To: All APS Members
From: Marvin Cohen, APS President
Re: Suggested public name change for APS
At its June meeting, the APS Executive Board strongly endorsed changing the public name used by APS from American Physical Society to American Physics Society. The reason is simple: the word "physical" means several things to the general public, most often not physics. This causes confusion and uncertainty regarding what kind of organization APS is, and dilutes the impact APS can have in representing the physics community to the media, the government, and the public at large.
The most straightforward way to solve this problem is by means of the relatively minor change in what we call ourselves, suggested by the Board. The Board is mindful of the 106-year history of the American Physical Society, and would continue to use this name for internal purposes, such as our journals and prizes.
I suppose it's reasonable. Goodness knows that people don't know what the American Physical Society is for -- at an APS conference in St. Louis in 1989, the hotel staff assumed we were medical therapists of some kind. They were astonished that we actually got up and attended the meeting sessions. Apparently the doctors the previous week and the lawyers the week before, seemed to spend a lot of time driving off to golf courses and not going to the conference.
Man, what fun is that?
Or we could become the American Society for Physics (ASP).
Or the American Society for the Advancement of Physics (ASAP). (grin)