P R E F A C E
"Those who can not remember the past",
"are condemned to repeat it."
Every organization has multiple histories -- oral
and written, formal and informal, official and personal, factual
and mythic. Each provides a particular point of view and a special
way of understanding the organization, its origins and development,
its policies and activities, and of understanding also the various
roles played by the persons who have influenced it and who have
been influenced by it.
The International Commission on Physics Education
is no exception and it has been fortunate in its written histories.
One of these, "The International Commission on Physics
Education" by A.P. French, was published in Contemporary
Physics 21, No.4, 1980. The other, previously unpublished,
was prepared by William C. Kelly for a proposed Festschrift
which was to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the commission
in 1985. Unfortunately, the Festschrift proposal foundered on
financial rocks, but Kelly's "Witness at Creation: I.C.P.E.'s
Founding and Early Years" remains as a unique personal
account of the people and events involved in the founding of the
commission and in its early years.
In order that those associated with the commission
might be assisted in "remembering the past", it seemed
useful to bring together in one place the papers by French and
Kelly and, as a way of bringing things up-to-date, the triennial
reports of the Commission to the I.U.P.A.P. General Assembly for
the years not covered by the first two authors.
E. Leonard Jossem
August 1988, revised June 1996
ICPE-related questions to:
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last updated 7/25/96