F O R U M O N P H Y S I C S & S O C I E T Y
of The American Physical Society
July 2003



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The ballot below will decide the next Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Forum Councilor to the APS Executive Board and two members of the Executive Board. The 2004 ballot is earlier than the usual January time-frame because the term of the Forum Councillor begins on January 1, 2004. The primary responsibility of the Vice-Chair coordinates nominations for Forum APS fellows, then succeeding to Chair-Elect to arrange Forum sessions at APS meetings, and then Chair to coordinate the tasks of the Forum. Please vote before September 1, 2003. This year’s nominations committee consisted of Maury Goodman, David Hafemeister and Oriol Valls.


Mark Goodman

Background: Dr. Goodman is a Physical Scientist in the Office of Multilateral Nuclear Affairs at the Department of State, working on nuclear nonproliferation at State and ACDA since 1995. He manages the State Department-funded program of research and development to support the International Atomic Energy Agency in implementing safeguards to verify that states are not diverting nuclear materials or misusing nuclear facilities to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. He also supports negotiations and policy formulation on IAEA verification of excess fissile material in the U.S. and Russia under the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, and on a prospective Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. After receiving his Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics at Princeton University in 1986, Goodman held postdoctoral research positions at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at University of California-Santa Barbara and Rutgers University. His work at Harvard's Center for Science and International Affairs formed part of a 1991 book with recommendations on U.S. nuclear weapon policy after the Cold War. As an AIP Congressional Science Fellow in 1992-93, Goodman worked for Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) on science, technology, energy, environment, and defense issues. He contributed to reports by the Office of Technology Assessment on civilian satellite remote sensing, and the reports of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments.

Statement: The Forum on Physics and Society provides a mechanism for APS members to learn about, exchange views on, and otherwise engage in societal issues where physics plays an important role. I would have two priorities as Vice Chair. The first is to encourage a re-examination of some of the issues the Forum has addressed in the past -- such as nuclear arms control, energy and climate, international scientific cooperation, and public mistrust of science -- in the light of recent events and changes in U.S. policy. I think it would be healthy to consider which conclusions we might change and which we might reaffirm. My second priority would be to consider how to strengthen the institutional mechanisms for interaction between scientists and government, which have been under stress in recent years. I had the good fortune to work for two of the finest organizations that brought scientific and technical expertise to bear on public policy issues – the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (which was merged into the Department of State) and the Office of Technology Assessment (which was eliminated). The unfortunate demise of these institutions has made it harder for decision makers in the Executive and Legislative Branches to obtain balanced technical advice on many important issues.

Joel Primack

Background: Dr. Primack is Professor of Physics, University of California at Santa Cruz. AB Princeton '66, PhD Stanford '70, Junior Fellow Harvard, 1970-73, UCSC 1973-present. After earlier research in particle theory, since about 1980 Primack has been working mainly in cosmology and astrophysics. He is one of the main originators and developers of the theory of cold dark matter, which has now become the standard theory of structure formation in the universe. He has also worked on galaxy formation and structure, and on the extragalactic background light and high energy gamma ray absorption. He has recently served on the DOE-NSF SAGENAP advisory committee and the Executive Committee of the APS Division of Astrophysics. He has been active in outreach activities; for example, he was a scientific advisor on the IMAX movie ``Cosmic Voyage'', which was made by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and he was co-organizer of the 1999 public conference ``Cosmic Questions'' at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He helped to create the APS Forum on Physics and Society (he was the one who first proposed calling it a ``Forum'') and served on the editorial committee for the FPS Newsletter. He also played major roles in creating the APS-AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellows Program, the APS program of summer studies on technical aspects of public policy issues, the NSF Science for Citizens program, and the AAAS Clearinghouse on Science and Human Rights. He shared with Frank von Hippel the 1977 APS Forum on Physics and Society Award, mainly for their book, Advice and Dissent: Scientists in the Political Arena. He directed the Federation of American Scientists project on Protecting the Space Environment, and has recently written articles on space debris constraints on weaponizing space. He has served on the Nominating Committees of both APS and AAAS, and is currently a member of the APS Panel on Public Affairs. He is a Fellow of APS and AAAS, and recently received a Humboldt Award.

