Sunday, March 03, 2019

APS March Meeting, Day 0

A brief summary of topics/reading material/things I learned today during DCMP and joint DCMP/DMP executive committee meetings:
  • As usual, this will be the biggest March Meeting ever, with 11500 registrants ahead of time.  This is still increasingly problematic in terms of organization and availability of sites.
  • New APS Strategic Plan
  • New APS report on the Impact of Industrial Physics on the US Economy
  • DOE Basic Energy Sciences report (pdf) on the impact of the BES at its 40th anniversary
  • The upcoming privatization of the US Strategic Helium Reserve looks depressingly unavoidable.  Sounds like changing this is a non-starter in Congress.


Peter Armitage said...

What else do you know about the privatization of the US Strategic Helium Reserve?

Douglas Natelson said...

No specifics, a situation that I need to remedy. All I know is that everyone seems to assume that privatization will be bad news - that prices will continue to rise, and that academic users will have very limited leverage. There were anecdotes brought up about supplier companies doing things like telling US academic users that helium was literally unavailable while simultaneously selling helium to customers in Japan, Australia, etc. who were willing to pay 2x the US price.