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Papers of Brian Schwartz, 1966-1977

Description of Collection


American Institute of Physics. Center for History of Physics.

College Park, MD 20740

Papers created by

Schwartz, Brian B., 1938-

Size of collection

2.5 linear feet in 5 manuscript boxes and 1 oversized folder

Short description of collection

This collection documents the creation and early operations of the Committee on Problems of Physics and Society and the Forum on Physics and Society. It also covers Brian Schwartz's collection of materials related to the science job market and the relationship between science and the defense industry.

Language(s) of collection


Biography of Brian Schwartz

Brian Schwartz was born on April 15, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York. He was married in 1961 to Teri B. Geller and has two children. Schwartz received his B.S. in 1959 from the City College of New York and his Ph.D. in physics in 1963 from Brown University.

Schwartz began his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the leader of the Theoretical Physics Group at the National Magnet Lab from 1965 until 1977. At MIT, Schwartz was as an associate professor of physics from 1969 till 1974. Since 1977, he has been a professor at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. His specialty is theoretical solid state physics. Schwartz has performed research in the following areas: low temperature physics, superconductivity, type II superconductors, Josephson junctions, the response of ferromagnetic metals, and the many-body problem. Schwartz has also been very active studying scientific manpower projections and utilization and physics education.

As a member of the American Physical Society, Schwartz was considered a radical in the 1960s and 1970s. In January 1969, Schwartz started a petition at an APS meeting for the creation of a new division within the APS that would deal with the relationship between physics and society. As a result, the Committee on the Problems of Physics and Society (CPPS) was created in 1969 and the Forum on Physics and Society (FPS) was subsequently set up in 1972. As one of the founding members of the FPS, Schwartz was in charge of setting up the first Forum panels at APS meetings. Schwartz later became the ninth chair of the Forum for 1980 and 1981. He was also an active member in the Subcommittee on Professional Concerns.

Schwartz has since been involved in other parts of the APS. He served as the APS Education Officer between 1987 and 1994 and as APS Associate Executive Secretary from 1991 till 1994. He is also a member of the American Associate for the Advancement of Science and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Scope and Contents of Collection

This collection documents political activity among physicists in the American Physical Society during the Vietnam War era. It is divided into two distinct but related sections that span from 1966 to 1977. The collection contains correspondence, petitions, newsletters, newspaper and journal clippings, fliers, and publications. The first section documents the Committee for the Problems of Physics and Society (CPPS) and the Forum on Physics and Society (FPS). The series on the CPPS documents its creation, its early operations, its programming subcommittee, and its involvement in APS meetings. The series on the FPS explains its creation, its operations, and its involvement in APS meetings and it awards. Important correspondents are Barry Casper, William Havens, Jay Orear, Martin Perl, and Edward Purcell.

The second section is comprised of materials collected by Schwartz as a result of his interests in the lack of science jobs versus the high graduation numbers of new Ph.D.s, and the relationship between science and the defense industry. His interest in the science job market is reflected in materials from the Subcommittee on Professional Concerns and plans for several symposia. Schwartz's materials on science and the defense industry involve protests, publications and activist groups.

Restrictions on Use and Access

No restrictions.

Use of primary source material in the Niels Bohr Library requires prior approval through an Application for Access, which includes a statement of research purpose and the names and addresses of two scholars as references. Access applications can be obtained by contacting the Library (telephone 301-209-3177; or e-mail The application can also be printed from our website.

Selected Search Terms

These papers have been indexed in the International Catalog of Sources for History of Physics and Allied Sciences (ICOS) using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.


Casper, Barry M.
Havens, William W.
Orear, Jay.
Perl, Martin L., 1927-
Purcell, Edward M.


American Physical Society.
Committee on Problems of Physics and Society.
Forum on Physics and Society.
Subcommittee on Professional Concerns.

Subject terms

Cold War.
Environmental protection.
Nuclear disarmament.
Nuclear weapons.
Physics -- Employment.
Scientists -- Political activity -- United States.
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975.

Genre terms


Organization of Collection

This collection has been organized into four series: I. Committee for the Problems of Physics and Society; II. Forum on Physics and Society; III. Science Job Market; IV. Science and Defense Research.

Arrangement of Collection

The documents in this collection have been arranged chronologically by date. In the case of correspondence, when there was more than one item per date, the documents were arranged alphabetically by recipient. Newspaper clippings were arranged alphabetically by title when there was more than one clipping for a date.

Material Separated from Collection

Two photographs were removed from the collection and placed in the Emilio Sègrè Visual Archives. Photocopies of the photographs remain with the collection.

Provenance and Acquisition Information

The papers were donated by Patrick Catt from the American Physical Society to the American Institute of Physics in 1999.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Heather McBride in October 2000.

Duplicate materials were removed from the collection. Paper clips and staples were removed from the documents and in some cases replaced with archival quality paper clips. Brittle materials and newspaper articles were photocopied onto acid-free paper and the originals were removed from the collection. All materials were rehoused in archival quality, acid-free folders and boxes. All notations made by the processor to assist with identification were made in pencil and enclosed in brackets. All other notations were previously on the documents in the collection when it was received.

Related Collections

  • American Physical Society. Additions to records, 1943-1989.
  • American Physical Society. Records, 1899-1987.
  • Schwartz, Charles Leon, 1931-. Oral history interview with Charles Leon Schwartz, 1995 July 19.

