A crucial endeavor of APS: serving international members and physicists worldwide

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 A. Flatten    15-07-2021     Leggi in PDF

The American Physical Society (APS) is committed to serving the world’s physicists through its meetings, publications, and many programs and initiatives. More than 23% of APS members live outside the United States in more than 100 countries, and physicists often cross continents to attend APS meetings.

For example, about 30% of APS March Meeting attendees travel each year from outside the United States. Additionally, with some APS meetings going virtual due to COVID-19, international physicists have unprecedented access to APS meetings. Along with international participation in APS meetings, approximately 70% of articles published in APS journals are co-authored by scientists outside of the United States.

With almost 25% of its members outside of the US, it's important that APS includes international perspectives in all aspects of APS activities and infuses international elements into APS programs. One of the questions most frequently asked by international physicists is: What does APS do for physicists in my country? Consequently, APS worked to address that question through the development of the APS International Engagement Around the World tool, which enables any physicist—anywhere in the world—to learn how to participate in APS programs and how the Society serves their interests.

In addition, APS has launched cross-organizational partnerships with various APS departments, programs, and initiatives to expand APS offerings beyond US stakeholders. The programs and activities described below provide a snapshot of the Society’s efforts so far. Some of these include:

– APS Presidential Line: bringing together international physics leaders for summits & roundtable discussions, such as the US-China Physics Roundtable: Opportunities & Challenges.

– Industrial Physics: expanding APS Industry Mentoring Program (IMPact) to include new opportunities for international mentors and mentees.

– APS Editorial Office: partnering to offer webinars/seminars to young physicists on writing, reviewing, and publishing scientific journal articles, such as the joint APS webinar with the Chinese Physical Society that reached over 100,000 participants

– APS Membership: including international young physicists in the previously US-focused Student Ambassadors Program

– APS Careers: expanding its employment resources for physicists outside of the United States, and providing information about US visas, the Optional Practical Training Program (temporary employment related to an F-1 visa student’s program of study), as well as contacts for international companies.

– STEP UP Ambassadors: empowering fellow teachers to inspire young women to pursue physics through the use of evidence-based teaching resources designed to help young women see themselves as "physics people." APS is piloting STEP UP Ambassadors outside of the United States.

– Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP): aiming to help undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference. APS is joining with international partners to pilot new, international CUWiP sites for the conferences in 2022.

– Women in Physics Program: partnering with other national physical societies to highlight each Society’s resources for women in physics on their respective websites.

– APS Office of Government Affairs (OGA): advocating for US government policies the support international collaboration, mobility and opportunities for students to study and work in the US. Their studies and policy analyses help communicate the value of international collaboration to US law-makers.

These are just a few of the recently expanded offerings for physicists outside of the United States. The APS endeavors to serve a diverse community of members and physicists worldwide—not just US physicists. The global physics community tremendously contributes to APS and the US physics community through its involvement in APS meetings, units, programmatic activities, various initiatives, and by publishing in the Society's journals. APS appreciates these contributions and will continue expanding its service to the Society’s international members and the broader international physics community to address the interests and needs of all physicists worldwide.

Amy Flatten – Director of International Affairs of the American Physical Society (APS). Prior to joining APS, Dr. Flatten served for five years (1999-2004) with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Dr. Flatten has held private sector positions with high-tech corporations, including AT&T Solutions and Booz-Allen & Hamilton, as well as a faculty position with the Johns Hopkins Part-Time Engineering and Applied Sciences Program.