Governance

FPS Bylaws

DATE APPROVED BY APS COUNCIL: 11/14/2020

DATE RATIFIED BY FPS MEMBERSHIP: 12/11/2020

PREAMBLE

In the following text, "Society" shall signify the American Physical Society; “Council" and "Board" shall signify the Council of Representatives and the Board of Directors of the Society, respectively; "APS Chief Executive Officer" or “CEO” shall signify the Chief Executive Officer of the Society; and “Regular Meeting" shall signify the principal meeting held once a year by the Forum.

ARTICLE I – NAME

This organization within the American Physical Society shall be called the Forum on Physics and Society (FPS).

ARTICLE II – OBJECTIVE

The objective of the Forum shall be the advancement and diffusion of knowledge regarding the inter-relation of physics, physicists, and society. The Forum shall provide for all members of the Society an opportunity for discussion and involvement with such matters.

ARTICLE III – ENABLING CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

Article VIII of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society and associated Policies and Procedures, as said documents may be subsequently revised or amended, are hereby incorporated in these Bylaws by reference.

ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP

The members of the Forum shall consist of members of the Society, who have indicated, in accordance with procedures established by Council, their desire to join the Forum, and who meet any other requirements established by Council.

ARTICLE V – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  1. Governance. The Forum shall be governed by an Executive Committee, which shall have general charge of the affairs of the Forum.
  2. Composition. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Forum, the most recent Past Chair, the Forum Councilor, the Forum Representative to POPA, and six Members-at-Large elected to staggered three-year terms. One of the Member-at-Large positions shall be a dedicated position for a Student/Early-Career member. 
  3. Executive Committee Meetings. The Executive Committee shall have a Regular meeting at least once each year. If at least four members of the Executive Committee submit a request in writing to the Chair to convene an additional meeting, the Chair must do so within sixty days. Any member of the Executive Committee unable to attend a meeting may name a nonvoting alternate in good standing with the unit to represent him or her, subject to the approval of the Chair, or participate in the meeting by telephone or videoconference. A majority of the voting members, including at least two Officers, shall constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS AND FORUM COUNCILLOR

  1. Officers. The Officers of the Forum shall be a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary-Treasurer.
  2. Duties of the Chair. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee at which his or her attendance is possible. The Chair, in collaboration with the Secretary-Treasurer, shall prepare the agenda of Executive Committee meetings. He or she will appoint the committees of the Forum and have overall responsibility for the operations of the Forum during his or her term of office.
  3. Duties of the Chair-Elect. The Chair-Elect shall act in place of the Chair if the latter is unable to perform the Chair's duties. The Chair-Elect shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.
  4. Duties of the Vice-Chair. The Vice-Chair shall act in place of the Chair-Elect if the latter is unable to perform the duties of the Chair-Elect. The Vice-Chair shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws.
  5. Duties of the Secretary-Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer shall maintain the records of the Forum including minutes of Executive Committee meetings. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the Chair of matters requiring Executive Committee action. The Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare minutes of the Executive Committee meetings and shall submit these minutes to each member of the Executive Committee and to the Corporate Secretary within four weeks after each meeting. Following elections, such minutes should include the results of the election and a roster of the current Executive Committee membership. The Secretary-Treasurer shall have responsibility for all funds in the custody of or placed at the disposal of the Forum and shall, with approval of the Chair, authorize disbursements from such funds for expenses in a manner that is consistent with the general policies of the Society and the Forum. The Secretary-Treasurer shall present a financial report and a proposed budget annually at a meeting of the Executive Committee.
  6. Duties of the Forum Councilor. The Forum Councilor shall serve as liaison between the Council of the Society and the Executive Committee of the Forum. Following each Council meeting, the Forum Councilor shall report to the Executive Committee regarding Council actions that affect the status and operations of the Forum. The Forum Councilor shall bring any significant issues related to the activities or interests of the Forum to the attention of the Council by way of the Council Steering Committee.
  7. Duties of the Forum Representative to POPA. The Forum Representative to POPA shall serve as a regular voting member of the Panel on Public Affairs. In this capacity he/she will be the liaison between POPA and the Executive Committee of the Forum, informing the Executive Committee of POPA actions of special interest to the Forum, and informing POPA of Forum activities of special interest to POPA.