Administrative Information


Finding Aid to the Papers of Brian Schwartz, 1966-1977


This finding aid has been encoded by the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics as part of a collaborative project supported by a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities, an independent federal agency. Collaboration members in 1999 consisted of: American Institute of Physics, California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Rice University, University of Alaska, University of Illinois, and University of Texas.


American Institute of Physics.
Center for History of Physics.

One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740

Published in 2001

Encoding Information

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD v.1.0 by Clay Redding on January 22, 2001 from an existing finding aid using NoteTab Pro and C++ scripts created by James P. Tranowski (provided by Elizabeth Dow, Special Collections, University of Vermont). Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process. Reviewed by K. Hayes on January 22, 2001 .

Series Descriptions

Series I. Committee on the Problems of Physics and Society

This series contains information on the creation of the CPPS and several APS meetings. It contains the petitions for the creation of the CPPS, minutes of CPPS meetings and reports from the program subcommittee.

Series II. Forum on Physics and Society

This series contains information about the creation of the FPS, the operations of the Forum, planning for APS meetings, nominations for offices in the Forum and the Leo Szilard Awards. It contains such items as the Bylaws of the Forum, the correspondence setting up its original members and offices, newsletters and correspondence with speakers at APS meetings.

Series III. Science Job Market

Subseries A. Newspaper Clippings and Papers

This subseries contains newspaper clippings pertaining to the depressed job market for scientists and engineers.

Subseries B. Lectures

This subseries contains material related to lectures Schwartz gave at Penn State University, for the American Chemical Society and some undated materials.

Subseries C. Correspondence

This subseries contains information on the Subcommittee on Professional Concerns, the American Chemical Society Committee on Professionalism, conferences at Penn State University, and the activities of MIT Junior Faculty. There are also papers written by Schwartz, plans for a manpower symposium at MIT, correspondence relating to other symposia, and an assistant professor survey from the Subcommittee on Professional Concerns.

Subseries D. Posters

This subseries contains two oversize posters advertising lectures on the science job market from 1970 and 1975.

Series IV. Science and Defense Research

Subseries A. Newspaper Clippings and Fliers

This subseries contains newspaper clippings pertaining to the ABM projects and other scientific and defense related concerns that affected the profession and society at large. There are also clippings related to activism at MIT in opposition to defense research. Groups and events such as Science Action Coordinating Committee (SACC), Scientists and Engineers for Social and Political Actions (SESPA) and the March 4 research stoppage at MIT are represented.

Subseries B. Publications and Papers

This subseries contains publications and papers (some by Brian Schwartz) pertaining to science and defense research. Some were published by SESPA. There are also SACC newsletters and Center for Science in the Public Interest newsletters.

Subseries C. Correspondence

This subseries contains correspondence pertaining to Congressional Hearings on ABMs, the March 4 MIT research stoppage and various activist groups.

Container List

Series I. Committee on the Problems of Physics and Society

Box 1 Folder 1 Correspondence January 1969-September 1969
Folder 2 Correspondence October 1969- December 1969
Folder 3 Correspondence 1970
Folder 4 Correspondence 1971

Series II. Forum on Physics and Society

Box 1 Folder 5 Correspondence 1971
Folder 6 Correspondence January-March 1972
Folder 7 Correspondence April-June 1972
Folder 8 Correspondence July-September 1972
Folder 9 Correspondence October-December 1972
Box 2 Folder 1 Correspondence January-April 1973
Folder 2 Correspondence May-December 1973
Folder 3 Correspondence January 1974
Folder 4 Correspondence February-June 1974
Folder 5 Correspondence July-September 1974
Folder 6 Correspondence October 1974
Folder 7 Correspondence November-December 1974
Folder 8 Correspondence 1975
Box 3 Folder 1 Correspondence- 1976-1977

Series III. Science Job Market

Subseries A. Newspaper Clippings and Papers

Box 3 Folder 2 Newspaper Clippings and Papers 1966-1969
Folder 3 Newspaper Clippings and Papers 1970
Folder 4 Newspaper Clippings and Papers 1971
Folder 5 Newspaper Clippings and Papers 1972-1976

Subseries B. Lectures

Box 3 Folder 6 Lectures 1971-1974

Subseries C. Correspondence

Box 3 Folder 7 Correspondence 1969-February 1970
Folder 8 Correspondence March-December 1970
Box 4 Folder 1 Correspondence 1971
Folder 2 Correspondence 1972
Folder 3 Correspondence 1973
Folder 4 Correspondence 1974-1975
Folder 5 Correspondence 1976
Folder 6 Correspondence 1977

Subseries D. Posters

Oversize folder Two (2) posters advertising lectures on science job market, 1970; 1975

Series IV. Science and Defense Research

Subseries A. Newspaper Clippings and Fliers

Box 4 Folder 7 Newspaper Clippings and Fliers 1967-February 1969
Folder 8 Newspaper Clippings and Fliers March-April 1969
Folder 9 Newspaper Clippings and Fliers May-December 1969
Box 5 Folder 1 Newspaper Clippings and Fliers 1970-1973

Subseries B. Publications and Papers

Box 5 Folder 2 Publications and Papers 1967-1969
Folder 3 Publications and Papers 1970-1973
Folder 4 Publications and Papers 1974-1976

Subseries C. Correspondence

Box 5 Folder 5 Correspondence 1968-February 1969
Folder 6 Correspondence March-December 1969
Folder 7 Correspondence 1970-1975
Oversize folder Correspondence