Message from the Chair

Maria Spiropulu

I am very glad to address the FIP membership and present some highlights of FIP’s activities continuing success and outreach this year. Next year you will be hearing from Cherrill Spencer who will be running FIP Chair!

We had a very productive and well-attended set of invited sessions in the March and April APS meetings and an effective membership drive. You can find pictures as well as news and reports that the sessions stirred in the FIP Facebook page and twitter feed -- Two of the sessions were covered in the APS newsletters, one on “Large Scale Neuroscience Projects” that I organized with DBIO’s Ilya Nemenmanm ( and one on “Physics and Physicists in Cuba” that I organized with the newly elected APS Vice President, David Gross ( Dr. Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart presented an impressive, comprehensive and extensive report on physics and science at large in Cuba.

There was an APS press conference and news reports both in the US and Cuba on the event and the lecture Dr. Castro delivered. In the context of this session we had a chance to discuss with Dr. Francis Colón of the State Department (whose roots trace back to Cuba) on the opportunities and possibilities for exchange with Cuban scientists given the embargoes. As a follow-up I attended in July at the Cuban Embassy in Washington the 1st anniversary celebration of the diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US, and discussed scientific cooperation prospects with Alfonso Casanova Valdés, the newly appointed attaché for science and technology exchanges. In fact I am thrilled to report that I have learned that my colleague Dr. Ariella Cattai (CERN), who has been fostering research and education exchanges with Cuba for at least a decade, is proceeding with the organization of a detector instrumentation school in Cuba and plans to donate all the modern experimental lab equipment that will be used at the school to the Cuban Physical Society. FIP stands ready to help in any way we can and we are looking forward to the success of this important school.

Our FIP Councilor, Young-Kee Kim ran a very dynamic FIP reception during the March meeting, with great participation and interaction with the FIP session speakers, officers of the American Physical Society, members of the co-sponsoring organizations, and fellow FIP members. In the April meeting we witnessed the success of our first round of outstanding international students participation at the APS meeting (DS pilot program). Cherrill Spencer and I reported to CISA on the first round outcome and the next cycle has been launched by Jason Gardner who has been working tirelessly for the success of the program with an eye on establishing it as an IRTAP APS program.

Ed Berger has chaired the FIP nominating committee and you will soon be called to vote for new members of the Chair line and members-at-large of the Executive Committee! Please take the time to participate and elect your FIP officers and consider getting involved in the future by volunteering or nominating colleagues who wish to contribute and serve the mission of FIP! Ed Berger has also chaired the Wheatley Award Committee (consisting of Per Nordblad (2015 Wheatley winner), Jerry Peterson, Christine Darve, and Alex de Lozanne) and we are awaiting for the APS council to confirm the recipient of the award as well as the recommended new FIP nominated fellows, who are not only extremely distinguished and accomplished scholars in their domain, but have dedicated their time and produced results towards development of programs and collaborations between physicists globally including those of diverse cultural backgrounds.

I want to thank the entire FIP EC members for their service in all the committees this year, Cherrill Spencer for chairing very effectively and swiftly the FIP meeting committee (the outline of the January 2017 and March 2017 FIP invited sessions are detailed in this newsletter) and especially Ed Berger for his dedication and commitment to FIP and its mission for the past 4 years!

The AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington this year had as a theme "Global Science Engagement” and I organized a session on “Megascience Global Projects Seeded in Europe, Asia, and the United States” covering the CERN model of international partnership and how it is used as a template for the LBNF/DUNE international project structure in the US, the LIGO model, and the vision for global science projects in China (

I would like to thank the Forum of Industrial Physics for co-sponsoring a reception for the researchers, organizers, directors, advocates, policy makers and funding agency leaders backing global science collaboration and projects that change our perspective of the world and impact our way of thinking and living.

Finally as you will read in this issue of the newsletter, our editor Ernie Malamud will step down and Maria Longobardi will take the role of the FIP Newsletter Editor. We cannot thank Ernie enough for his role all these years and we welcome Maria!

In closing I want to remind us all, that science is a global enterprise that impacts and advances our human culture and civilization – and that in times of confusing interactions among people and nations, science can be used as a tool of diplomacy and positive vision for the future. In June the White House published a list of 100 Examples of President Obama’s Leadership in Science, Technology, and Innovation ( The list includes “strengthening international cooperation on science and technology”, “Deploying top scientists to advance global diplomacy” and “”promoting international connectivity”.

Maria Spiropulu, our FIP Chair, is an experimental physicist and Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. She is a member of the CMS collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider.

Maria Spiropulu

Maria Spiropulu