Volume 24, Number 2 April 1995


We Need Papers from the Invited Sessions, for Publication!

Papers based on the Forum on Physics and Society (FPS) sponsored or co-sponsored sessions at APS meetings form the backbone of Physics & Society. Many Forum members have remarked on the usefulness of these articles. While invited session audiences might number as many as a few hundred, this newsletter is mailed to nearly 5000 socially aware physicists. Furthermore, publication in Physics & Society provides a permanent record. Thus, if the effort that speakers make to attend and give their talks is worthwhile in the first place, then the smaller effort required to send some version of their remarks to Physics & Society should also be worthwhile. Articles may range from a synopsis of a few hundred words, to a more complete article of up to 3000 words (including references and space for figures). It is especially useful for Physics & Society to be able print all of the talks from a particular symposium, because this provides a range of perspectives.

FPS program chairs, invited session organizers, and individual speakers, should make every effort to see that articles related to all talks are sent to Physics & Society for publication. Although speakers can send their articles (email, disk, or hard copy) directly to the editor, it would be better if the session organizer or program chair gathered all the articles from a single session and sent them together.

Email Address Needed!

If you have an email address, please check the APS Membership Directory to see that it is listed, and listed correctly. If not, send your correct email address to: membership@aps.org. This will be helpful to you and to the FPS, as the FPS makes increasing use of email.

Physics & Society On The World-Wide Web

The FPS home page is under construction. By the end of April, it will be connected to the APS home page, which can be reached at http://aps.org. The FPS home page will have a link to the newsletter. You can look at all issues of Physics & Society back to January, 1993 (including figures!). New issues will be put on the page within a couple of months of publication (we hope).

Four Forums Coordinate Their Efforts

The four Forums, on Physics and Society, Education, History of Physics, and International Physics, have been increasingly coordinating their activities. According to FPS Chair Tony Nero, who has been a prime mover in this effort, "In general, we are striving for increasing cooperation among the Forums to better fulfill their function of promoting interactions among the APS membership on important topics for the Society."

As part of this coordination, Physics & Society presents below the invited sessions of all four forums at the April APS meeting. We do this in order to highlight the scope and interactions among the four programs, and to show that they constitute a substantial meeting program in themselves on the broader issues of interest to physicists, beyond their specific disciplinary interests.

According to Nero, "We wish to make particular mention of three symposia consisting of short panels and open forums [for audience discussion] on broad topics of interest to the physics community, arranged as an expression of the Forums' interest in promoting discourse on especially far-reaching issues. One of these was arranged for the March meeting (Jobs and Education) and two are arranged for April (What Is the Value of Science, and Site Visits to Physics Departments to Improve the Climate for Women).

Furthermore, arrangements are being made to use the discussion in these sessions to initiate continuing discourse via internet conferences. Announcements have been published in APS News and via email to members of all four forums. Subscription to any of the three is accomplished by sending an email message to majordomo @ physics.wm.edu whose body reads "subscribe jobs-ed", "subscribe val-sci", or "subscribe clim-fys", respectively.

Physics & Society welcomes comments on these sessions and on these new directions for FPS. As always, we hope to be able to publish articles based on each of these sessions.

Forum Sessions at the April 18-21 Meeting In Washington, DC

We list here all of the invited sessions of all four forums. Abbreviations: FPS, FED, FHP, FIP are the Forums on Physics and Society, Education, History of Physics, and International Physics. AAPT is the American Association for Physics Teaching.

Centenial of the Discovery of X-Rays (FHP), Tuesday 08:00: Spencer Weart "Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen," Albert Wattenberg "Physical experiments with x-rays; 1895-1913," Kahum Kipnis "Early theories of x-rays," John S. Laughlin "The development of x-rays for diagnosis and treatment."

Freedom of Scientists Worldwide (FIP, FPS), Tuesday 11:00: Andrew Sessler,, "Physicists and the eternal struggle for human rights," Morton Sklar "Freedom to pursue science research worldwide," Wang JunTao "Academic freedom in China," Morton Halperin "Can there be free scientific exchange between US and Cuba?," Jonathan Knight "Rights of tenured professors."

