DPP Starts Fusion Long Range Planning Process

November 16, 2018

Recently, the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences Acting Director Jim Van Dam announced that a new long range planning activity would be launched (FPN18-49). He stated he had requested the American Physical Society (APS) "Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) Executive Committee to help with the organization of the community-led activities. We want the community to be truly involved in this long-term planning process. We are grateful that the DPP leadership are willing to provide this valuable sponsorship of the community-driven first phase," he said.

The DPP Executive Committee chair has now sent the following message to DPP members on November 16:

Dear DPP Community,

As many of you have heard through some of the town hall meetings at the DPP Conference or through an email from DOE-FES, DPP has been asked to help start a Long Range Strategic Planning process.

This was originally proposed by a variety of plasma community groups but has most recently been requested by DOE-FES in order to get community input for an expected FESAC charge to undertake Long Range Strategic Planning for the entire DOE-FES portfolio. The DPP Executive Committee formally agreed to help facilitate this process in the following way: a subcommittee of the DPP Executive Committee (FĂ©licie Albert, Tammy Ma, Michael Brown, Saskia Mordijck Amitava Bhattacharjee, and David Newman) will, with extensive community input, choose the ~6 leaders of the process. Those leaders will then (again with community input) choose ~20-30 organizational program committee members and will submit those names to the DPP Executive Committee subcommittee for ratification. At that point the process will be in the hands of the community (DPP and DOE will not be prescriptive in how the process is organized though presumably past experiences both in our community and in other communities such as High Energy and Nuclear Physics will be incorporated) with the end product for input to the FESAC panel expected in the winter 2020 timeframe. This is an exciting, if daunting, opportunity for us which hopefully will be regularly repeated (with a longer time frame) as we move forward into the future.

This message is a request for input (recommendations) from the community for the ~ 6 leaders of the process. The criteria we will be looking for, first and foremost, is the ability to lead this process in an inclusive manner working collaboratively with the other leaders while encouraging the rest of the community to participate and recognize that their voices are being heard. Experience in leading community efforts will also be an important factor. Next, we will be looking for diversity in this leadership group. That diversity should if possible include topical (spanning the FES portfolio), gender, institutional (lab/university etc.), and seniority (early career, mid-career, and senior). We recognize that getting this full spectrum in a group of ~6 might be difficult but we will do the best we can with the input from the community.

The form of the input should be email messages to us (route them through me, denewman@alaska.edu, and I will distribute them to the entire sub-committee) that include the name, affiliation and email of the person you are recommending, the topical area of that person and a brief statement (probably no more then a paragraph) describing why you think this person is appropriate for this role, particularly their ability to lead a rather time-constrained process in the inclusive manner described above.

Keep in mind that there are many of us in the community who have strong views about the direction the program should be taking. If those people want their views heard, this leadership group is probably not the correct form of participation for them. The organizational program committee (to be selected after the leadership group is formed and after the DOE FESAC charge is released) is likely a better fit, or just active participation in one of the working groups likely to be formed by the organizational program committee. Because of the time constraints, we are aiming at having the leadership group formed by the time of the next FESAC meeting in early December (when the charge is likely to be released) so please provide names by November 26.

Yours truly,

David Newman
Chair of APS DPP and member of the selection subcommittee