William Barletta - Candidate for Chair-Elect, Nominating Committee

Adjunct Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


The American Physical Society promotes open science in a manner that reflects our members’ strong concerns for public affairs, for inclusion and diversity in our profession, for the effects of physics upon society and the environment, for the freedom of scientists worldwide, and for strong international cooperation and collaboration in physics. The Nominating Committee has the task of identifying and recruiting candidates for leadership offices that embody the professional and ethical values of our Society, which represents an ever-growing range of activities represented by our Divisions, Forums, and Topical Groups. Then in our General Election each year, the membership elects the leaders from the slate of candidates put forth by the Committee.

Our elected leaders are the face of our Society; their nomination and election is critical to the continuing vitality of APS and its programs. On the political front, they build bridges between other national physical societies thereby contributing to enhanced global cooperation and well-being. As colleagues and advocates, APS the leadership assists scientists in the developing world promote opportunities in their countries for world-class science. Our leaders can and should advocate expanding our communications, increasing access to APS meetings and publications, training early career scientists, and broadening exchange opportunities for our international members.

APS also has the crucial mission of exploring and articulating the broadest ways that the physical sciences influence society and the environment. Our elected leadership should project a spirit and culture of scientific excellence melded with the deep human values of concern for equity and inclusion as well as maintaining a sustainable and healthy environment.

The US must continue to invest in energy efficiency and low-carbon-emission technologies. Controlling nuclear proliferation and counterterrorism while balancing privacy concerns and human rights will remain vital public issues with deep technological roots. Every policy choice has both risks and benefits that physicists can contribute to analyzing and understanding. Being independent of commercial and partisan interests, APS is the vehicle by which physicists can inform the public debate with the same intellectual discipline, rigor, and open-minded skepticism that we value in our research. Our elected leadership is our voice.

I am deeply committed to outreach to the public and to those seeking in careers in the physical sciences and engineering. My activities chairing the Panel on Public Affairs, the Forum on International Physics, and Division of Physics of Beams and in serving on CISA, PPC, APS Council and the Committee on Minorities have been extensive and have developed broad perspectives concerning APS’s contributions to our profession and to society as a whole.

My service to APS complements broad experience ranging over strategic security studies, energy technologies, accelerator physics, technology for major research infrastructures research facilities. As a manager at three national laboratories, I built a strong reputation for working to make our profession more diverse and inclusive. As Chair-elect of the Nominating Committee, I pledge to bring all these experiences and perspectives to bear in developing excellent slates of candidates for our Annual General Election.

Educational History

  • PhD, Experimental High Energy Physics, University of Chicago (1972)
  • MS, Physics, University of Chicago (1967)
  • B.S.E.E. with Highest Distinction, University of Rhode Island (1966)

URL for Full Bio or CV

Top 5 Honors, Awards, or Recognition

  • Fellow - American Physical Society
  • Foreign Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Bologna Institute (Italy)
  • Distinguished Service Award - Division of Physics of Beams (APS)
  • "Iron man" Exceptional Teaching Award (USPAS)
  • Tau Beta Pi (Engineering)

Most Recent APS Volunteer History

  • Chair, Forum on International Physics & Member of FIP Executive committee (present)
  • Chair, APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) & Member of POPA
  • Chair, Division of Physics of Beams
  • Member - Committee on International Scientific Affairs (CISA)
  • Member of Physics Policy Committee (PPC)

Membership in Other Societies

  • Italian Physical Society

Other Relevant Experience

  • William Barletta is Adjunct Professor of Physics at MIT, Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, and Director Emeritus of the Accelerator Division Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is a member of the Scientific Council of DESY, the Scientific Council of the Centro Fermi Research Institute in Rome, the Advisory Board of the John Adams Institute (Oxford), and Coordinating Editor-in-Chief of Nuclear Instruments & Methods-A. He was Director of the US Particle Accelerator School (USPAS), founding director of the Korean Accelerator School, and co-convener of the Joint International Accelerator School with CERN, KEK, and Budker Institute.

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William Barletta