Do you read us? As you know by now, we have changed from a quarterly paper and web journal to a semi-annual paper and web (January and July) plus semi-annual pure web journal (April and October). The switch was made to save money which could then be used for other Forum purposes. However, one of the major purposes of the Forum is the communication with its members, for which this journal is the main medium. Of what avail is saving money if we are not reaching, and extending, our membership?
The occasion for this lament is the apparently large discrepancy between the readership of our paper and of our web issues. The usual circulation of our paper edition is about 4500 to members and 300 to institutions, presumably libraries. As of mid-May, there were 1146 "hits" on the April web edition, 1520 on last Octobers. We dont know that each paper copy is read; on the other hand the library copies may have more than one reader. We dont know how much readership a "hit" represents either. Have we really lost two-thirds of our readership? If so, why, and what can we do about it?
We really would like to hear from you - the receivers of our paper, the "hitters" on our web. How much of each do you read and why? What can we do to facilitate conversations among physicists about the pressing problems at the interface between physics and society?
In this issue, we continue discussions initiated recently: nuclear energy and its risks; pseudoscience; religion and science; the implications of the historical physics-drama Copenhagen.. We also present a timely article on the teaching of physics, and one on the restrictions of access to research data. We hope to continue with these and other problems in the near future.
And we hope to hear from you, our readers.
P.S. Given our difficult finances, it would be very helpful if those readers who are not APS members would send an annual $10 check, made out to APS, to the APS Special Publications Dept.
On sabbatical leave 2001-2 at
Union of Concerned Scientists