Statement: I am concerned about the lack of appreciation for science in Washington -- both the slow growth of science budgets (except for medicine), and claims that there is inadequate scientific understanding to support action on global warming but plenty to justify scrapping the ABM treaty, for example. We physicists can help by doing more good studies on topics in which our expertise is relevant and then publicizing our conclusions. I also think it is important to promote increased public understanding of our exciting field, and to improve the quality of education about physics in primary and secondary school. Among other issues, we need to continue to defeat attempts, as by the Kansas School Board, to remove cosmology -- as well as geology and evolutionary biology -- from the school curriculum. Like the experimental sciences, these ``historical sciences'' develop theories that are tested by the success of their predictions concerning new knowledge. It is important for people to appreciate that science is now obtaining reliable knowledge about the past -- including the history of stars, galaxies, and the entire universe -- as well as about its fundamental constituents and structure.


Andrew Post-Zwicker

Background: Andrew Post-Zwicker is the Lead Scientist of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's Science Education Program. He presently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Forum (term expires 12/03) and the Committee on Science Education for the American Physical Society's Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP). His primary interest is in finding novel ways of making plasma physics and fusion energy research accessible to students, teachers, and the general public through workshops, research opportunities, and interactive world wide web sites. He received a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree in physics from Bard College.

Statement: For the past two years I have had the wonderful privilege of serving as your Secretary/Treasurer and I am honored to be nominated for a second term. During my first term, we took an important (and hotly debated!) step of reducing the number of paper copies of our newsletter from four to two. This brought us out of debt and to the point where we now have "money in the bank." The challenge is now to spend this money wisely and in ways that will have the greatest impact, while supporting the mission of the Forum. I believe that this Forum must continue to provide unique opportunities for our members to proactively break down the walls between scientists and non-scientists. In our increasingly technological society, which is driving a bigger and bigger wedge between the "haves" and the "have-nots," it is crucial that the Forum reach out to the underrepresented and help to foster relationships with our members who wish to become more active in our mission. I would like to see this Forum sponsor programs that provide these opportunities along with the tremendous job it does creating sessions at the March/April APS meetings


Phillip W. (Bo) Hammer

Background: Philip W. “Bo” Hammer is vice president for The Franklin Center at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of Oregon in 1991. From 1991-93, he was an Office of Naval Research Postdoctoral Fellow at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Silver Spring, MD. Hammer spent the ‘93-'94 academic year as an APS Congressional Science Fellow working on the staff of the Subcommittee on Science in the US House of Representatives. His areas of responsibility were post-SSC high energy physics policy, earthquake hazards reduction, and the Government Performance and Results Act. During this period, Hammer advised the APS Washington Office as it began to strengthen its efforts to engage Congress through more active grassroots political involvement among the APS membership. From 1994-2000, Hammer worked at the American Institute of Physics, starting as assistant to the executive director and culminating as director of the Society of Physics Students / Sigma Pi Sigma, and of the AIP Corporate Associates program. While at AIP, Hammer initiated Take Physics Local, a program to address simultaneously the professional development needs of physics students, and the technical and workforce needs of industry and communities. He was also co-principle investigator on the AIP/Sloan Professional Masters Degree project. Additionally, Hammer worked with APS to develop stronger ties to SPS and to have more student involvement in APS meetings. Hammer was a participant in President Clinton’s Forum on Science in the Public Interest in 1994, served on the APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) from 1995-1996, and was a panelist on the US House of Representatives Early Career Scientists Roundtable in 1997. He was Chair of the APS Forum on Physics and Society in 2002. While serving as Chair of the Forum, he worked to establish a permanent FPS position on POPA. Hammer currently serves on the Haddon Heights, NJ Board of Education and is a past-President of the Rockville, MD West End Citizens’ Association. Hammer is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of Sigma Pi Sigma.

