. . . To encourage the growth of any science, the best thing we can do is to meet together in its interest, to discuss its problems, to criticize each other's work and, best of all, to provide means by which the better portion of it may be made known to the world. . . .
The health of physics is subject to many influences, both internal and external. My talk will explore a variety of data that taken together paint a complex and fascinating picture of the state of our field. By many measures, physics has never been better. By others, physics has chronic problems with which our community continues to struggle. My talk will present recent American Institute of Physics demographic data on physics degree production, employment, and salaries. I will also provide a crash course on the Federal R&D budget and the outlook for the future. Finally, given the complexities of physics' relationship to national policies and the economy, I will make suggestions on how our community can be more proactive in influencing the health of our field, locally and nationally.