ARTICLE VII – ELECTION AND TENURE OF THE OFFICERS, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS, FORUM COUNCILLOR AND FORUM REPRESENTATIVE TO POPA

  1. Qualifications. Officers and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee must be members of the Forum for at least one year prior to nomination.
  2. Ballot. The Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Forum Councilor, Forum Representative to POPA, and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall be elected as hereafter provided. Votes of the entire membership in such elections, or in other matters requiring approval of the entire membership, may be by mail ballot, or by electronic ballot, or by some combination of mail and electronic balloting, as the Executive Committee shall specify when the election is announced. When a vote by the Executive Committee on election procedures, or on other matters requiring approval of the Executive Committee, is needed at a time when the Executive Committee is not meeting, the Chair shall poll the Executive Committee by mail Ballot, or by electronic ballot, or by voice vote in a telephone or video conference, or by some combination of these balloting procedures, as the Chair shall specify and announce to the Executive Committee in advance of the vote.
  3. Nomination and Election of the Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Executive Committee Members. Each year the Nominating Committee shall nominate at least two candidates for the office of Vice-Chair, and for open positions of Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee also shall nominate at least two candidates for the office of Secretary-Treasurer during the final year of the term of the current Secretary-Treasurer, except that the Nominating Committee may decide not to nominate a second candidate for Secretary-Treasurer when the current Secretary-Treasurer is eligible for re-election. The Nominating Committee shall consult with the Chair before approving the nomination of any candidate for a consecutive term. The Nominating Committee shall notify the Secretary-Treasurer of the results not later than September 15 of each year, except under extraordinary circumstances. Each year the Forum newsletter published following the Regular Meeting shall list the members of the Nominating Committee and shall invite members of the Forum to suggest candidates for open positions to the Chair of the Nominating Committee. If as many as 20 members of the Forum (for at-large offices) and 50 members (for other positions) nominate a member of FPS for office, that person shall be deemed to have been nominated.
    The Secretary-Treasurer shall poll the Forum membership in accordance with Section 2 of this Article, beginning no later than November 1 of each year.. In the case of an election when the Secretary-Treasurer is a candidate for a consecutive term, the election shall be administered by a process determined by the Executive Committee. The Chair shall cast a vote only if there is a tie. Ballots shall be returned to the Secretary-Treasurer or his or her delegate. Election shall be decided by plurality of those voting. The Secretary-Treasurer shall communicate the results of the election to the Chair, to the Editor of the newsletter, the Society Corporate Secretary, the Speaker of the Council and the President at least two weeks before the Regular Meeting.
  4. Nomination and Election of a Forum Councilor. During the final year of the term of the Forum Councilor, the Forum Executive Committee shall nominate at least two candidates for the open position. The election ballot shall contain the names of these candidates, as well as those of other candidates nominated by petition of the membership of the Forum numbering at least five percent of the total number of members determined on 31 December of the year preceding the election. Candidates must have been members of the Society for the four years preceding the nomination and members of the Forum for at least one year prior to the nomination. The Secretary-Treasurer shall poll the Forum membership in accordance with Section 2 of this Article, after specifying the closing date for receipt of ballots. Election shall be by plurality of those voting. If there is a tie, the Executive Committee shall decide the election, with the Chair voting only in the case of a tie among the other Executive Committee members. The Secretary-Treasurer shall communicate the results of the election to the Chair, to the Editor of the newsletter, the Society Corporate Secretary, the Speaker of the Council and to the President before 1 September of the year prior to that in which the new Councilor assumes office and shall publish the results in a manner designated for official announcements.
