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Over the past decades the APS Council has authorized the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) to initiate in-depth studies on topics ranging from energy and environment to national security issues. In this process, POPA takes the lead, subject to Council approval, in securing outside funding and establishing the Study Group. The final decision on the release of the study is made by the Council, with advice from POPA and from a Review Panel appointed by the Council. (The procedures are described in more detail in the "Guidelines for APS Studies")
In addition to these large-scale studies, members of POPA have carried out smaller studies, some of which have led to informal reports. These reports, when read and accepted by POPA (but not reviewed with the formality of APS Studies), become POPA Reports.
In 2001, POPA decided also to post occasional papers by POPA members that are approved for posting in order to foster discussion within the physics community.
About the Panel on Public Affairs