Statement: When I became a member of APS as a beginning graduate student, I was impressed by the distinctive impact APS has had on issues residing at the intersection of science and society. Indeed, physicists’ sense of social responsibility distinguishes our field, and should continually be enhanced. If elected to serve FPS on the APS Council, I would represent FPS members’ interests in the APS Council’s deliberations, particularly in the area of maintaining the active engagement of APS in societal issues involving physics and physicists. There are several challenges the APS currently faces in this regard: declining revenues that impact the ability of APS to conduct policy studies and fund many other important programs; continuing stresses on the physics education system due to low numbers of US-born undergraduate and graduate students; inadequate K-12 science education; and the growing problem of visa restrictions on foreign graduate students. APS will also need to continue addressing the role of physics in homeland security, nuclear nonproliferation, energy and environment, and humanitarian issues such as de-mining. As a member of Council, I would work to address these issues within the context of maintaining the strength and relevance of physics research and the funding that enables it.

Anthony Nero

Background: Dr. Nero is a senior scientist (emeritus) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, and devotes part time to independent writing and policy analysis. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Stanford in 1970, and was a postdoc at Caltech and an assistant professor at Princeton. He joined the LBNL Energy and Environment Division in 1975, working primarily on environmental aspects of nuclear power. He spent 1978 on leave at the nonproliferation bureau of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and published A Guidebook to Nuclear Reactors in 1979. Beginning in 1980, he led LBNL’s indoor radon group, later taking broader responsibility for the lab’s efforts on indoor air pollution. He is a fellow of the APS and received the 1989 Leo Szilard Award, primarily for his work on indoor radon, on which he has published widely for both the scientific community and the public. He has been a member of the Forum on Physics and Society’s executive committee, and served as Forum Chair in 1994-1995; during that time he initiated substantial activities on the issue of jobs and education, contributing partly to the formation of the APS Committee on Careers and Professional Development, of which he has more recently been a member. Other APS service includes membership on the Panel on Public affairs (serving as chair of the subcommittee on studies), the Committee on Meetings, and the Szilard/Burton-Forum Awards Committee (recently serving as chair).

Statement: The Forum on Physics and Society is the broadest entity for expressing APS members’ interests in technical and policy issues that are important for society at large. As a member of the council, I would represent such interests in the broadest body of the APS. First, the Forum concerns itself with specific issues such as arms control, energy, and the environment. The APS should continue to foster physicists’ contributions to such areas, and to conduct studies on topics where the APS can make important and unique contributions. In this regard, the APS should look for ways to continue such studies despite increasing difficulty in obtaining external funding. The Forum also concerns itself more broadly with preparing physicists for working in such areas and for exercising their diverse capabilities regardless of what they may work on. The physics community has made progress on these issues, but I believe that continued attention is needed on the degree to which physics departments develop or take advantage of the diverse capabilities, backgrounds, and interests of their students and faculty. I note finally the Forum support for various modes by which APS members can voice their concerns and interests and interact with each other and with the APS on such questions. The Forum provides avenues for expression through its invited-paper sessions and its publication of Physics and Society, but I suggest that new means are now available for fostering discussion within the APS of all kinds of matters, and that we should examine how they might be utilized. For example, within the Forum we are planning to test the use of an internet bulletin board for extending for a period of time discussions stimulated by papers presented at a session, so that even those who did not attend can see what took place at the session and participate in the subsequent dialogue. It goes without saying that such approaches might be utilized for topical discussions by any Forum, or by the APS at large. The APS is a large and diverse community, and means should be found to take advantage of this breadth wherever possible.


Maureen Mellody

Background: Dr. Mellody is currently a Study Director at the National Academy of Sciences, managing policy studies related to aeronautics and space. Previously, she served as the 2001-2002 AIP Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), working on intellectual property and technology transfer. Dr. Mellody received a B.S. degree in Physics from Virginia Tech in 1995, an M.S. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan in 1997, a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan in 2000, and worked as a post-doctoral research scientist at the University of Michigan in 2001. Her research specialties include acoustics and auditory signal processing.

Statement: Scientific discovery is now the result of complex interrelationships among scientists, funding organizations, government policy-makers, and the public. As someone who straddles the line between science and public policy on a daily basis, I am keenly interested in supporting and promoting the activities of the Forum on Physics and Society. I would contribute to the Forum primarily in three ways: 1) recruiting and interesting young physicists in the work of the Forum, thereby increasing the number of members and the dissemination of the newsletter and other Forum activities; 2) facilitating increased communication between scientists and government policy-makers by leveraging my professional relationships in the National Academy of Sciences, Congress, and executive branch agencies; and 3) promoting the role of women and minorities in science, both as students and as educators/researchers.

