Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Physics in Africa 2009 preliminary draft report (not official)

The meeting went very well. The speakers from Africa came with the
exception of South Africa. There were Ethiopians, Senegal, Nigeria,
and Guinea Bissau. The talks were great. We run out of time for the
panel discussion, but we will continue on online, The most important
information that is very useful to every physicist and physics
department is the following ( PLEASE CONTACT Abkebede@gmail.com)

1) American physical society is offering free APS journals.

2) American Physical Society is offering a free membership to
physicists from developing countries

3) American Physical society awards travel grants to allow individuals
to get together and discuss research, do research and write proposals.
This is very helpful for African physicists to apply, and attend APS
sessions and meetings in the US. Particularly it would have helped our
physics in Africa.

A brief about the session

1, we reviewed Physics in Senegal (Dr. Arame Faye), Congo (Dr. MPassi)
and Nigeria (Dr. Animalu)
2. Open mic: Universita Della Calabaria (Dr. Galilleo Violini)
Ethiopian physical society-North America (Dr. G.X. Tessema), Forum for
International physics (Prof. Clark), African Institute for
Mathematical Sciences and University of Illinois, Vanderbilt-South
Africa collaboration (Dr. David Ernst), Director of International
Affairs (Dr. Amy Flatten), Synchrotron Source (Prof. Winick), African
Physical Society and African Journal of Physics (Dr. Kebede), EGY-
Africa/Pinger (Dr. Kebede)


The talks from Senegal and Congo are conveying the following messages
1) Hand’s on experience for students is non-existent at high school
level. The first time they see equipment is at the university
2) There are major efforts to build regional PhD program in material
science (Gabon, Cameroon, and Benin)
3) Focus on Economic development is critical in developing physics
4) Human resources data on physics is almost unavailable. Therefore
work is needed to help collect this and similar data
5) African Journal of Physics is iintroduced with its first

It is understood that there are difficult systemic and structural
issues. There is a general agreement on the need to engage the African
physicists so that they can speak for themselves. Therefore it is in
general agreed that there should be effort to connect the physics and
related activities in Africa, so that there is one movement towards
one goal. This will avoid the uneven participation of African in
physics. '

Casual conversations

1. Universita Della Calabaria has a good program for African graduate
students: Please contat Dr. Violini (abkebede@gmail.com)

2. Dr. Winick wishes thatevery one concerned in physics research in
africa should join the effort to build a regional sychrotron
faciltity, probably in South Africa (Please contact Dr. Winick)

3. There should a serious effort so that Africa has a reasonal
representation in the physics entrprise. One important aspect is the
organization or strengthening the country physical societies, and
support for African Physical Society

Informal assessment

1. There is uneven participation of US scientists in this session.
The people who happen to be there were there. The session did not
generate enough interest to attract the attendees, among our
objectives was to bring the condensed matter community to be active in
shaping research and education in the area in Africa.

2. Uneven participation of Africans from Africa and elsewhere. We
could have brought many African physicists from Africa, had I known
that there is travel grant form APS. (PLEASE JOIN THE FORUM FOR

3. There was not adequate funding for the speakers,

Future plan (suggested)

1. Continue organizing "physics in Africa” at APS and every
professional organization that there is for example Physics in Africa
at meetings of physical societies in Europe, Canada and Australia

2. APS-Africa session at a selected city in Africa, similar to the
satellite meetings

Let people know each other and put them to work

Sunday, March 15, 2009

One Ethiopian Physical Society:Ethiopia is where Ethiopians are

የኢትዮጵያ የፊሂክስ ባለሙያዎች(ዶ/ር አበበ ከበደ፤ ዶ/ር ሙሉገታ በቀለ እና ዶ/ር ጾሎሞን ዱኪ) በፒትስበርግ የስብሰባ አዳራሽ ውጭ ባጋጣሚ ተገናኝተው አንዳንድ ጉዳዮች ሲወያዩ

Three Ethioipans (Abebe, Mulugeta and Solomon ) discussing the upcoming event. We talked about students that went throught ICTP. One mentioned that about 40 students went through the diploma program. We also discussed organizational iusses regarding Ethiopian Physical Society. As usual I argued for a comprehensive uiniversal organization, than just one region. The apparent separation is just an administrative technicality. Always Ethiopia is where Ethiopians are. It appears that this is debatable. I have to go to dinner. It is 6:16 PM. Thanks to US Airways, it is a deperate airline that wants to shake every penny out of you. A person carrying 100lb bag and an other carrying 10 pounds pay $15 for the first bag. If you check in a second one it is 25. My poster has to be checked in because it is considered a third item. My second carry on was my Kirar (lyre) I had to pay 25 for a poster that weighs less than 2 pounds. After I return home, it will be my last flight with US Airways.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Join the Forum for International Physics (FIP)

The Forum on International Physics is a voluntary association of APS members who are interested in advancing the knowledge of physics and its diffusion by fostering cooperation and communication among physicists of all countries. The FIP organizes focused sessions at APS meetings, receives nominations for APS fellowships and the Wheatley Award, and communicates with its members via this page and a periodic Newsletter. The FIP also cooperates with several other APS bodies in charge of international scientific affairs. But the unique strength of the FIP lies in the openness of its agenda, which reflects the grass-roots origin of this Forum. Programs such as international book exchanges, equipment exchanges, travel grants, etc. have been established in the past as a result of individual initiatives of FIP members. So if you feel that something is missing in the area of international scientific cooperation, join the FIP and make it happen! And if you are already a member of the FIP, share the excitement with your colleagues and help us recruit even more volunteers!

Physics in Africa 2009 at APS-Motivation

This is an excellent opportunity to
Learn about physics education and research in specific countries
Learn how to collaborate with African institutions
Network with your African colleagues here and everywhere
Get informed about the common problems and lend your ideas on how to solve them