Friday, 4 November, 1988 Washington, D.C.
THE APS STUDY GROUP ON STRATEGIC PLANNING OF PHYSICS RESEARCH
presented a far-reaching report to the Council this week. The
report reflects a growing recognition that without strategic
planning, physics is at a disadvantage in the competition for
resources. The only organization open to all physicists that
could presume to take responsibility for such planning is the
APS. The Council endorsed the group's principal recommendation,
creation of a Strategic Planning Committee, "To serve as a forum
for consideration of the opportunities, plans and problems of the
subfields of physics: to formulate a strategic plan for the
development of physics in support of short and long-term goals of
the nation and to present this plan on an annual basis, to the
Council and the president of the APS for approval." The study
was undertaken at the Council's request by a group of 14
physicists headed by A. Sessler of LBL and W. F. Brinkman of AT&T
Bell Labs. The group, which spanned the major areas of physics
research, met with persons who have played key roles in
establishing priorities for federal funding of physics, most of
whom urged the APS to undertake a planning initiative.
. SINCE STRATEGIC PLANNING WOULD REPRESENT A MAJOR COMMITMENT
BY THE APS,
Val Fitch, APS president, has called for comments on the
report from APS members prior to the 14 Jan 89 meeting of the
Council. At that time the Council will discuss implementation of
the report's recommendation. The report will be printed in the
January issue of the APS Bulletin, but members who wish to obtain
a copy more quickly should send their mailing label to: The
American Physical Society, 335 East 45th St., New York, NY 10017.
3. PRESIDENT REAGAN HAS HIS OWN STRATEGIC PLANS.
high school science and math teachers traveled to Washington last
week expecting to receive the Presidential Award for Math and
Science Teaching directly from Ronald Reagan. Professional
societies, private companies, the National Academy of Sciences
and the National Science Foundation had all cooperated to
publicize the big event. The day before the Oct 26 date of the
ceremony, however, the National Science Teacher's Association,
which administers the awards for the NSF, was informed by the
White House that the President would not be available. The
teachers were told to drop by the Executive Office Building and
pick up their awards. The President met instead with the Los
Angeles Dodgers. It's just a matter of keeping your priorities
straight. Several Dodgers receive annual incomes that exceed the
combined salaries of all 100 teachers. Well, that's show biz.
4. THE WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTION ACT WAS VETOED BY THE PRESIDENT,
although Congress passed it unanimously on the assurance that the
President would sign it. Although intended primarily to protect
those exposing financial fraud and waste, the bill would have
offered some protection to scientists exposing misrepresentation.