Editor’s Comments

Cameron Reed

The Editorial Board and I are very pleased with the material that we have for this edition of P&S. Our main articles address a diversity of topics. Gerald Marsh and George Stanford examine the issue of enhancing nuclear stability and non-proliferation in the twenty-first century; their article also includes a brief tutorial on fast reactors. Meg Urry of Yale University writes on the often implicit continuing barriers to careers in the sciences for women. Urry's article is particularly timely in view of a recently-released National Research Council study on the status of women faculty in science and engineering which reports that while women are still underrepresented in the applicant pools for positions in math, science, and engineering at major research universities, those who do apply are interviewed and hired at rates equal to or higher than those for men; the full report is available at http://www.nationalacademies.org/morenews/20090602.html. Students Kevin Thomas (University of Central Florida) and Zhenyaun Zhao (University of Miami) have been awarded FPS Student Fellowships in Physics and Society for summer 2009, and they describe their projects, which respectively involve surveying student pseudoscientific beliefs and a simulation of self-organized capping of carbon emissions. Book reviews examine science censorship and an AIP-sponsored short course on energy efficiency and renewability held at Berkeley in March of 2008. The Forum hosted or co-hosted a number of sessions at the APS March (Pittsburgh) and April (Denver) meetings, and we present brief summaries of the papers presented. The Forum extends its appreciation to those individuals who served as chairs or moderators of these sessions: Noemie Benczer- Koller, Barry Berman, Pushpa Bhat, Philip Hammer, Dan Kleppner, Barbara Levi, Don Prosnitz, Brian Schwartz, Philip Taylor, and Benn Tannenbaum. As this edition of P&S is being readied for publication, arrangements are being made to post several of the presentations on the FPS website.

As indicated by two letters, the issues of energy supply and climate change continue to engage our readership. We encourage the submission of letters and articles representing a wide variety of perspectives within the physics community. Please note that we are not set up to evaluate detailed technical articles; our mandate has been, and remains, to provide a forum for discussions of those areas where physics and society overlap. We look forward to your letters and submissions.

This contribution has not been peer refereed. It represents solely the view(s) of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of APS.