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Edmond L Berger
With a sense of great honor I write to you as Chair in 2015 of our Forum on International Physics (FIP) of the American Physical Society (APS). As a grass-roots unit within the APS, our mission is to advance the understanding of physics by fostering cooperation and communication among physicists of all nations. Our official membership in 2015 stands at 3712, larger than that of all but one Division of the APS. The membership has held roughly constant since 2011, while declining slightly as a percentage of the total membership of the Society. Encourage more of your friends to join the Forum and to participate actively!
Following the most recent election, the Executive Committee welcomes Cherrill Spencer (SLAC) as Vice-Chair, along with Jason Gardner (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization), and Aldo Romero (West Virginia University) as Members at Large. Maria Spiropulu rises in the Chair line to Chair-Elect in 2015.We thank Ercan Alp (Chair in 2014) and Sergio Ulloa (Past-Chair in 2014) for their years of dedicated leadership of FIP.
The organization of invited paper sessions at APS General Meetings is one of our principal activities. At the 2015 March Meeting in San Antonio, March 2 - 6, the theme of the FIP sessions is “Condensed Matter Physics in Latin America”, with invited speakers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. Executive Committee member Alejandro De Lozanne played a key role in the organization of these March sessions. Please come to the sessions and to the FIP reception on March 3. For the 2015 April Meeting in Baltimore, April 11 – 14, Maria Spiropulu and I have organized two sessions on “Models of International Partnership”, with invited speakers reporting on the organization and management of successful international collaborative efforts in astrophysics, particle physics, nuclear physics, and gravity research. In addition, at the April meeting we are co-sponsors of an invited paper session with the Division of Physics of Beams (DPB) on the topic “International Photon Science Facilities”, as well as a joint session organized by Cherrill Spencer with the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP).
Our FIP colleague Per Nordblad, Professor in Solid State Physics, Uppsala University, is the 2015 recipient of the John Wheatley Award of the American Physical Society, for his sustained efforts of nearly three decades in nurturing physics research and education in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, and Eritrea. The award, to be presented at the April meeting, was established in 1991 with support from FIP to recognize physicists who have made outstanding contributions to the development of physics in countries of the third world, by working with local physicists in research or teaching. The award is presented every two years. Please come to hear Professor Nordblad’s presentation and consider making nominations of appropriate individuals for the 2017 Wheatley award!
Thanks to the personal efforts of Executive Committee member Maria Longobardi funding has been obtained from Authorea to award a special travel grant of $900 to one FIP member attending the 2015 March Meeting 2015. The award is for graduate students and postdocs from Europe and partially covers travel expenses to present their work at the March Meeting. Applications have been solicited.
While on the topic of travel grants, I want to renew attention to the APS International Travel Grant Award Program (ITGAP). This program was a FIP initiative that has since drawn sponsors from many APS units. Its purpose is to promote international scientific collaborations between APS members and physicists in developing countries. Up to US$2,000 per recipient is awarded for travel and lodging expenses for international travel while visiting a collaborator. In her capacity as Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee in 2014, Maria Spiropulu was responsible for the review process, with expert assistance from other sponsoring APS units. For more information and application guidelines, please see the International Travel Grant Award Program page.
Please be pro-active in nominating outstanding FIP members for election to the rank of Fellow of the APS. Candidates should have demonstrated outstanding contributions to physics and, in addition, those advanced by FIP should have identifiable contributions to the development of programs and collaborations between physicists and their communities from diverse cultural backgrounds. Please see the Nomination Instructions page for an outline of the nomination process. The deadline for consideration by the FIP committee is May 15.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to meeting as many as possible at the March and April APS meetings.
Ed Berger is a high energy elementary particle theorist and Distinguished Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the APS and served previously as Chair of the Division of Particles and Fields (1990); Chair of APS Committee on Constitution and Bylaws (2011); and Chair of the APS Committee on Meetings (1995).