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60 years of strengthening physics in Australia

28 Feb 2023 1:21 PM | Anonymous

Over the past 60 years, the AIP, through its Council, Executive, committees, groups and branches, has been a staunch advocate of physics in Australia, including responding to governmental issues or other pressing national concerns.

Recent examples include efforts to pivot to ethical banking and drafting a new diversity and inclusion statement.

It continues to seek the provision of world-standard national research facilities and funding, and learning, such as the recent review the Australian Research Council Act, comments on changes to the school science syllabus, and advocating for the independence of the ARC at a Senate inquiry.

The AIP was established on 21 February 1963, evolving from the Australian Branch of the Institute of Physics (IOP) in the UK.

Almost 500 members of the IOP had their membership moved to the AIP, providing the new Institute with a solid foundation for establishing itself as a separate entity; with the assets of the Australian Branch of the IOP transferred to the AIP. Today, nine of those original members are still active members of AIP.

The Australian Physics magazine began in 1964, and continues to be a forum for the AIP and its members to explore advances in physics and connect with the physics community.

The AIP commenced its own congresses in 1974 – these have been held biennially ever since, except for two interruptions: industrial issues in the aviation industry and the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view the program and abstracts from 1974 and also see our most recent program from 2022 online.

The inaugural AIP Council was:

  • Professor Leonard Huxley (President) – later Sir
  • Mr Frederick Lehany (Vice-President) 
  • Mr George Bell (Hon. Treasurer)
  • Dr John Dryden (Hon. Registrar)
  • Mr Arthur Harper (Hon. Secretary) – became Honorary Fellow
  • Professor John Jaeger (Chair, ACT Branch)
  • Dr Guy White (Chair, NSW Branch)
  • Dr Ralph Parsons (Chair, Queensland Branch)
  • Dr Francis Wood (Chair, SA Branch)
  • Dr Brian Spicer (Chair Victorian Branch) – became Honorary Fellow
  • Mr RW Stanford (Chair WA Branch)

The Tasmanian branch was formed subsequently.

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