African Physics Newsletter

APS International Engagement Around the World

How can American Physical Society African members participate and benefit more?

The American Physical Society (APS) welcomes the chance to serve a global physics community. Roughly 23% of APS members live outside of the United States in over 100 countries.

Thousands of physicists from abroad attend and present at APS meetings every year, with 30% of March Meeting attendees coming from outside of the United States. The 2020 APS Virtual April Meeting attracted over 1,800 international physicists, accounting for over 25% of attendees compared to an average of 6% international participation at previous APS April Meetings.

An international hub

Approximately 70% of articles published in APS journals are authored by scientists outside of the United States. In 2018, the Society published 80 articles by authors in Africa.

Additionally, APS members, regardless of their nationality, have stated they value being a part of a larger physics community as the primary reason for joining APS; they view APS as a “hub” where the international physics community connects.

Inclusion in Society's leadership

Nonetheless, many members outside of the U.S. have expressed an interest to be more proactively included in all APS activities--not only participation in meetings and publications in journals, but also inclusion in programs, in Unit activities, advisory committees, and other aspects of the Society’s leadership. Some physicists have even asked “Why should I belong to the American Physical Society? What does APS do for physicists in my country?”

To better serve physicists worldwide, APS must communicate the breadth of opportunities and services for all physicists regardless of their location. Toward this end, the Society created a tool, APS International Engagement Around the World (IEAW). This resource highlights, by region, the ways APS supports physicists around the world.

Society's engagement with communities

In doing so, the tool offers various programs, opportunities, grant applications, and other resources, tailored to individual regions. Through the IEAW tool, any physicist in any country can see how they can participate in APS and how the Society engages with their community.

The opportunities and information highlighted on each page of this web tool will continue to grow and evolve the cross section of activities representing all areas of APS--from membership to programs to publications and advocacy on behalf of international physicists. At heart of the IEAW web tool is a chance for all physicists to participate in APS activities, connect to international offerings, and tap into the conversations and publications related to their local community.

Africa&APS webpage

The IEAW tool highlights relevant APS News articles, stories from the APS Forum on International Physics (FIP) Newsletter, and publishing statistics from the Physical Review Journals for every country or region. To highlight the inclusion of international voices in APS Leadership, the site displays the current International Councilors who advise the APS Council of Representatives from the perspective of members outside the United States, such as Prof. Ahmadou Wagué of Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Dakar, Senegal) who has served as an International Councilor since 2018.

Each page is specifically tailored to highlight APS content that is of greatest interest to physicists working in that region or country. Through the Africa & APS webpage, part of the IEAW, physicists from Africa can view the APS offerings most relevant to them.

Cost-free journals articles

As a reader and subscriber of the African Physics Newsletter, you may be aware of the Society’s efforts to enable connectivity and information across the continent and throughout the diaspora. However, many readers of this newsletter may be unaware of other APS efforts to connect and engage with physicists in Africa.

As a participant in the eJournal Delivery Service administered by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), APS offers its journal articles cost-free to registered physicists in several African nations. Many physicists in Africa are also eligible for reduced-cost or free membership in the APS through the Matching Membership Program, which provides access to member-exclusive benefits while encouraging physicists to maintain membership in their national physical society where applicable.

Feedback welcome

As APS expands its offerings and creates new opportunities, the Society hopes to grow this web tool as a valuable way to connect with and serve physicists living outside of the U.S. With that goal in mind, APS welcomes feedback from you regarding what programs, resources, and activities would be most useful to physicists in Africa.

Please contact the APS Office of International Affairs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to give your input on how APS can better serve your region and what you would like to see from our new tool, APS International Engagement Around the World.

Office of International Affairs, American Physical Society

This article has first been published by the African Physical Newsletter ©American Physical Society

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