2008 Congress

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Learn more about Scientific Citizenship

To help you prepare for the 2008 Congress, the Planning Committee has assembled a reading list on relevant topics.

Title & Resource Link



Scientific Citizenship Primer Primer: The Civic Scientist

Bo Hammer, 2008 Congress Workshop Moderator

An Introduction to Scientific Citizenship for the 2008 Quadrennial Congress of Sigma Pi Sigma

Ivory Bridges

Gerhard Sonnert & Gerald Holton

A study of two bridges between science and society: governmental science policy and scientists' voluntary public-interest associations.  The book also looks at the activities of citizen-scientists who have organized themselves to promote the welfare of society.
   – Amazon Editorial Review

Scientific Citizenship: Connecting Physics and Society—A Prelude to the 2008 Congress Workshops

Dwight E.

This article from Radiations magazine poses questions in the hope of their being catalysts to the 2008 Congress workshop discussions. Without intending to speak for the workshop leaders, their subject matter raises some questions that we might ponder in advance of the Congress, so that we arrive there with primed minds.

Fermilab: Scientific Citizenship by Example

Dwight E.

An institution projects the values of the people who create and maintain it. The Congress will be held at Fermilab. This was an inspired choice, a statement of values in a celebration of physics. Science and human values cannot be decoupled. This editorial from Radiations magazine examines how they are purposely mixed, mutually enriched, and find expression beyond science itself at Fermilab.

The Meaning of it All: Thoughts from A Citizen Scientist

Richard Feynman

In this series of lectures originally given in 1963, the Nobel-winning physicist thinks aloud on several "meta"--questions of science. What is the nature of the tension between science and religious faith? Why does uncertainty play such a crucial role in the scientific imagination?
   – Amazon Editorial Review

“The Obligations and Responsibilities of the Scientist”

Leon Lederman

In this brief article (free online), the Nobel Prize winner promotes the idea of scientists being active in the government (especially in elected positions).

“The Future of Science…Is Art?”

Seed Magazine

This free online article comments on the relationship between science and art and asserts: “The struggle for scientific truth is long and hard and never ending. If we want to get an answer to our deepest questions—the questions of who we are and what everything is—we will need to draw from both science and art, so that each completes the other.”
    – Article Excerpt

Where Science Meets Art – Audio

National Public Radio 

A Morning Edition series explores the unexpected intersections of two seemingly different disciplines -- art and science.
   – From Site

Einstein On Race and Racism

Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor

This unique book is the first to bring together a wealth of writings by Einstein on the topic of race. Although his activism in this area is less well known than his efforts on behalf of international peace and scientific cooperation, he spoke out vigorously against racism both in the United States and around the world.
    – Amazon summary

“Diminished by Discrimination we Scarcely See”

Megan Urry

This free online article highlights the very real experience of Urry, and explores continuing barrier issues with regards to women in physics.

Taking Einstein’s Ethics into the Twenty-First Century: Remember Your Humanity

Dwight E.

If Einstein were here today, what would he say?  How would he advise us? What would he do?  This free online article examines how to look into the Twenty-First Century and apply Einstein’s principles to the challenges that lie before us.

“The Three Physicists in Congress Calculate their Influence”

New York Times

In this free online article, the three U.S. Representatives who hold physics degrees: Rush Holt, Bill Foster, and Vernon Ehlers, discuss their role in government.

All Politics is Local: And Other Rules of the Game

Tip O’Neill (With Gary Hymel):

In these anecdotes about his own experiences and those of the politically famous, O'Neill treats politics both as a game during which he must outwit opponents and as a serious vocation whose purpose is to serve his constituents.
   – Library Journal Editorial Review

Energy Future: Think Efficiency

The American Physical Society (APS)

Energy Future: Think Efficiency differs from other energy efficiency reports in its emphasis on scientific and technological options and analysis. Developed by a panel of leading experts in energy policy with backgrounds in physics, engineering, economics, and policy, Energy Future: Think Efficiency examines what works, what can work soon, and what is feasible for the future.
   – APS Website