Report from the APS International Affairs Office (INTAF)

Amy Flatten


It is a pleasure to start 2016 by thanking the members of the Forum on International Physics (FIP) for their contributions to the international programs of the APS. The partnership between FIP and the APS and the International Affairs Office (INTAF) has launched programs that have served our fellow APS members and our physics colleagues worldwide. To serve our international members, as well as the international physics community, INTAF partnered with FIP and with organizations across the globe to offer exchanges, travel awards, and training programs.

In looking back over this past year, a few opportunities stood out – these are ongoing, sustainable programs to which FIP members and other physicists may wish to apply in the future. For example, in partnership with the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and the Sociedade Brasileira de Física (SBF), APS offered the Brazil and India Physics Ph.D. Student, Postdoc and Professor Exchange Programs. These exchange programs enabled Ph.D. students and postdocs to work overseas with a professor in his/her field of study, and funded senior physicists to teach a short course or deliver a lecture series in the other country. Watch for our next call for proposals for the Brazil program in the spring. All of these and more are announced on our website.

The Society continues to bring international physicists to speak at APS meetings through both the Marshak and Beller Lectureships, which support distinguished physicists from the developed and developing countries respectively. Here, Chairs of APS Units are invited to submit nominations for international speakers during their sessions at the March and April meetings. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Beller and Marshak Lectureship Recipients for 2016:

Beller Lectureships:

Laura Heyderman
ETH Zurich - Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
Nominated by the Topical Group on Magnetism and its Applications (GMAG)
Speaking at the March Meeting in Session L5, Wednesday, March 16.

Gütz Neuneck
Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, University of Hamburg, Germany
Nominated by the Forum on Physics and Society (FPS)
Speaking at the March Meeting in Session S14, Thursday, March 17.

David Wootton
University of York, United Kingdom
Nominated by the Forum on the History of Physics (FHP)
Speaking at the March Meeting in Session C14, Monday, March 14.

Marshak Lectureship:

Anton Khlopkov
The Center for Energy and Security Studies, Russia
Nominated by the Forum on Physics and Society (FPS)
Speaking at the March Meeting in Session S14, Thur., Mar. 17.

The FIP newsletters often give FIP members insights regarding international events at the APS annual meetings. Along with the Beller and Marshak Lectureships mentioned above, I also welcome the chance to inform FIP members of an exciting new initiative, led by the APS Office of International Affairs, which will take place in conjunction with the 2016 March Meeting.

As many FIP members are already aware, the APS has been working to provide physicists with international experiences and opportunities to build and strengthen international networks. We believe this is especially important for postdocs and early career physicists. One of the ways that we are serving this group is through the US-Brazil Young Physicists Forum (YPF), that will be held in Baltimore, MD, on March 12-13, 2016--the weekend before the 2016 APS March Meeting. APS is co-sponsoring this event with the Brazilian Physical Society (SBF) and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

This event is specifically dedicated to postdocs, as well as early career-physicists in permanent positions, in the United States and Brazil (i.e., any physicists that have obtained their PhD within the past 10 years). The Forum is focused on helping attendees build international and interdisciplinary networks and will provide participants with:
  • Networking, scientific presentations, and social events with leading Brazilian and American physicists working in academia and industry
  • Career development sessions on publishing in peer reviewed journals
  • Panel discussions on university-industry cooperation
  • Scientific parallel sessions and poster sessions with international peers
  • Opportunities for building international and interdisciplinary collaborations

During the day and a half meeting, eminent senior physicists will present plenary talks to the early-career physicists, followed by parallel sessions with the participants themselves presenting to each other. Two panel discussions focused upon professional development and career-building will be tailored to both US and Brazilian physicists’ interests. These include “University-Industry Collaboration in Research in the US and Brazil” and “Life as a Young Physicist in Brazil and the United States.”

Perhaps most exciting, a poster-session/networking-reception will allow early-career physicists to discuss their research with not only their international peers, but also with industry leaders and distinguished VIPs from the São Paulo Research Foundation, APS and SBF. Leaders from both physical societies will address the participants, including, APS President Homer Neal and APS CEO Kate Kirby. APS President-Elect Laura Greene will provide a session on “Publishing in Peer-Reviewed Journals,” a session that she has given to international audiences of scientists around the globe. Likewise, both the President and Vice President of the Brazilian Physical Society, Ricardo Galvão, and Belita Koiler, will give plenary talks, along with 2014 APS President Malcolm Beasley, and APS Vice-President, Roger Falcone.

Throughout the YPF, physicists can discuss their work and connect with potential partners and international colleagues in a smaller, more intimate setting than the larger March Meeting will allow. The relationships formed at this conference have the potential to last throughout the participants' professional lives, as they continue to attend APS or SBF annual meetings, and other international conferences in related subfields. Consequently, the US-Brazil Young Physicists Forum has the potential to lead to many fruitful interdisciplinary and/or international networks and collaborations throughout the participants’ careers.

Dr. Amy Flatten is Director of International Affairs at the American Physical Society.