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We have a rich array of material for this edition of P&S. We open with some words from incoming Forum Chair Puspha Bhat on the role of FPS in serving the physics community and some ideas for future initiatives. Also in Forum News, elections to the FPS Executive Committee will be complete by the time this edition reaches you, but we record for posterity the statements of candidates. Jay Davis’s article on nuclear downsizing in our January edition stimulated a letter to the Editor concerning some of the personalities and political pressures involved with the campaign to achieve “global zero” nuclear weapons. This long-term issue will surely be the source of commentary in P&S for decades to come. Indeed, one of our feature articles for this edition concerns possible Iranian nuclear ambitions.
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Forum on Physics & Society, and in our first feature article David Hafemeister – who was “present at the creation” – summarizes the history of the Forum. Our second feature article, by long-time contributor Wally Manheimer, examines how proposed atmospheric carbon-reduction scenarios could have adverse effects on the developing world, and examines possibilities for large-scale carbonfree energy sources over the coming decades. Our third feature article by Chris Hobbs is particularly timely. As I was preparing this issue it seemed that almost daily there was a fresh news headline regarding Iran’s possible nuclear weapons ambitions and what should be done about them. Chris ably summarizes the November, 2011 report of the International Atomic Energy Agency on the issue.
In our book review for this edition Paul Craig summarizes papers given at a renewable energy conference held at Berkeley in March, 2011. We hope in future editions to run abridged versions of some of the papers from the conference; Paul’s review makes for a nice teaser.
As always, we welcome your comments and input.