Kennedy Reed is a physicist in the Theory Group in the Physics & Advanced Technologies Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He earned his B.S. at Monmouth College in Illinois, and his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska. Prior to his employment at LLNL he was a professor of physics at Morehouse College, in Atlanta, GA.
Reed’s research has been connected with various aspects of atomic collision theory. His early work at LLNL involved theoretical studies of ion – atom collisions, and was connected with LLNL experiments on these collisions. Later he became involved with investigations of atomic processes in high temperature plasmas, and focused primarily on electron collisions with positive ions. His work in this area contributed to new understanding of the role of indirect processes in electron - impact excitation and ionization of highly charged heavy ions. He has over 100 publications on his research.
Reed has been a visiting scientist at the Hahn Meitner Institute in Germany and at University College London in the U.K.. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists, a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the Optical Society of America. He has served on review panels for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Research Council; and has also served on external advisory boards for research centers at several universities.
Kennedy has been very active in national programs that promote minority participation in physics. He was a co-founder of the National Physical Science Consortium - a national coalition of corporations, national laboratories and universities - which provides fellowships for women and minority students pursuing graduate studies in the physical sciences. He has been President of the National Society of Black Physicists, and currently is Chair of the Scholarship Committee for that organization. He has served on the APS Committee on Minorities in Physics; and as Chair of the APS Bouchet Prize Committee. He is the Director the LLNL Research Collaborations Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities & Other Minority Institutions. (HBCUs & MIs); and he is an Associate Director for Education and Outreach at the NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at University of California, Davis.
In 1997 and 1999 Reed was a visiting scientist at University Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, and at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana – under the auspices of the Visiting Scholars Program of the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste. He has presented scientific lectures at universities in a number of other African countries, and has organized international conferences and workshops connected with physics in Africa. He has been Vice Chair of the APS Committee on International Scientific Affairs; a member of the APS Task Force on Research Collaborations with Africa; and is the U.S. representative on the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Commission on Physics for Development.
Reed has organized and conducted extensive U.S. visits for African physicists. These visits have included formal meetings and presentations at universities and laboratories throughout the U.S., as well as some high – level meetings in Washington, DC with representatives from agencies such as NSF, USAID, AAS, and NRC. Some of these visits resulted in official agreements for student and faculty exchanges between African universities and universities in the U.S..
In 2003, Reed received the American Physical Society’s John Wheatley Award. He was cited for his work to promote physics research and education in Africa.
The mission of the Forum on International Physics includes fostering cooperation and communication among physicists of all countries. This part of the FIP mission takes on special importance for scientists in developing countries, where participation in the global enterprise of physics can be severely impeded by limited resources and limited access to current scientific information.
A number of outreach efforts that benefit scientists and students in developing regions have been initiated through FIP - including equipment exchanges and programs for exchanging journals and books. FIP members have been active participants in APS involvement with physics in developing countries in many regions of the world including Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. These activities must continue to be encouraged and nurtured.
My own perspective on physics in developing regions has been heavily influenced by my experiences working with physics professors and students in Africa, through the Visiting Scholars Program of the International Center For Theoretical Physics. I was struck by the resourcefulness and dedication of some very knowledgeable professors who tenaciously persist in their efforts to train students and carry out research in their home countries, despite the meager resources available to them. I was also impressed by many of their students, who were very disciplined and eager to learn. Upon returning to the U.S., I began working to bring their efforts and accomplishments to the attention of the American scientific community. For nearly a decade I have continued working with physicists and students in Africa, and linking them with scientists and programs in the U.S. I have also been involved with physics in other developing regions through my work with CISA and with the IUPAP Commission on Physics for Development.
A significant percentage of the physicists in developing countries have been trained in the U.S. or Europe, and I believe that many of them can be contributing partners in collaborations with U.S. scientists. I think that such collaborations can open new channels for them to use their training and talent to address some of the pressing problems confronting developing regions, and also contribute to the advancement of science.
I have been encouraged by a recent rise in activities that facilitate U.S. interactions with physicists in developing regions – including several conferences and workshops held on the African continent. But there is still an urgent need to develop and expand programs that can provide support for building and promoting collaborations. The FIP Travel Grants Awards Program is a mechanism for promoting international scientific collaborations for APS members, and it places priority on collaborations that include partners in developing countries. I would strongly encourage other APS units to join FIP in the Travel Grants Awards Program, as a means of helping to build collaborations that incorporate physicists in developing countries.
I am a proponent of programs that enable collaborations between individual scientists, but I also see value in APS involvement in larger collective efforts - including those that influence important policy. For example, the U.S. National Academies have received a $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to bolster African academies of science, and strengthen the scientific, engineering, and medical communities on the continent. Three science academies in Africa have already been selected as partners for this initiative, which will be carried out over the next 10 years. I would like to help APS play a part in shaping the role of the physical sciences in this initiative.
In the coming years there will likely be more initiatives aimed at increasing capacity in developing regions of the world. As the FIP representative I would make certain that such initiatives are brought to the attention of the APS Council, and would actively advocate APS involvement when appropriate. I will also continue working with CISA and the APS International Programs Office to mitigate impediments to international collaborations, and to ensure that involvement with physicists in developing regions remains an important part of the APS agenda.