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The APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) initiates 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.
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.