  5. Nomination and Election of a Forum Representative to POPA. During the final year of the term of the Forum Representative to POPA, the Nominating Committee shall nominate at least two candidates for the open position. The election ballot shall contain the names of these candidates, as well as those of other candidates nominated by petition of the membership of the Forum numbering at least five percent of the total number of members determined on 31 December of the year preceding the election. Candidates must have been members of the Society for the four years preceding the nomination and members of the Forum for at least one year prior to the nomination. The Secretary-Treasurer shall poll the Forum membership in accordance with Section 2 of this Article, after specifying the closing date for receipt of ballots. Election shall be by plurality of those voting. If there is a tie, the Executive Committee shall decide the election, with the Chair voting only in the case of a tie among the other Executive Committee members. The Secretary-Treasurer shall communicate the results of the election to the Chair, to the Editor of the newsletter, the Society Corporate Secretary, the Speaker of the Council and to the President before 1 September of the year prior to that in which the new Forum Representative to POPA assumes office and shall publish the results in a manner designated for official announcements.
  6. Official Year. The official year shall extend for one calendar year (from January 1 to December 31).
  7. Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Chair. The member elected as Vice-Chair shall serve in that office for one year, then for one year as Chair-Elect, and then for one year as Chair. The Chair shall not be eligible for the office of Vice-Chair in the year following his or her term of office.
  8. Terms of Office. The terms of office of the Officers and Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall begin on January 1 following their election. The Secretary-Treasurer shall serve for a term of three years and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Following the election of the next Secretary-Treasurer, the outgoing Secretary-Treasurer will serve for one year as a non-voting member of the Executive Committee for one additional year, as Secretary-Treasurer-Mentor, to assist the newly elected Secretary-Treasurer in learning the responsibilities of the position and procedures of the Forum. The tenure of a Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee shall terminate in the event of his or her assumption of a post as an elected Officer of the Forum, and the unexpired portion of his or her term shall be filled as hereinafter provided for a vacancy. The term of office of the Forum Councilor shall begin at the beginning of the calendar year following his or her election. The Forum Councilor shall serve for a term of four years and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The term of office of the POPA Forum Representative shall begin at the beginning of the calendar year following his or her election. The POPA Forum Representative shall serve for a term of three years and may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
  9. Vacancies in Offices. (a) If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair but not in the office of Chair-Elect or Vice-Chair, the Chair-Elect shall succeed and complete the term and shall serve as Chair the following year. The Vice-Chair shall serve simultaneously as Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect during the remainder of the term and shall serve as Chair-Elect the following year. In the next scheduled election candidates for Vice-Chair shall be nominated, as usual. (b) If a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair-Elect but not in the office of Chair or Vice-Chair, the Vice-Chair shall serve simultaneously as Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect during the remainder of the term and shall serve as Chair the following year. In the next scheduled election candidates for both Chair-Elect and Vice-Chair shall be nominated. (c) In either of the eventualities (a) or (b) the Vice-Chair, when also serving as Chair-Elect, may request to be relieved of his/her Vice-Chair responsibilities. Upon such request the Chair--with the approval of the Executive Committee who shall be polled—shall appoint a member of the Executive Committee to assume the duties of the Vice-Chair for the remainder of the term. (d) If during a term there should be vacancies in two of the Chair, Chair-Elect and Vice-Chair offices, then the third of these officers shall serve as Chair and complete the term. In this event a special election shall be held to fill the offices of Chair-Elect and Vice-Chair. The members so elected shall continue to serve as officers in the normal succession order. In the next regularly scheduled election, candidates for Vice-Chair shall be nominated, as usual. During the period before the special election, when there is a Chair but the positions of Chair-Elect and Vice-Chair are vacant, the Chair--with the approval of the Executive Committee, who shall be polled--may appoint members of the Executive Committee to temporarily assume the duties of the Chair-Elect and/or the Vice-Chair until the officers chosen in the special election can assume their duties. (e) Until such time as they shall be filled by regular election procedures, vacancies other than those listed in subsections (a)-(d) above may be left unfilled, or in the alternative may be temporarily filled by the Chair with the approval of the Executive Committee, who shall be polled.

