Our readers are due an explanation and apology for the late appearance of this January 2007 issue of Physics and Society. The January issue is usually completed and sent to the publishers, at the American Physical Society, in mid to late November, thus allowing time for printing and mail distribution during the usual end-of-year surface mail glut. At that time, we were still waiting for the Forum elections materials, normally included in the January issue. Unfortunately, the Forum’s Nominating Committee was unable to complete its task before I left for a three week mid-winter trip outside of the country. Consequently, the January issue had to wait till I returned, by which time the Nominations Committee had finished its task and had commenced a purely web-based election process. (Please vote before the March deadline. Please vote online at: http://physics.wm.edu/ballot.html. The election is open until March 1, 2007.)
The Nominations Committee would have been able to finish its task earlier and easier, thus avoiding this publication “snafu”, if more of our members had volunteered to serve in the elective positions of the Forum. Please remember that it is your Forum; you make of it what you will, provided that you provide some input into its processes. Please get involved!
In this issue we continue with reports from physicists who have been importantly involved in shaping public policy –in our Physical Society and the more general society: both John Gibbons and Wolfgang Panofsky have rendered important services to physics as well as to societal policy making and should serve as role models to all of our members – young and old.