April 2011
Transition at Science & Global Security

This issue marks the transition of the editorial control of Science & Global Security (S&GS) from one generation to the next.

Harold Feiveson was the founding editor of S&GS in 1989, and has edited the journal for 21 years, producing 18 volumes, and going through two publishers. He and the other founders of the journal, including Roald Sagdeev and myself, launched it during the Gorbachev period as a vehicle in which scientists working on ending the nuclear arms race could lay out the technical basis for their proposals.

By the end of the Cold War in 1991, the journal had published pioneering articles--some by Soviet-US teams--on such important issues as how to verify:

  • The presence or absence of nuclear warheads,
  • The elimination of nuclear warheads,
  • Limits on the numbers of nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles, and
  • Limits on the power of lasers that could be used as anti-satellite weapons.
The journal had also published a group of articles on the elimination of low-orbiting military nuclear reactors. Since then, S&GS also has published articles bearing on the urgency and timing of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the limits of ballistic missile defenses and space-based early warning, the runaway arms race in South Asia, the proliferation risks associated with the gas centrifuge and with plutonium separation and use, the conversion to LEU of HEU-fueled reactors, the detection of concealed radioactive sources and fissile materials, and a host of other topics. The two decades worth of articles carried by the journal are available in English and Russian in the journal's web archives. One issue appeared in Chinese.

This treasure trove of ideas and analysis would not exist had Feiveson not been willing to devote so much time and energy over two decades to arranging for their review, editing, and publication.

Feiveson's efforts at Princeton University were paralleled by those of Stanislav Rodionov at the Space Research Institute in Moscow. Rodionov co-authored some of the important early articles in S&GS with his colleague Oleg Prilutsky, and the two have translated every single article into Russian. Since 2002, Michelle Marean has been managing editor, sharing with Feiveson and the editors at Taylor & Francis the responsibility for turning manuscripts and diagrams into articles that communicate effectively.

Feiveson is being succeeded by a next-generation team of three: Alexander Glaser, Zia Mian, and Pavel Podvig. All are accomplished arms control physicists who have published articles in S&GS and all are affiliated with Princeton University's Program on Science & Global Security. They have complementary strengths and are full of energy and ideas. Feiveson will still be involved as Editor Emeritus.

S&GS will continue to provide an independent international peer-reviewed forum for the discussion of the technical challenges to and opportunities for arms-control, disarmament and nonproliferation initiatives.


Frank von Hippel
Chair, Board of Editors