Generating APS Policy Positions

APS positions are represented by the APS statements. Members, committees, and APS’s elected leadership all take part in the robust process that crafts and maintains APS statements. All of APS’s advocacy activities are authorized through these statements.

Creating and Adopting APS Statements

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APS Statements articulate the enduring positions of APS on topics relevant to our community. They guide the organization's future actions and activities. APS Statements authorize the activities of the organization, such as advocacy to the federal government.

The APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) is the body responsible for creating, editing, and archiving APS Statements. All APS statements have gone through a thorough process of drafting, commenting and approval that calls for input from APS committees, leaders, POPA, Board and Council, and the full membership.

APS Statements are revised every five years and active until archived.

Steps in the APS Statement Process

The process from proposal through adoption for an APS statement can take up to a year, and not every proposed statement is ultimately adopted by APS Council. For clarification on any of the steps in the APS Statement process, contact Government Affairs.

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Step One: Initiation

  • An APS member proposes a new statement to POPA for consideration.
  • If POPA approves the new statement proposal, it is assigned to a subcommittee.
  • POPA requests comments from relevant APS bodies.

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Step Two: Drafting

  • The subcommittee drafts the statement, considering comments from the Physics Policy Committee (PPC) and other relevant committees.
  • POPA votes on a new draft.

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Step Three: Council and Board Review

  • APS Council comments on the draft.
  • APS Board votes on the draft. If the Board votes in favor of the draft, it moves to the next step.
  • If the Board votes against the draft, it may come up for a second vote. After a second vote again, the statement is terminated. 

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Step Four: Membership Comment/POPA Review

  • APS members are able to comment on the statement draft for a period of thirty days.
  • The subcommittee edits or terminates the draft in response to member comments.
  • POPA considered the new draft.

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Step Five: APS Board Vote

  • APS Board comments on the statement draft.
  • POPA addresses the APS Board comments.
  • The statement is sent to APS Council.

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Step Six: APS Council Vote

  • APS Council votes on the statement.
  • If the vote is negative, POPA addresses concerns and the statement may come before Council again. After a second negative vote, the statement is termination.
  • If Council votes to approve the statement, it becomes active.

Creating and Adopting APS Board Statements

APS Board Statements provide an expedited pathway to create a temporary, one-year policy position in response to current events. APS Board statements engage the APS Board, Council, leadership, POPA, and PPC. APS Board Statements may be considered by POPA as candidates to become APS Statements.

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Suggest a Statement, Activity, or Action

Any member can suggest statements or activities. Before doing so, we ask members to consider the following questions:

  • Is the proposed statement or activity directly related to physics?
  • Does it directly affect the physics community?
  • Is it already addressed in an existing statement?

Proposed statements and activities can be submitted via email. Please refer to APS GA's proposal submission guidepdf. Members should be aware that APS does not necessarily pursue all proposed statements or activities.