The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 144: December 12, 2000

A reminder to readers who want to get actively involved in
science policy: the deadline for applying to the AIP and APS
Congressional Science Fellowship programs is approaching! ALL

These programs enable scientists with a PhD in physics or a
closely related field – or outstanding non-PhD candidates with
compensating research experience – to spend a year working for a
congressional office or committee, learning how congressional
decisions impact the science community and how a scientist can
provide advice and expertise to Congress. One individual CAN
make a difference!

Why should you take a personal interest in the legislative and
policy-making process? The federal government funds about 30
percent of the nation’s R&D, and almost 60 percent of basic
research. Decisions made by Congress affect which research areas
and programs are emphasized and which are not. In recent years,
bills have been introduced in Congress relating to biomedical
imaging, improved science education, public access to research
results, a research and experimentation tax credit, and noise
control research: all areas of concern to AIP Member Societies.
Because Members of Congress rarely have technical backgrounds,
AIP and APS seek to provide a public service to Congress by
making available scientists who can provide analysis and guidance
on the scientific or technical aspects of policy issues.
Although the societies provide a stipend and other benefits,
Fellows do not act as representatives of AIP or APS during their
time on Capitol Hill; their only responsibility is to the
congressional office in which they choose to work.

Many former Fellows have gone on to help craft Administration
science policy by serving in the White House Office of Science
and Technology Policy, or in federal S&T agencies. Others return
to academia or industry, while some accept permanent staff
positions on Capitol Hill. The APS 1982-3 Congressional Science
Fellow, Rush Holt (D-NJ), just won reelection to a second term in
the U.S. House of Representatives.

Both AIP and APS have sponsored Congressional Science Fellows for
more than 10 years, under the auspices of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. Two other AIP Member
Societies, the American Geophysical Union and the Optical Society
of America, also sponsor Fellows annually. Please see the web
sites of the individual societies listed below for details and
deadlines of each specific program.

For the AIP and APS Fellowships: In addition to U.S. citizenship,
applicants must be members of APS for the APS Fellowship, and
members of one or more of the 10 AIP Member Societies for the AIP
Fellowship. For APS members, one application suffices for both

FOR MORE INFORMATION on each of the specific Fellowship programs,
including how, when and where to apply, please see the following
web sites:

For AIP:

For APS:

For AGU:

For OSA:


Audrey T. Leath

Public Information Division

The American Institute of Physics

(301) 209-3094