Robert Nelson

Background: Dr. Nelson is a Senior Fellow in Science & Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Research Staff at the Princeton University Program on Science and Global Security. He has a PhD in theoretical astrophysics from Cornell University and held postdoctoral appointments in astrophysics at the University of Toronto, the California Institute of Technology and Princeton University. Since 2000 his research has concentrated on nuclear arms control and nonproliferation issues. His most recent work includes analysis of the effects of use of low-yield earth penetrating nuclear weapons (nuclear "bunker busters").

Statement: The Forum on Physics and Society is one of the few professional organizations that actively encourages physicists to discuss the social implications of science and technology and to become involved in the political process. I intend to use my tenure as a member of the Executive Board of FPS to encourage other physicists to become involved in the messy world of Washington politics. An increasing number of U.S. domestic and foreign policy issues require basic understanding of science and technology, yet few Washington policymakers have any technical background. Scientists and engineers have a unique ability to contribute to their country by applying unbiased technical analysis to sometimes highly controversial issues. I would encourage FPS to sponsor frequent seminars on science-policy topics facing Congress. I also would promote activities that make young physics PhDs more aware of alternate career paths at the interface between science and public policy.

Michael Sanders

Background: Dr. Sanders is currently Professor of Physics, emeritus, at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). His doctorate is from Columbia University; he was a post-doc at Stanford University, and was on the faculty at University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) before moving to Michigan in 1963. He has been a visitor at Bell Laboratories, University of California (Berkeley), Cornell University, and Universitˆ di Firenze. His research has been in atomic, molecular, and condensed-matter physics -- especially superfluid liquid helium. He has held fellowships from the Sloan and Guggenheim foundations and is presently North American Editor of the journal Contemporary Physics.

Statement: My first encounter with the nexus of Physics and Society came in August, 1945. I had finished a year of college, and was on my "boot leave" in the US Navy when I read of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I returned to college a year later and completed my physics major. In graduate school I decided against work in nuclear physics. Although I would surely have been eager to work for the military during WWII, I have avoided any participation in such work since then. I had wanted, for many years, to teach a course which explored the relationship between government and science which evolved after WWII. I finally found an opportunity to develop "The Physicists and the Bomb", and taught it rather regularly until (actually past) my retirement. The issues raised by our past and present collaboration with government should be examined both by the public and by the (younger) members of our profession. I see the Forum as a means to facilitate this examination.

Stephen Pierson

Background: Dr. Pierson works in the Office of Public Affairs in the Washington Office of APS lobbying for increased science research budgets. He is on leave from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, MA where he is an associate professor of physics. During his seven years as a physics professor, he has been extensively involved with advising WPI students doing their junior year project addressing the interface of science, technology and society. In this capacity, he has done two month advising stints in Namibia, Bangkok, and Boston as well as advising on-campus projects on wind energy and junk science. Steve has a PhD from the University of Minnesota, held a NRC postdoctoral fellowship at the Naval Research Lab and taught for a semester at Georgetown University. He pursued science policy work in Washington after being inspired by an FPS session at the Centennial March Meeting. During his years in Massachusetts, he was active with arms control issues, going to Washington twice to participate in lobbying activities.

Statement: The FPS sessions at the APS March and April meetings have long been talks that I look forward to. The research sessions organized by the Divisions are of course very important but I enjoy getting the broader societal implications of our work. Physicists have a long history of involvement with societal issues; indeed, I view it as one of our responsibilities. FPS plays a key role in fulfilling these responsibilities and I would like to help FPS sustain and broaden this work. In addition, having made a transition from academia to science policy, I know that there are many physicists that have made similar transitions and many that would like to. In the year and a half that I’ve spent in Washington, I have witnessed first hand the value of having PhD scientists sprinkled around Congress, the Federal Government, think tanks and numerous other organizations. Yet I also see the need to put more scientists into these roles given the valuable perspective that they bring to the process. Since it is not easy for interested APS members to know how to pursue these positions, I would like to see FPS expand its role in facilitating such transitions.



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