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By Leah Poffenberger
APS membership comprises 47 “units”–Divisions, Forums, Topical Groups, and regional Sections. Each year, leaders of these units congregate in Washington D.C. for the annual APS Leadership Convocation, Medal Ceremony, and Congressional Visits Day. At this year’s Convocation (January 31 to February 2), attendees had the chance to meet with other unit leaders, learn about current and upcoming programs at APS, and participate in advocacy efforts in support of science.
Congressional Visits Day on Thursday, January 31, organized by the APS Office of Government Affairs, took unit leaders to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional representatives from across the country to advocate for support of science. Discussions ranged from research funding to the need for reform of the visa system to ensure scientific mobility.
APS President David Gross (L) presents the APS Medal to Betrand I. Halperin (R).
The APS Medal Ceremony and Reception took place on Thursday night, honoring Harvard physicist Bertrand I. Halperin. APS President David Gross presented Halperin with the 2019 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research for his “seminal contributions to theoretical condensed matter physics.”
A plenary session Friday morning allowed convocation attendees the chance to hear from the APS staff leadership about the status of APS as an organization, new developments in journal publishing, and efforts in science policy and government affairs. More sessions throughout the day, led by APS employees, provided unit leaders with an overview of the many programs and services offered at APS.
An evening reception celebrating the 90th anniversary of Reviews of Modern Physics (RMP) brought unit leaders together with RMP and Physical Review editors. This was followed by an address by APS Past President Roger Falcone.
On Saturday morning, 2019 APS President David Gross spoke to convocation attendees about his priorities for the coming year, especially focusing on rolling out the new APS Strategic Plan and kicking off the APS Innovation Fund. The Convocation wrapped up with discussions among unit leaders, APS leadership, and staff about specific implementation goals for 2019 and beyond.
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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik