or George Zimmerman, Boston University.

Note Added: This article represents the views of the author, which are not necessarily those of the FHP or APS.