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By David Barnstone
The APS Board of Directors unanimously approved the sale of its editorial office building in Ridge, New York at a meeting on August 27. The editorial operations of the Physical Review journals will be relocated to a smaller office space on Long Island in early 2022.
“Selling the building at Ridge is difficult for many, especially for those who have built their careers there,” said APS CEO Jonathan Bagger. “But the Physical Review is much more than a building; it represents a suite of journals with a tradition of excellence in publishing that stretches back over 100 years.”
For much of its history, APS journal operations moved with its Editor in Chief. When Dutch-American physicist Samuel Goudsmit assumed the role in 1951, the editorial offices were located at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on eastern Long Island, where Goudsmit was a senior scientist. Physical Review enjoyed substantial growth during his tenure. The next two decades saw the creation of its sister journal, Physical Review Letters, and the sub-journals Physical Review A, B, C, and D.
In 1979, APS journals moved into a modest 12,000 square foot office building near BNL. The “Ridge Office” has been home to a growing number of editorial, journal operations, and information systems staff ever since. A series of expansions increased the size of the building to its present 45,000 square feet.
The 2019 APS Strategic Plan called on APS to analyze its “use of physical assets,” including the Society’s office spaces in Ridge; College Park, Maryland; and Washington, DC. Shortly after this work began, the COVID-19 pandemic forced APS staff to abandon their offices and work from home indefinitely.
Employees quickly adapted to this new way of working. They came together to host the 2020 April Meeting completely online for the first time and have conducted most other Society business remotely since that time. The benefits of remote work—for both the staff and the organization—became clear to the Senior Leadership Team.
“The pandemic has shown us that APS can operate successfully with reduced physical infrastructure,” said APS Board President S. James Gates, Jr. “We all look forward to coming back together for collaboration, networking, and exchanging ideas but we believe having a smaller, more flexible space will better accommodate our staff’s current and future needs.”
APS staff based in the New York metropolitan and Long Island areas gathered outside the building on September 17 to bid adieu to the Ridge Office and celebrate the many milestones they achieved there together.
The author is APS Head of Public Relations.
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Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondents: Sophia Chen, Alaina G. Levine