National Society of Black Physicists
The National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) was established in 1977 to promote the professional well-being of African Diaspora physicists and physics students within the international scientific community and the world community at large.
The Society of Black Physicists was inaugurated on Thursday, April 28, 1977 at Morgan State University with Drs. Walter Massey and James Davenport serving respectively as interim president and secretary-treasurer. In 1978 at Morehouse College the Society formally elected its first officers, and later the society was renamed the National Society of Black Physicists. Not long after the 1978 meeting, a Constitution and Bylaws were written which called for the election to two-year terms of the following officers: President, President-Elect/Past- President, Treasurer, Administrative Executive Officer, and Technical Executive Officer.
The organization seeks to develop and support efforts to increase opportunities for African Americans in physics and to increase their numbers and visibility of their scientific work. It also seeks to develop activities and programs that highlight and enhance the benefits of the scientific contributions that African American physicists provide for the international community. The society seeks to raise the general knowledge and appreciation of physics in the African American community.
NSBP has an active Pre-college Programs Committee that participates in outreach events at local elementary schools in tandem with NSBP's annual conference.
The organization holds its annual conference in February. More recently, it has jointly held these conferences with the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. Attendance at these conferences is upwards of 500 persons, drawing people from all over the world, from Kenya to California. This conference has a cutting-edge scientific program as well as a student professional development program that includes mentor-protégé match-making and a recruiting fair.
Throughout its history NSBP has had an active interest in physics related activities outside of the United States. Twenty years ago under the leadership of the late Nobel Laureate, Abdus Salam, and the late Charles Brown, several NSBP members organized the Edward Bouchet-Abdus Salam Institute (EBASI). EBASI (1) provides mechanisms for synergistic scientific and technical collaborations between African and American physical scientists, engineers, and technologists, (2) enhances the impact of science and technology on the sustainable development of the countries on the African continent, and (3) increases the technical manpower pool working in Africa today by facilitating the training of Ph.D. students from African universities. More recently, through a program funded by the Kellogg Foundation NSBP will assist South Africa in its efforts to increase the number of Black astronomers and astrophysicists and to build capacity in the field.