Developing Employment Opportunities for Physicists in Non- Traditional Careers (FPS), Tuesday 11:00: Kimberly Titus "Opportunities for physicists in the multi-billion dollar international textile industry," Eddy van de Wetering "A high energy physicist in high finance," Harry Hummel "Opportunities for physicists in managementconsulting," Edwin Goldin "Developing strategies and networks leading to alternate careers for Ph.D. physicists."

Radioactivity and Health: The Cold War Legacy (FPS, FHP), Tuesday 14:30: Mark Goodman "Human radiation experiments: the secret history," Marvin Goldman "The legacy of Russian nuclear production," Barton Hacker, "Setting radiation protection standards: science, politics, and public attitudes in historical perspective."

Physics Without Borders (FIP), Tuesday 14:30: Steven Chu "Recent advances in laser trapping and cooling of atoms and biological molecules," Leroy L. Chang "Quantum structures: perspective and prospect," Pauchy Hwang "Nuclear physics aspects in the parton model of Feynman."

What Is the Value of Science? (FPS, AAPT), Tuesday 16:30: This session is designed to encourage audience input. It focuses on challenges to the value of science in general and physics in particular that have emerged from such diverse sources as the New York Times op-ed pages, reports of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on HUD, Veterans Affairs, and Independent Agencies, and even the Smithsonian exhibit on "Science in American Life." The session will be initiated by brief talks by John Moore, addressing the economic value of science, Paul Gross, author of "Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science," and David Lindley, senior editor of Science and author of "The End of Physics." Following the presentations, the floor will be opened for comments, questions, and responses involving the audience or panel, with discussants limited to 3 minutes each. This session is planned also for internet continuation (see instructions in the preceding news article).

Computation and Visualization in Physics Education (FED), Wednesday, April 09:00: Ed Kashy "CAPA: a tool for students and teachers," Jack Wilson "CUPLE physics studio: an alternative to large lectures," Magdy Iskander "Interactive multimedia modules for physics education," Ruth Chabay "Force, field, and flux: visualizing abstract concepts in introductory E&M," Rod Cole "Linking visualization, concepts, and mathematics in physics."

Physics, the Media, and the General Public (FED), Wednesday 13:00: Donald Goldsmith "Who cares? Presenting science to the public," Ira Flatow "Mission impossible: physics on the evening news," Paul Raebun, Bailey Barash.

Report on the IUPP Course Trials (FED, AAPT), Thursday 0 8:00 AM: Rosanne Di Stefano "The IUPP evaluation--what did we learn and how did we learn it?," Donald Holcomb "What else did we learn about teaching introductory physics?"

Nuclear Proliferation and the Case of North Korea (FPS), Thursday 11:00: Peter Zimmerman "Putting the Picture Together: Analyzing the North Korean Program from unclassified sources," Robert Gallucci "The US-North Korean framework agreement," Warren Stearns, Leonard S. Spector "The Non-Proliferation regime after the North Korean case."

A Look at the National Science Standards: Different Perspectives of a Common Focus (FED, AAPT), Thursday 14:30: The National Academy of Sciences recently released for public review the draft of the National Science Standards. This document represents more than two years of intensive work by working groups composed of a cross-section of the science community. While the document has undergone intensive review by selected members of the scientific community, this was the first opportunity for comment by the general public. This panel will provide the perspectives of selected members of the Chairs Advisory Committee, who will discuss how they see the Standards impacting their respective scientific disciplines. The panel will consist of James Stith of Ohio State University, Jim Rutherford of the AAAS and Project 2061, a speaker from the NSTA Scope Sequence and Coordination Project, and Angelo Collins of the NRC Standards Project.

Site Visits to Physics Departments to Improve the Climate for Women: A Panel and Open Forum Discussion (FPS, FED), Thursday 16:30: This is another panel/open forum arranged to promote interaction and feedback. The session focuses on a 3-year program by 15 reasearch physics departments to invite teams of physicists to visit and explore their climate for women. Mildred Dresselhaus will review the history of the visitation program and present some results of a national survey of physics students concerning the student environment. Judy Franz will summarize the problems raised by students and suggest some solutions. Bunny Clark will discuss the climate for women faculty and the changes the visits have effected. These talks will initiate a broad open-forum discussion by audience and panel members of women in physics departments, and even of implications for all students and faculty. Discussants will be limited to 3 minutes each. This session is planned also for internet continuation (see instructions in the preceding news article).

