CHORUS Remembers Joe Serene

Joseph Serene, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Georgetown University, former Treasurer/Publisher of the American Physical Society, and a founding member of CHORUS, passed away on May 1, 2021.

Joseph Serene (1947-2021)

Joe’s broad experience with scientific authors, scholarly publishers, funding agencies, and government were an essential element in launching CHORUS’ initial programs. His CHORUS colleagues remember Joe and his many contributions to scholarly communications:

“Soft-spoken, to-the-point, and intensely passionate. Joe helped drive the foundation of CHORUS. He was a staunch advocate of the scientific society point of view as well as that of the researcher. As the first Treasurer of CHORUS, Joe was instrumental in setting CHORUS on a path of success.”
     – Howard Ratner, Executive Director, CHORUS

“Thanks to CHORUS, I had the privilege and pleasure to work with Joe. Joe’s sound countenance kept CHORUS moving forward. Inaugural treasurer of a fledging organization was just one of the many hats that he wore, all well, all with aplomb. A talented publisher, accomplished researcher and devoted teacher, Joe inspired me then, and will always.”
 – Susan King, Executive Director, Rockefeller University Press

“Joe was a thoughtful, kind, and clear-thinking colleague. When it came to making our journals widely and publicly accessible, he broadly interpreted “community” and developed policies that were as open as possible while remaining compatible with the financial stability of the APS. Beyond his work in initiating and supporting CHORUS, he pioneered policies for making APS journals available for free to all U.S. high schools and public libraries, a program which continues to this day.”
 – Mark Doyle, Chief Information Officer, APS

“I was fortunate to know Joe Serene as a friend and colleague in many joint ventures to help improve the access channels for scholarly publications. Our careers with Joe as the Publisher/Treasurer at APS and my tenure as CEO of AIP largely overlapped. One of our most fulfilling and enjoyable joint ventures was working to help found and organize the initial operations of CHORUS with our colleagues who comprised the founding Board. Joe was adept at analyzing the efforts needed and benefits gained in proposing any new venture for all stakeholders. We were all very proud of how quickly CHORUS became a useful partner for the US federal research agencies for providing open access to publications presenting the results of publicly funded research. Joe’s contributions to launching CHORUS’s initial programs were essential. As a friend and colleague, he will be missed.”
– Fred Dylla, Executive Director Emeritus, American Institute of Physics

More about Joe Serene and his contributions to physics and scholarly publishing can be found on the APS website.

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