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With this edition, my term as Editor of Physics & Society comes to a close. When I took on the position four years ago, I anticipated learning a lot of physics and coming into contact with a cross-section of some of the most interesting people in our profession. I have not been disappointed. As I look back over editions from these years, the topics our articles and reviews have covered include issues as diverse as nuclear waste and weapons, climate change, sustainable and renewable energy supply, women in the sciences, science policy, medical isotopes, magnetic fields and alternative medicine, nuclear arms treaties, scientific ethics, terrorism, the body-mass index, and the history of FPS, among others. It all amounts to about a quarter-million words (yes, I kept a spreadsheet) that I feel privileged to be associated with. I was honored when the Forum entrusted me with the editorship, and am proud of the results. Of course, such work is not done in isolation: I have benefited form the support and counsel of a succession of editorial board members, all of whom deserve my heartfelt thanks: Maury Goodman, David Harris, Ruth Howes, Barbara Levi, Lee Schroeder, Richard Wiener, and Jonathan Wurtele. There are times when our opinions differed, but the result was always a better Newsletter. Our continuing reviews editor, Art Hobson, could always be depended upon to keep a steady stream of material in the pipeline. At APS headquarters, Leanne Poteet, Sara Conners, and Shelley Yi have been absolutely superb at transforming my quarterly uploads of individual-article documents into the polished, professional P&S that we all see on the web; they have been a delight to work with. My very able successors, Andy Zwicker and Laura Hopkins, are already in the editorial loop and ready to hit the ground running. Andy and Laura exemplify the willingness of Forum members to volunteer their time in support of its activities, and I encourage all members to get involved at some level: run for election to the executive committee, offer to organize a meeting session, volunteer to serve on a committee, serve as a reviewer for the Newsletter or on the editorial board, or nominate a colleague for a prize or APS Fellowship. Yes, some of these things are real work, but they are a fulfilling way of being engaged with and giving back to the professional community which has nurtured your career.
Most deserving of praise, however, are our contributors, reviewers, and correspondents, for without them the Newsletter would simply not exist. It has been a pleasure to interact with all of them.
This edition of P&S contains a number of items of Forum News: Election of Forum Executive Committee members was completed shortly before this edition went to press; we extend congratulations to incoming Vice-Chair Arian Pregenzer, Secretary-Treasurer Tina Kaarsberg (replacing Benn Tannenbaum), and Members-at-Large Beverly Hartline and Mike Tuts (replacing Lea Santos and Richard Wiener). We record in this edition the statements and biographies of all candidates. Phil Taylor, the Forum’s representative to the APS’s Panel on Public Affairs, updates us on goings-on at the highest levels of our Society. Also, we announce that a group of longtime Forum members, Dave Hafemeister, Pierce Corden, and Pete Zimmerman, are organizing a Short Course on Nuclear Weapon Issues in the 21st Century, tentatively scheduled to be held in Washington in early November of this year.
We have a number of contributions for this edition. Letters from Art Hobson and Gus Caffrey offer some comments on the articles by Rees Kassen (science policy) and Alex DeVolpi (reactor instrumentation) that ran in our January edition. As announced in the January edition, three students received Forum-sponsored awards for poster papers they presented at the Society of Physics Students (SPS) Quadrennial Physics Congress, which took place in November, 2012. Two of these winners, Matt Goszewski and Allen Scheie (both of Grove City College), describe the work the led to their posters: developing a Physics:SPECTRA comic kit, and serving as a Congressional intern, respectively. In view of the recent North Korean nuclear test, our feature article on technical challenges in implementing the Comprehensive Testy-Ban Treaty by Pierce Corden is particularly timely. Reviews for this edition look at volumes addressing the prospects for life without oil, and an introductory-level textbook on climate change.
Once again, I thank you all for your contributions and support over the last four years. I know that Andy and Laura will do a great job, and encourage all readers to deluge them with contributions.