Big Push for GGR Membership Deadline January 1

Dear GGR members,

This is it! We have until January 1 to make it to division status. This is one of those every person counts situations. Please make sure that everyone you know who should be a member is a member of GGR. The good news is that we will stop bugging everyone once we have made the leap! If you are looking for arguments to make on behalf of joining, see below for Beverley’s nice summary.

Thank you and enjoy your holidays,
GGR Chair

Join or update your membership with the Topical Group in Gravitation

Why you? Why now?

The Topical Group in Gravitation (GGR) is part of the American Physical Society (APS) so why do we ask you to join?

  1. APS and GGR welcome international members and already have many
  2. Some day, you may take up a position in the US
  3. This is an opportunity for you to help GGR at no cost and with very little effort

Are you interested in the future of gravitational wave research? Upgrades to Advanced LIGO? New 3rd generation instruments? A detector in space? How can we make this future happen? Do you wonder how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics? While many of the problems are well known, the solutions have proven elusive. How can we ensure research on this topic remains vibrant?

Gravitational physics includes a broad range of topics from the big science of gravitational wave detection to the small science of theoretical research in relativistic astrophysics theory, mathematical relativity, and quantum gravity and laboratory-based precision tests of general relativity.

In the near future, we expect Advanced LIGO to catch our first glimpse of the gravitational wave sky while a theoretical or computation breakthrough could occur at any time.

The next generation of gravitational wave detectors will require more than the creativity and dedication of the gravitational wave community and the excitement of the first detections. The future of this aspect of our field is in the realm of “big science” — where there is always a political component. However, we must not neglect the political components of the “small science” aspects of gravitational physics. Where is that future without funding for students and postdocs?

The American Physical Society (APS), founded in 1899, strives to be the leading voice for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity. One of APS’s many activities to support physics is to promote the importance of physics research to the government and the importance and excitement of physics to the public. But how does APS know what is important and exciting?

The Topical Group in Gravitation (GGR), one of the many units in APS, represents the gravitational physics community within APS and can speak for the field to APS and to the larger world. But, as a “topical group”, we are less influential than we need to be. To take our place along with the Divisions of Astrophysics, Particles and Fields, and Computational Physics, we should become a Division, too.

In its 20-year history, GGR has instituted many benefits for gravitational physics including raising funds to establish the APS Einstein Prize to recognize outstanding achievements in gravitational physics, student travel awards to the APS April Meeting, and best-student-talk awards at the regional gravity meetings. GGR is the only APS unit to include two students with voting privileges on its Executive Committee. APS members can submit abstracts for talks or posters at APS meetings. In fact, an APS member can organize an entire “focus” session on a topic of interest, providing an excellent opportunity for young scientists to increase their visibility in the broader scientific community.

For a topical group to become a division, its membership must equal or exceed 3% of the total APS membership in January of two successive years. We achieved one year of this milestone in January 2015 with 3.07%. However, this narrow margin means that the second year requires new GGR members. If you are now a member, please continue in GGR. If you are not a member, please join now — your membership will make a difference!

How to Join:

Students may join APS for $0 dues the first year and reduced dues of $35 per year while they remain students. They may also join two topical groups and/or divisions for free. See all student benefits and how to join on the APS website.

GGR is pleased to extend to all new members a waiver of the GGR dues of $8 for the first year. Note: The GGR dues are a supplement to the APS dues. To obtain this waiver, send an email expressing your wish to join to Deirdre Shoemaker ( If you prefer to join on your own, please see the panel on the right under “Quick Links”.

If you completed your degree within the past 12 months, you are eligible for the Early Career APS membership for 5 years with reduced dues of $71 per year.