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It is April and the presidential primary season is well underway in both fascinating and distressing ways. While climate change has come up for discussion among the candidates, there is almost no mention of federal funding for science, serious discussion of science policy or the long history of R&D spurring US innovation and economic development. The question becomes what are we, as physicists actively engaged in the intersection of physics and society, prepared to do?
With that in mind, I am pleased that this issue of the newsletter focuses on scientific innovation and public policy. There are two articles of personal reflection on what it is like to be a physicist working in public policy. There is also a letter outlining the history and efficacy of incentivizing innovation. In the News of the Forum section, we have the results from our recent election to the Executive Committee, the announcement of our FPS-sponsored award recipients, a report from our POPA representative, a listing of sessions that FPS sponsored at the April meeting, and a request for your nominations to APS Fellowship. There is an announcement of an upcoming workshop on the physics of sustainable energy. We also have a summary of a recent AAAS session on the future of US science. Finally, we have a fascinating reprint from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of a first person account from a recent visit to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear generating complex. As always we end with two book reviews from our book Editor, Art Hobson.
Lastly, my three year term as Editor is rapidly coming to a close and we have begun searching for someone to replace me. It has been one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever done and if you are interested in becoming Editor please contact me and I would be happy to fill you in on the details.
Andrew Zwicker, email@example.com