From the Editor

We are pleased to have more contributions than usual in this issue. These include articles on our recent Forum Burton and Szilard award winners (Shirley Jackson and Zia Mian respectively). We also have a contribution by Peter Somssich, who is both a physicist and a member of the New Hampshire legislature. I find the information I get from people that have, so to speak, a foot on each side of the Physics & Society question extremely fascinating. There are three more articles, plus two book reviews: please see the “In this Issue” Table of Contents for details.

In the News section, we have the complete list of talk titles in the Forum sponsored or co-sponsored sessions at the upcoming March and April APS meetings. I won’t be able to make it to Denver, but hope to see you many of you in Boston.

Our Media Editor, Tabitha Colter, whose last name was spelled incorrectly in the News item of the last issue (my deepest apologies!) continues to expand our media presence. Send your suggestions to her at

We are always looking for contributions from our readership. As explained in the October 2016 issue, we have some length guidelines (which I routinely waive): Contributed articles (up to 2500 words), letters (500 words), commentary (1000 words), reviews (1000 words). There are no minimums. Send contributions to me, except for reviews, which should go to the reviews editor directly ( Contributions are reviewed for style and appropriateness, but their content is not peer reviewed and opinions given there are the author’s, not necessarily mine, nor the Forum’s. I am very open as to what is appropriate. Controversy is good. Only articles consisting purely or very largely (as opposed to incidental to the topic) of political opinions and advocacy, or tainted by ad hominem invective, or containing utterly unsound science of the “the world was created a few thousand years ago” variety will undergo summary editorial rejection.


Oriol T. Valls
University of Minnesota

Oriol Valls

Oriol T. Valls, the current P&S newsletter editor, is a Condensed Matter theorist.

These contributions have not been peer-refereed. They represent solely the view(s) of the author(s) and not necessarily the view of APS.