Message from Chair

It’s an honor to chair the Forum on Physics and Society. I encourage all members to become more involved in the activities of the Forum, especially when it comes to nominating candidates for awards and fellowships and for suggesting new topics for FPS sessions at the March and April Meetings. This last year has been a particularly good one, and I’m looking forward to our efforts in 2016. Some highlights include:

New Fellows

Allen Sessoms, the new FPS Vice Chair, did a phenomenal job chairing the Fellowship Committee, which successfully nominated 4 new fellows:

Douglas Arion
For groundbreaking work towards improving the educational impact of the physics degree by promoting the widespread adoption of entrepreneurship training and mindset within the discipline.

Ashton Carter
For exceptional service to physics and to society through service in the academy and in government.

Roger Hagengruber
For decades-long leadership of nuclear arms control and nonproliferation efforts informed by deep knowledge of the U.S. nuclear weapons program.

Benn Tannenbaum
For outstanding contributions to international peace and security by addressing nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, and terrorism; and for mentoring young scientists and educating students to bring science to bear on societal challenges.

Joseph A Burton Forum Award

Bill Barletta of MIT chaired the Awards Committee, which nominates candidates for the Joseph A Burton Forum Award and the Leo Szilard Lectureship Award. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has received the 2016 Burton Award “For outstanding contributions in government service to advancing national energy and science policy over two decades and to reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation through key roles in disposition of Russian nuclear materials in the 1990s and negotiation of the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015.”

Leo Szilard Lectureship Award

The 2016 Leo Szilard Lectureship Award, recognizing outstanding accomplishments by physicists in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society in such areas as the environment, arms control and science policy, was awarded to Joel Primack, University of California, Santa Cruz.

The March and April Programs

The March and April Programs are shaping up with some very exciting sessions on both new and traditional topics. Not everything has been decided yet, but here’s a preview of what’s on the list to date:

  • The Iran Nuclear Deal: Physics, Physicists, and the Historic Agreement
  • Special Session with Steven Weinberg discussing his new book To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science
  • The War on Cancer: Physics Enters the Fray
  • Physics of Epidemics
  • Modernizing Nuclear Weapons
  • Politicizing Science: Benefits and Costs
  • Planetary Systems and Extraterrestrial Life

These contributions have not been peer-refereed. They represent solely the view(s) of the author(s) and not necessarily the view of APS.