Metric System Redefinition Led By USNC/IUPAP Members
The International System of Units (SI) is expected to be redefined on May 20, 2019 based on fixed values of certain physical constants. Under the leadership of Bill Phillips (NIST), a current USNC member and previous IUPAP Commission C2 Vice Chair, and Peter Mohr (NIST), current C2 Chair and the former USNC Chair, Commission C2 is carrying out a publicity campaign designed to familiarize the wider scientific community with the upcoming changes. Videos for this purpose have been made to explain the new SI to a general audience, and these videos were presented to the IUPAP General Assembly in October of 2017. Information on the proposed revisions can be found here.
ASESMA 2018 Planned for Ethiopia in the Fall
The 2018 African School on Electronic Structure Methods and Applications (ASESMA 2018) will be held a the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University in Ethiopia from October 22 through November 2, 2018. It is fifth in a series of biennial schools held from 2010 to 2020, and endorsed by IUPAP.
The advent of faster, cheaper computers and the availability of open-source software has enabled materials research scientists in Africa to further their research like never before. A joint product of IUPAP Commissions C13 (Physics for Development) and C20 (Computational Physics), the ASESMA series builds upon these developments and focuses on the issues in materials science most relevant to Africa. More information about ASESMA 2018 can be found on the International Centre for Theoretical Physics website.
The most recent school in the African School Series on Electronic Structure Methods and Applications (ASESMA), was held June 13 -24, 2016 at the University of Ghana in Legon (just outside of Accra, the capital of Ghana.) This was the fourth school in a series that is planned biennially from 2010 to 2020. This school series was jointly initiated by two IUPAP Commissions (C-13 and C-20), with the goal of developing a critical mass of computational materials science expertise in Africa. ASESMA 2016, was the first ASESMA school held in West Africa. There were 10 female and 25 male participants from 13 African countries. (Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, S. Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and of course Ghana). This totaled more countries than any previous ASESMA school.
2017 IUPAP General Assembly Update
The USLC/IUPAP is pleased to announce the election of members Kennedy Reed as IUPAP Executive Council President and Laura Greene as an IUPAP Executive Council Vice-President at the 2017 General Assembly in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Resolutions adopted at the most recent GA include Resolution 6, which extends the work of the Working Group on Women in Physics until 2023. The group will be in charge of organizing the 7th International Congress on Women in Physics (ICWiP). Additionally, all IUPAP-sponsored conferences will be encouraged to host "a session for all participants on diversity and inclusion in physics," and to invite more female speakers to deliver plenary talks. Resolution 11 proposes a plan for to establish "The International Year of Basic Sciences for Development" in 2022. Resolution 13 establishes a new IUPAP Working Group on Physics and Industry, which aims to strengthen connections between society and academic IUPAP members and local industries and physicists. The group is expected to report on activities and findings during the next few years, with the possibility of becoming an IUPAP Commission. Resolution 14 similarly proposes a Working Group on the Centenary of IUPAP, occurring in 2023.
For a comprehensive recap of the 2017 GA and a message from newly-elected president Kennedy Reed, view the December 2017 IUPAP newsletter.
Former Chair of USLC/IUPAP Receives Nobel Prize in Physics
The USLC/IUPAP congratulates Barry Barish (California Institute of Technology) for being one of three recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. Barish is recognized for his work with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector and the observation of gravitational waves. From 1991-1999, Dr. Barish was an ex-officio member of the USLC/IUPAP. He then went on to serve as vice chair of the committee from 2000 to 2002, chair from 2003 to 2005, and member-at-large from 2006 to 2008.
IUPAP and IUCr Receive €300k Grant from ICSU
The International Council for Science (ICSU) has awarded one of its three €300k grants to IUPAP and IUCr, so that the two unions may begin work on a three-year advanced light source project
. Utilisation of Light Source and Crystallographic Sciences to Facilitate the Enhancement of Knowledge and Improve the Economic and Social Conditions in Targeted Regions of the World will focus on lightsources for Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Over the next three years, the aims of the project include the creation of print materials to better explain light sources and the field of crystallography, the launching of five more crystallography laboratories in various parts of the world, and the international exchange of students and researchers.
The project will be led by Sekazi K. Mtingwa and Sandro Scandolo of the IUPAP C13 Commission, and Michele Zema of the IUCr. Partnering organizations will include ICSU Regional Offices, the International Union of Materials Research Societies, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, and UNESCO. IUPAP Supports New Women in STEM Project Funded by ICSU
In addition to awarding a €300k grant to IUPAP and IUCr, the International Council for Science has awarded a grant for the same amount to IMU and IUPAC. The two unions will be leading a new project, supported by IUPAP
, that aims to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields. IUPAP's Working Group on Women in Physics has already laid much of the groundwork for this task, sponsoring a global survey on gender in physics careers in 2008.
According to the IUPAP Newsletter (March 2017), the goals of this project are:
1. Gather survey-based evidence and conduct a study of publication patterns
2. Work with social scientists to analyze cross-cultural trends relating to gender and science
3. Make scientific materials more accessible to young women and foster an interest in STEM careers
4. Make recommendations on how to effectively reduce the gender gap