Omololu Akin-Ojo - Candidate for International Councilor

East African Institute for Fundamental Research, University of Rwanda

Candidate Statement

In accepting to serve as an International Councilor at APS, I am guided by the words of JFK, "... ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country". Thus, I seek what I can do for the physics community. My experiences in doing physics on a few different continents (USA, Europe, Africa) and in leading the ICTP East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR) in Rwanda will be helpful as I take this opportunity to serve the physics community. EAIFR is a physics hub in Africa working to bring together researchers in Africa to engage in high-quality research and can, thus, provide an avenue for APS leadership to link up with researchers in Africa, especially with the younger ones.

Although my experiences are limited to certain countries (USA, Italy, Nigeria, and Rwanda), there are cross-cutting issues that we all face as physicists. For example, limited access to journals and research resources and APS membership issues are problems we face all over the developing and developed world (although the problem is more acute in certain places than in others). My first goal as an APS International Councilor will be to seek to address these issues by enhancing COOPERATION. It is clear that a number of the problems we face can be ameliorated through cooperation. This will involve creating and/or improving platforms for increasing cooperation between:

  1. APS members and groups/sections within APS (e.g., for sharing of research resources)
  2. APS and researchers/physical societies in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America
  3. APS and other science and technology societies (ACS, IEEE, MRS, etc) Research is nowadays interdisciplinary and increasing cooperation among researchers in different areas is important.

At APS, I will also pursue ways in which APS can better serve the physics community in the USA and worldwide by promoting equity which can allow more high-quality researchers to be part of APS, directly or indirectly. Some ways to promote equity include prorating members’ registration fees and registration fees for APS meetings based on the GDP per capita of the country in which the scientists work, giving APS members access to a certain number of APS journal articles per year, and giving APS members who cannot attend APS meetings online access to a certain number of videos of the talks.

Finally, I believe APS can play a leading role in enhancing science all over the world by collaborating with researchers and leaders of physical societies on different continents to promote outreach to government officials, as well as to younger people and the public, as often as requested by these countries. Fostering the connection between APS outreach groups and African researchers and teachers will be part of this. I hope to work with different subgroups at APS in order to encourage science across the globe.

Educational History

  • Postdoctoral, International Centre for Theoretical Physics (2009-2011)
  • Postdoctoral, Boston University, (2006-2009)
  • PhD, University of Delaware (2006)
  • MSc, University of Ibadan (1998)
  • BSc, University of Ibadan (1995)

URL for Full Bio or CV

Membership in Other Societies

  • American Chemical Society
  • African Physical Society
  • Materials Research Society

Other Relevant Experience

I am one of the four (4) coordinators of the US-Africa Initiative in Electronic Structure (USAfrI) funded by the APS Innovation Fund. USAfrI is promoting collaboration between researchers in the USA and their counterparts in Africa through joint workshops, seminars, and joint research.

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Omololu Akin-Ojo