Editor’s Comments

Cameron Reed

In addition to two feature articles and two book reviews, this edition of P&S contains summaries of papers given at Forum-sponsored sessions during the APS March and April meetings held in Dallas and Anaheim, respectively. The breadth of the issues discussed in these invited talks and contributed papers is an impressive indicator of the vigorous activity of the Forum, and I encourage all members to have a look at them and to reflect on how you might become involved with Forum activities and contribute to P&S.

Our two feature articles for this edition concern issues very much in the science-and-society sphere. Perhaps no scientific issue will have as great an impact on society over the coming decades as energy supply. But many chemical elements crucial to energy-related technologies are in short supply or can be subject to disruptions in supply. The issue of such “Energy Critical Elements” was the subject of a recent study carried out by a joint committee of the APS and the Materials Research Society, and the results of the study are summarized in an article by its four main authors, Robert Jaffe, Jonathan Price, Murray Hitzman, and Francis Slakey. Our second feature article, by Szilard Award winner John Ahearne, describes the role of honesty, integrity, and perseverance in science; this article is based on remarks made by Dr. Ahearne at the award presentation in Anaheim. Our book reviews dealing with preparing for climate change and the physics of the Manhattan Project. Full disclosure: I am the author of the Manhattan Project book. However, I had nothing to do with the selection of the book for review or of the reviewer; these matters were handled by our very capable reviews editor, Art Hobson. 

These contributions have not been peer-refereed. They represent solely the view(s) of the author(s) and not necessarily the view of APS.