Photos of the Month - March 2019
Audrey Lengel, Photo Archivist
A baby’s first step. A student’s first-ever physics course. The first African American woman to earn a PhD in Physics. This first-of-its-kind peer-review. The first March for Science. Whether personal, professional, or institutional, firsts are meaningful in a variety of ways. A first can be a vital initial move towards a systematic change. A first is often hard-fought and takes time, energy, and care to navigate. A first is a signifier to the world that something is possible, and an encouragement for more of the same.
Last month, one of our featured photos was of meteorologist Joanne Simpson, who served as the first female president of the American Meteorological Society in 1989. Our professional organizations and societies are reflections of our participation in a specific field, and the people who serve as leaders of these organizations help to set policies and make decisions that affect our fields. This month, we’re featuring more photos than usual, to highlight the ten scientists who were the first women to be the presidents of AIP’s ten member societies. These ten women were trailblazers both in their organizations and in physics history.
- Jean Bennett - The Optical Society President, 1986
- E. Margaret Burbidge – American Astronomical Society President, 1976-1978
- Dorothy M. Hoffman – 1974, AVS President (and first female president of a technical society in the U.S.)
- Patricia K. Kuhl – Acoustical Society of America President, 1999-2000
- Susan J. Muller – Society of Rheology President, 2003-2005
- Melba Phillips – American Association of Physics Teachers President, 1966-1967
- Joanne Simpson - American Meteorological Society President, 1989
- Elizabeth Wood – American Crystallographic Association President, 1957
- Ann E. Wright – American Association of Physicists in Medicine President, 1982
- Chien-Shiung Wu - American Physical Society President, 1975