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Membership of the Topical Group in Gravitation of the American Physical Society

Dear colleague,

We warmly invite you to consider joining or re-joining the Topical Group in Gravitation (GGR) of the American Physical Society (APS).

There are many good reasons to join GGR. But we know you are busy, so by simply sending an email to nyunes[AT]physics.montana.edu with a “yes” you will be re-enrolled for free and GGR will pay the $8 fee for your first year of GGR membership. In subsequent years, the annual renewal of your APS membership will include membership in GGR as a default choice. We hope that you find GGR membership valuable and choose to remain as a member in subsequent years. If you are unsure of your APS membership status, please respond to this email and we will clarify it for you.

You probably already know about the APS—representing over 50,000 physicists from around the world. The APS sponsors meetings to promote the exchange of new results in physics, publishes some of the most prestigious journals in the field (including Physical Review and Physical Review Letters), advocates for physics education and science education in general, and is very active in promoting funding for physics research at NSF, DOE, and NASA.

What may be less familiar to some of you is the role of the “units” within the APS. There are Sections (regional groups that foster a spirit of community), Forums (groups built to address broad issues such as graduate student education or international cooperation), and Technical Units (groups which coalesce around a common interest in physics). Technical groups are of two types, Divisions and Topical Groups, distinguished primarily by size. Divisions are larger and they have a more important role in the governance of the APS, but the missions are similar—to bring together scientists with overlapping interests in physics and foster cooperation and communication.

You are receiving this email as part of a campaign to increase GGR membership. GGR is already the largest topical group in the APS, and it is approaching a size wherein it becomes eligible to become an APS Division. Your membership would help us achieve this goal. The main motivation for starting GGR was to provide a broad-based voice for the gravitational physics community. Divisional status will allow us to do this more effectively by giving our community substantial benefits: a permanent seat on the APS council with enhanced opportunity to advocate for our field, the ability to choose plenary speakers for the April Meetings, a larger budget allocation from the APS which would, for example, mean an increase in student travel support.

You are in a position to help your community achieve Divisional status. In fact, as a member of the gravitational physics community, you already likely benefit directly from the activities of GGR. The APS April meeting (for which the GGR organizes a large number of sessions) has become one of our main forums for releasing new results. The journals of the APS are mainstays for publishing our papers. GGR sponsors and selects the winner of the APS Einstein Prize, awarded, for example, in 2007 to Rai Weiss and Ron Drever for their role in establishing LIGO. GGR has named fifty-five APS fellows, an important and distinct honor signifying recognition by one’s professional peers in the physics community.

These activities don’t just happen—it is the membership of GGR that make them happen. Growth in the membership of the APS and GGR is one of the best arguments for increased funding in physics and gravitation, and will lead directly to increased influence of GGR as an advocate for gravitational physics.

If gravity is of interest to you, we urge you to join GGR. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, all you have to do is reply to this email within the next month. If you have any questions please contact Jon Burkin, the Units Coordinator for APS, at burkin[AT]aps.org. We look forward to welcoming you back into GGR.

With kind regards,

Nicolas Yunes (GGR Membership Committee Chair)
Daniel Holz (GGR Chair)