Argonne's J. Murray Gibson to lead AAAS Physics Section

March 26, 2010

ARGONNE, Ill. — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory ‘s Associate Laboratory Director J. Murray Gibson has been elected chair of the Physics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Gibson is responsible for the laboratory's Photon Sciences programs and serves as director of the Advanced Photon Source, the brightest source of X-rays in the western hemisphere. The APS is used to study the structures of materials and processes at the atomic scale. It is also serves the largest number of scientific users of any facility in North America, with 3,500 users visiting each year.

"AAAS is the pre-eminent society worldwide for advancing the public's perception of science," Gibson said. "I hope to explore innovative routes to raise awareness of the need for scientific research to address sustainable energy, water and health, and to excite young people to enter these fields." The section chair also plays a role in ensuring that outstanding candidates are elected as fellows of AAAS.

He will serve one year as chair-elect, and begin his chairmanship after the AAAS meeting in 2011. After one year as chairman, he will serve an additional year on the executive committee.  The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more. AAAS seeks to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people."

AAAS has nearly 120,000 individual and institutional members and 262 affiliates, serving 10 million scientists in fields ranging from plant biology to dentistry.

The association's 24 sections correspond to fields of interest among AAAS members, from specific fields like physics, biology and chemistry to general interest in science. The sections arrange symposia for the Annual Meeting, elect officers and provide expertise for association-wide projects.

Gibson joined Argonne in 1998 as director of the Materials Science Division. He led Argonne's initial efforts in nanoscience, which eventually led to the establishment of the Center for Nanoscale Materials. He was appointed to his current position in 2001. Gibson's research, focused on the use of innovative electron diffraction techniques in the study of materials physics in thin films and supported by the DOE Office of Science, has resulted in more than 180 journal papers and 120 invited presentations at conferences.