Forums Awards Session (FPS, FIP), Thursday 08:00: Roald Z. Sagdeev "1995 Szilard Award Lecture: Szilard and Russia," Evgany P. Velikhov "1995 Szilard Award Lecture: Cold war technologies--try to use them or forget them?" John P. Holdren receives the 1995 Forum Award but is unable to attend this meeting, Gary Taubes "1994 Forum Award Lecture: Delusion is the better part of grandeur--lessons learned from cold fusion," G. Violini "1994 Wheatley Prize Lecture."

Connecting Graduate Education to Teaching Needs (AAPT, FED), Friday 11:00: Rexford E. Adelberger "Searching for a new colleague at a small liberal arts college," Curtis J. Hieggelke "What it takes to teach at a community college," Kenneth Heller and Patricia Heller "Preparing graduate students to teach: an apprentice model," Peter S. Shaffer "Preparing graduate students to teach: a tutorial model."

Other sessions on topics related to forum interests: Memorial Session for Eugene Wigner, Tuesday 08:00 The Physics GRE: Past, Present, Future, Wednesday 09:00 A Memorial Session for Julian Schwinger, Thursday 11:00

APS Council Meeting

As Councilor for the Forum on Physics and Society (FPS) I attended the fall meeting of the APS Council on 6 November 1994, in Minneapolis. Here are some meeting highlights:

Funding of Forums. One agenda item of great concern to the FPS and other APS forums is a proposal to change the basis of our funding. APS is understandably interested in limiting its contributions to the forums as they grow in number and in membership. At the same time, the forums are all having trouble making ends meet. In response to letters from our chair, Tony Nero, and other forum chairs, treasurer Harry Lustig did not bring to vote his proposed revisions of the formula for funding forums. Instead he proposed the creation of a task force to examine the financing of forums and the relation of forums to corresponding APS committees. Council approved the creation of this task force.

The General Meeting. As part of the effort to strengthen the April general meeting, the 1996 meeting will be held outside the DC area for the first time. The chosen city is Indianapolis. Atlanta will host the centennial meeting in 1999.

Conference on Graduate Education. APS, with AAPT, will sponsor a conference on RPhysics Graduate Education for Diverse Career OptionsS at the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland, May 5-7. The conference is being held in conjunction with a regular meeting of department chairs.

Electronic Publishing. APS wants to improve its electronic communication with its membership. So does FPS. Be sure to send your e-mail address to APS!

Forum on Industrial Physics. The Council voted for the creation of a new Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics.

POPA presentation. The Panel on Public Affairs brought several proposals:

(1) Council approved a letter for APS President Richter to send to the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. APS is concerned about the institutionU's current exhibit, "Science in American Life," which reportedly is unbalanced, dwelling almost exclusively on the negative impacts of science. The exhibit is only one manifestation of the negative image of science among many social scientists today.

(2) Council approved guidelines on how and when an APS subunit can issue a public statement.

(3) Council approved a statement affirming the potential role that might be played by national labs in solving national problems.

(4) Council suggested that POPA rework a statement concerning the health effects of electromagnetic radiation.

Visit to China by APS Leadership. APS President Burton Richter, Vice President Kumar Patel, and APS Director of International Affairs Irving Lerch, traveled to China in October 1994. They arrived at a Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives of the Chinese Physical Society and endorsed by representatives of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the State Education Committee of the PeopleUs Republic of China. The MOU was endorsed by Council. Its provisions enhance telecommunications access, establish a joint commission to improve collaborative programs and activities, increase Chinese access to APS journals, and state the principle that scientific merit is the only acceptable criterion for publishing in the scientific literature. Unilaterally the APS issues a statement to express its concern for the rights of physicists.

Graduate Student Packet. APS and AIP have put together a nice booklet that is being mailed to all APS student members. It gives employment statistics, advice from the AIP Career Planning and Placement Service, and reprints vignettes from APS News and Physics Today about physicists in non-traditional occupations.

Barbara G. Levi