ARTICLE VIII – APPOINTED COMMITTEES

  1. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the Chair to staggered two-year terms and one member appointed by the APS for a one-year term.  The Chair shall ascertain the identity of this member through the Society Corporate Secretary. It may be chaired by the Chair, if he or she so desires. If the Chair does not wish to chair the Nominating Committee, the Chair shall then select another member of the Executive Committee to be the Chair of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall prepare slates of candidates in accordance with Articles VII.3 and VII.5 of these Bylaws.
  2. Program Committee. The Program Committee shall consist of four members appointed by the Chair, at least two of whom shall have prior experience on the committee, and the Chair-Elect, who shall chair the Program Committee. The Program Committee shall assist the Society Director of Meetings, or his or her designate, in arranging sessions of invited papers sponsored by the Forum at meetings of the Society. It shall cooperate with the Program Committee of any Division or Topical Group in arranging invited papers at meetings of these units.
  3. Fellowship Committee. The Fellowship Committee shall consist of the Vice-Chair and two members appointed by the Chair to one-year terms. The Vice-Chair shall chair the committee. The Fellowship Committee shall review the qualifications of candidates for Fellowship and shall submit approved nominations to the Society Honors Program Manager.
  4. Awards Committee.  The Awards Committee shall be chaired by a previous FPS Chair, and there will be three additional members appointed by the Chair to one-year terms.  The Awards Committee shall review nominees for the Burton Forum Award and the Leo Szilard Lectureship Award and recommend recipients for each Award to the Society Honors Program Manager.
  5. Editorial Board. The Editorial Board shall consist of members of the Forum selected by the editor of the Newsletter with the approval of the Executive Committee at its annual meeting. Members of the Editorial Board are appointed to renewable three-year terms. The Board shall advise the Editor of the Forum newsletter, Physics and Society. In case of a disagreement between the Editorial Board and the Editor, the Officers of the Forum have authority to make the final decision.
  6. Terms of Office of Appointed Committee Members. The terms of committee members appointed by the incoming Chair shall begin when the Chair assumes office at the beginning of the calendar year.
  7. Ad Hoc Committees. The Chair may appoint other ad hoc committees for renewable one-year terms.

ARTICLE IX – MEETINGS

The Executive Committee may authorize Forum sponsorship of special conferences and workshops, subject to consultation with the Society Director of Meetings and in accordance with the rules and regulations specified in the Society Constitution and Bylaws and associated Policies and Procedures.

ARTICLE X – NEWSLETTER

  1. Editor. The newsletter of the Forum, Physics and Society, shall be managed and edited by an editor who shall be elected by the Executive Committee for a term of three years. At the end of the three-year term, the Executive Committee shall review the performance of the Editor and may choose either to terminate or renew the appointment. If a vacancy for editorship develops, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Search Committee and shall solicit applications for the position by announcement in the newsletter at least twelve weeks before a meeting of the Executive Committee at which the Editor is selected. The Editor shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
  2. Publication and Distribution. The frequency of publication of the newsletter and the number of pages per issue shall be determined by the Executive Committee with the advice of the Secretary-Treasurer, in consultation with the Newsletter Editor. Any member of the Executive Committee may authorize distribution of copies of the newsletter to non-members of the Forum.

ARTICLE XI – STUDIES

The Executive Committee may sponsor studies of topics that will advance the knowledge of the inter-relation of physics and society. The Executive Committee may authorize the use of funds for expenses incurred in such studies. The views expressed in such studies shall be the views of the participants of the study, and are not endorsed by either the Forum or the Society.

ARTICLE XII – PROCEDURE OF AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS

Proposals for Amendment to these Bylaws may be made by the Council, by the Society Governance Committee, by the Executive Committee, or by a petition to the Chair by no fewer than ten percent of the members of the Forum. However initiated, a proposed amendment must be reviewed by the Society Governance Committee and approved by Council before further action is taken. Following Council approval, the Secretary-Treasurer shall distribute copies of the proposed Amendment to all members of the Forum. Voting on the proposed Amendment may be by mail ballot, or by electronic ballot, or by some combination of mail and electronic balloting, as the Executive Committee shall specify. The adoption of the Amendment shall require the affirmative votes of not less than two-thirds of the members voting.