Meeting Minutes

March 15, 2016

Business Meeting Minutes

  1. The meeting was preceded by a social hour attended by approximately 40 people.

  2. The formal part of the meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm by the outgoing chair, David Chandler. Other DCP officers attending the meeting were David Nesbitt (incoming chair), Tim Zwier (chair-elect), Robert Gordon (secretary/treasurer), Janice Ruett-Robey (member-at-large), Jeff Owrutsky (member-at-large), and Amy Mullin (Councilor). Dave thanked the current Executive Committee members and congratulated the newly-elected vice-chair, Scott Anderson, and member-at-large, Heather Allen, who were not present. He also thanked the members of the Nominating Committee for the 2016 officers (Steve Sibener, Dan Neumark, Barbara Wyslouzil, and Jeff Owrutsky).

  3. The Chair congratulated Donald Truhlar, recipient of the Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics, thanked the members of the nominating committee for this year’s prize (Timothy Minton, Roseanne Sension, Majed Chergui, Amy Mullin, and Gil Nathanson), and announced the members of next year’s nominating committee (Amy Mullin, John Paul Maier, Terry Miller, Don Truhlar, and David Chandler). The Chair thanked the Journal of Chemical Physics and the American Institute of Physics for their generous support of this prize. Last year JCP/AIP committed to another five years’ support of the Plyler Prize. One of the conditions for this commitment was that DCP appoint a canvassing committee to identify a broadly diverse pool of people to be considered by the nominating committee. The newly appointed members of this committee are Richard Zare, Robert Field, Steve Leone, and Richard Saykally.

  4. The chair congratulated the newly honored 2015 DCP APS Fellows (Majed Chergui, Pablo Debenedetti, Tianquan Lian, John Maier, Timothy Minton, David Osborn, and Kenneth Suslick). In addition, he thanked the members of the Nominating Committee for the 2015 Fellows (Scott Anderson, Alexander Harris, and Angela Wilson) and announced the members of next year’s Nominating Committee (Alexander Harris, Alenka Luzar, and David Osborn).

  5. The Chair congratulated the winner of the inaugural Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics (Peter Krauss) and the two runners up for this award (Jenée Cyran and Shi Liu). He also congratulated the winners of the 2015 DCP Young Investigator Travel Award (Kumar Abhishek and Haoyu Yu).

  6. The Chair announced that General Electric (GE Global Research) has declined to continue supporting the Langmuir Prize. He will try to coordinate a letter by the presidents of the APS and the American Chemical Society appealing to GE to reconsider their decision. As matters stand now, the Langmuir Prize will not be awarded in 2017.

  7. Amy Mullin gave a report on the functioning of the newly constituted APS Council, which reports to the APS Board of Directors. DCP benefits from this change in governance, which allows its voice to be heard more clearly on APS matters and provides improved communication with other units in APS. [Note added by Robert Gordon: The bylaws of DCP have been revised to reflect this change in governance. The changes will appear on the ballot in the Fall of 2016.]

  8. Marsha Lester gave a report on new initiatives by JCP/AIP, in addition to the above-mentioned support of the Plyler Prize. These include:

    1. JCP provided DCP with early notification of Editor’s Choice papers, so that the authors might be invited to a special focus session at the March meeting. David Nesbitt reported that these invitations were received with great enthusiasm this year (5 acceptances within 24 hours) and that the sessions were well-attended. David Chandler pointed out that the Editor’s Choice focus session was in addition to the 55 invited speakers that DCP is normally allowed at the March meeting.

    2. JCP is continuing its program of special topic issues, with five planned for this year, as well as three invited perspective articles.

    3. JCP/AIP is sponsoring a first-ever conference on “The Future of Chemical Physics.” This conference, targeted especially for young investigators, will be held in Oxford, August 31-September, 2016.

  9. The Chair announced that the APS Council approved APS sponsorship of the Jankunas Award. The recipient this year was honored at the Awards Ceremony and was invited to the President’s reception. Concomitant with this sponsorship, DCP is expected to raise 50,000 to endow the Award. Approximately one third of this amount has already been raised, owing largely to a generous pledge of 10,000 by Richard Zare. A donors page has been established on the DCP website, and a solicitation letter will be sent out soon to former executive officers of DCP. Tora Buttaro of the APS development office is coordinating the fund-raising initiative.

  10. Robert Gordon gave an update on membership of DCP. Membership as of Dec. 31, 2015 was level with the number in the previous year. Although the sharp rate of decline of the number of members experienced in the 1990’s has slowed significantly, the fraction of DCP membership in APS continues to fall linearly. This decline has continued despite vigorous efforts to recruit attendees at the focus sessions in 2015 and by direct appeal to authors of contributed papers. An extended discussion about how to increase membership ensued. Suggestions included the following:

    1. Target young members with initiatives such as lunch with the speakers and social gatherings organized by a committee of graduate students and post-docs.

    2. Invite young faculty to organize focus sessions.

    3. Solicit advice at sorters meetings from chairs of more successful units.

    4. Arrange with the physical chemistry division of ACS to partner in email announcements to the respective members.

    5. Encourage PI’s to enroll their graduate and undergraduate group members. Point out that membership in APS is free in the students’ first year and very inexpensive thereafter.

    6. Advertise our focus sessions at APS topical meetings.

    7. Provide advance notice of our planned focus sessions only to DCP members.

    8. Organize recurring focus sessions in selected topics such as DFT, nanoscale dynamics, and nonadiabatic processes, so that DCP becomes known as the meeting to attend in these areas.

  11. Robert Gordon gave an update on the finances of DCP. In the 2015 calendar year, DCP expenses exceeded revenue by 4.9K, with a year-end balance of 60.2 K. The deficit was due almost entirely to increased travel expenses.

  12. David Nesbitt presented an overview of DCP programming at the 2016 March meeting, which featured five focus symposia in 21 sessions with 55 invited speakers, an award session, the JCP Editor’s Choice session, and four topic sessions.

  13. Tim Zwier presented a draft for the 2017 March meeting. He identified five focus symposia and has invited organizers for each.

  14. Tim Zwier presented a list of possible topics proposed by Scott Anderson for the 2018 March meeting.

  15. Dave Chandler concluded the meeting with a discussion of objectives for the coming year. These include raising money for endowing the Jankunas Award and finding new ways to engage the chemical physics community and increase DCP membership. The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 pm.