19 November 2019

Annual Message to Members of AIP Member Societies

Michael Moloney, American Institute of Physics

Michael Moloney, CEO of the American Institute of Physics

It has been about 18 months since I was appointed CEO of the American Institute of Physics, and in that time I have had the pleasure of meeting with the leadership of the 10 Member Societies of our federation, along with numerous scientific societies in the physical sciences and beyond. I am always stuck by how well these societies, including AAS, are supporting their member communities.

The depth and breadth of my discussions with society leaders shows me that we are all part of an essential and diverse community — the physical sciences community. The importance of the science you do each day is a powerful motivator for AIP staff as we support and celebrate physical scientists, just like you. AIP is committed to continuing being a good steward of our shared community, and I appreciate this opportunity to let you know about some of the ways AIP is keeping that commitment.

Connecting Disciplines Across the Physical Sciences
AIP is perhaps best known for Physics Today magazine, our monthly flagship publication that provides engaging coverage of physical sciences research and its applications — without regard to disciplinary boundaries. More than 6,000 AAS Members receive a monthly subscription to Physics Today as part of their AAS benefit package. AAS Members also have access to daily posts on PhysicsToday.org, which include commentaries, book reviews, and coverage of the latest research developments across the physical sciences.

Illuminating the History of our Disciplines
To help preserve and celebrate the history of our fields, AIP recently pledged $1 million to create and endow a new professorship in science history at the University of Maryland (UMD). The AIP Endowed Professor in the History of Natural Sciences will be an ongoing collaboration between the Institute and UMD to provide deeper insight into the heritage of the physical sciences and their impact on society. Simultaneously, AIP is advancing its work to archive and digitize our recently acquired rare books collection, preserving these works and expanding access to these important documents.

Developing the Next Generation of Physical Scientists
There is perhaps nothing more important for our fields than to nurture and provide professional development opportunities for those pursuing degrees in the physical sciences. AIP continues this support through the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma programs, and specifically, events such as PhysCon 2019 — the largest gathering of undergraduate physics students in the world.

Planning for the Future
Finally, and most exciting for me, have been our efforts with the AIP Board of Directors in developing a strategic framework to guide AIP as we prepare for our second century. A significant focus of this work has been how AIP can leverage its role both as a Federation that advances the success of our Member Societies, and as an Institute that enables a better future for the physical sciences. I look forward to engaging with AAS and the other Member Societies of AIP as we begin to plan for applying this new framework in the 2020-2025 timeframe.

This year has been full of exciting challenges and developments, and I anticipate meaningful collaboration across our societies in 2020 to make the physical sciences community even stronger.

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