Dear {Contact_First_Name},

It is shocking that the ARC declared a sizeable number of Future and DECRA applications ineligible since they cited pre-prints in their project section. What is the rationale behind such a rule?

The people in question aimed to supply the assessors with the proper background for their proposal and give other scientists due credit.

This rule is not in line with our publication culture and punishes proper behaviour.

The AIP posted a statement and coordinated a submission to the ARC together with physics departments and other professional bodies such as the Australian Astronomical Society, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and the Australian Mathematical Society.

On a brighter note, several prize-winners in physics were announced recently.

Congratulations to Professor Eric May, who was named Scientist of the Year at the 2021 WA Premier's Science Awards ceremony.

Congratulations also to the winners of the 2019 and 2020 Walter Boas and Bragg Gold Medals, and the 2018, 2019 and 2020 TH Laby Medals; details are below

Finally, I learnt recently of Dr Ian Bassett’s passing. He was a friend and colleague to many and will be greatly missed.  The AIP extends its condolences to his family and friends.

Kind regards,

Sven Rogge
President, Australian Institute of Physics


ARC eligibility concerns

Fifteen DECRA applications and 17 Future Fellowship applications were ruled ineligible in this round because they cited preprints such as arXiv papers.

“If you rip [money] out of physics, that’s bad to begin with. But doing it at the point where we have early career researchers establishing themselves is the worst thing you can do,” said Sven Rogge in an article by The Times Higher Education: Toll of ARC’s preprints rule revealed. Fears for physics pipeline, as 32 researchers relinquish up to $22m for citing preprints.

On behalf of the Australian physics, astronomy, chemistry and mathematics communities, the AIP, ASA, RACI and AustMS coordinated a letter to the Australian Research Council to protest the ruling.

The issue has also been reported by various media outlets including The Guardian.


AIP awards announcement

Galactic archaeology, pulsed hydrogen plasmas and a world-first demonstration of quantum information processing with single spins in silicon are among the work of the winners of the 2019 and 2020 Walter Boas Medals, 2019 and 2020 Bragg Gold Medals and 2018, 2019 and 2020 TH Laby Medals.

Read about all the winners here.


From physics undergrad to vet #PhysicsGotMeHere

Hannah Edwards is a vet at the Benetook Vet Clinic.

After a physics honours year she transferred to veterinary medicine. She was able to apply all the skills she learned through her undergraduate physics degree, from analytical thinking and problem solving to scientific writing and the constantly-dreaded group work.

Read Hannah’s story and find more hidden physicists here.


Vale Dr Ian Bassett

It is with great regret that we are informing you that colleague and friend Ian Bassett (one of the founders of the Optical Fibre Technology Centre, AIP Secretary from 1985-1989, and winner of the inaugural Alan Walsh Medal for Service to Industry) passed away on 26 August after a short illness.

Two of Ian’s colleagues, Simon Fleming and Martijn de Sterke, have shared with us a few words, you can read them here.



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        Australian physics in the news

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        • New Dark Matter Detector Records Rare, High-Frequency Events (Gizmodo)
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        • Genius lair: Australia’s dark matter experiment underfoot (Cosmos)


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