Jeff Schmidt/Physics Today case

On 31 May 2000 the American Institute of Physics (AIP), publishers of Physics Today, fired Jeff Schmidt for workplace activism. He was a long-time, excellent editor whom AIP longed to be rid of. As an excuse, the used the publication of his brilliant book: Disciplined Minds (here is an audio version).

AIP recently settled the case on terms very favorable to Schmidt. Here is the letter describing the victory.
Victory-letter responses

We received many heartening responses to the letter describing the victory. Here are the responses for which we received permission to post publicly: response  response  response  response  response  response  response  response  response  response.

Anti-SLAPP protests

AIP threatens Schmidt with $500,000 suit for his comments on the settlement. This SLAPP action (using massive legal resources to stifle public debate) resulted in several protest letters: here and here.

Other recent

Letter from authors and editors at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Journal (CUPJ) protesting AIP's censorship of CUPJ's interview with Schmidt.

Science and Government Report covers the settlement (15 April 2006).


Main press release   |   Washington Lawyers Committee   |   Schmidt's statement   |   Contacts


Science   |   Chronicle of Higher Education   |   National Writer's Union   |   Washington City Paper


The chronology of the protests gives the events that led to the victory.

The workplace chronology gives the fascinating details of Schmidt's workplace activism and AIP's attempts to suppress it, culminating in their firing Schmidt.

Settlement agreement

Unusually for a case settled out of court, and at Schmidt's insistence, almost the entire agreement is a public document. The settlement incorporates: Exhibit A: Schmidt reinstated   |   Exhibit B: Schmidt immediately resigns   |   Exhibit C: Positive recommendation letter from AIP   |   Exhibit D: AIP censorship, listing the documents that AIP required be edited or removed from the Disciplined Minds website. Long live the memory hole!

Historical archive

A collection of documents to prevent information from falling down the memory hole. The documents include the many protests from the physics community and beyond. Here is another copy, courtesy of Dr Brian Martin in Australia, who studies the suppression of dissent in science.

Discovery In the legal discovery process, many interesting documents came to light.