TPT 50th Anniversity book - page 21

and APS meetings, inviting them to send
us manuscripts they thought would interest
persons teaching the first course. When we
learned that Richard Feynman had given a
characteristically inspiring talk at an NSTA
meeting and asked if we could publish it,
he agreed, and Helen Johnston quickly
transcribed it from a noisy audiotape. The
Feynman article would be the lead but we
didn’t have a cover, so we drafted several of our
children for a photo that matched Feynman’s
theme, the virtue of careful observation of the
natural world. We hoped that by featuring a
piece by Feynman, others might consider
as a good vehicle to highlight their work. We
also cooperated with Bill Aldridge, a leader in
the two-year college physics community, and
others to solicit manuscripts from potential
writers across all levels of physics teaching.
Our manuscript backlog slowly increased and
operations soon became stable, but we
often improvised.
We had plenty of assistance in those
early years from Stony Brook faculty who
volunteered as reviewers, from Herb Gottlieb,
an outstanding New York City physics teacher
who wrote the
“Apparatus” column,
and from Mario Iona who wrote a column
on misconceptions in physics. We were
also fortunate to have several graduate and
undergraduate students around who would
become leaders in the educational community.
They included Gerry Wheeler, who would
become a physics professor and executive
officer of NSTA, Arthur Eisenkraft, who would
become a professor of science education and
president of NSTA, and Marilyn Decker, later
to become Boston’s science supervisor. Stony
Brook physicist Arnold Strassenburg was
serving as AAPT executive officer with an
office at Stony Brook, and we had the benefit
of his administrative assistance and insights in
all matters connected to physics education.
I left
in 1971 to accept a one-year
appointment as an NSF program manager,
returning to Stony Brook’s faculty in 1972 to
serve as Arnold Strassenburg’s staff physicist
in the AAPT Executive Office, located close to
the campus. Thomas Miner, who had retired
from his position as one of the nation’s finest
high school teachers, became
’s associate
editor. (Well before the physics community’s
push to increase the number of women and
girls enrolled in physics courses, Tom had
created an optional all-girl section of physics
at Garden City High School on Long Island that
was remarkably successful, and he brought
those insights to
.) By then, I was full time
in the physics department, but my office was
next to Cliff ’s and
and I was able to keep
in touch with the journal’s progress. Cliff had
brought the layout and design function back to
the Stony Brook office from AIP, where it was
managed first by Naida Dewey and later by
Arthlyn Ferguson.
The five-year tour as associate editor was
a wonderful experience for me. Cliff Swartz
was an extraordinary teacher and editor with
a mile-wide creative streak. His boundless
energy and imagination established
as a highly regarded journal in the physics
community. Not long afterward, I became
editor of NSTA’s
Journal of College Science
, where for nearly 30 years I would
apply the lessons I learned from Cliff and other
AAPT stalwarts. Much of whatever success I
had in that position, I owe to them and to that
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