20 August 2003




To: Marc H. Brodsky

Executive Director and CEO

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse

College Park, Maryland 20740


Dear Dr. Brodsky:


We are physicists and science educators with a strong interest in physics education.  Last winter we formed a group to read Jeff Schmidt’s book Disciplined Minds via e-mail.  Some of us were able to meet in Austin, Texas, last January at the American Association of Physics Teachers national meeting to continue our discussion of the book.  The conversation that ensued went into the early hours of the morning.  Because our conversations about the book were so valuable we are pleased to host Dr. Schmidt for an invited talk at the AAPT meeting next January in Miami, Florida.


Schmidt's book has been a significant resource and has informed our thinking about physics education.  We are thankful that we were able to hear his ideas.  That is why it was so distressing to learn that his expression of those ideas cost him his job.


On your website you state, “Our goal is to keep our readers informed about science and its place in the world.  We do this not only with our authoritative feature articles, news stories, and analyses, but also by providing a lively forum for the exchange of ideas.”  Disciplined Minds provides a necessary and insightful perspective about science and its place in the world.  It is precisely the kind of activity the magazine's mission claims to support.


We urge you to reconsider your decision, and offer to reinstate Dr. Schmidt as an editor at Physics Today.  Although some time has passed since his dismissal, it is our understanding that he would still like his job back.  Our community will only benefit by allowing free debate.  Since Physics Today is the “flagship publication of the American Institute of Physics” we need you to encourage this debate.




Melissa Dancy, Ph.D.

Western Carolina University


David May, Ph.D.

University of Maryland


Peter Kindfield, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Science Education, CCNY


Noah Finkelstein, Ph.D.


Apriel K. Hodari, Ph.D.


Seth Rosenberg, Ph.D.



Sanjoy Mahajan, Ph.D.

University of Cambridge, England


Andy Johnson, Ph.D.

Black Hills State University


Laura Lising, Ph.D.

Towson University