History of the Founding of the Transactions on Plasma Science
A number of group meetings were held with persons who were involved with electrical engineering at the Division of Plasma Physics meetings, beginning with the Annual Meeting at Madison, in 1971 and at Monterey in 1972. Numerous additional meetings were held in Chicago, Washington and New York.
The need for the Transactions became apparent because engineering curricula both at the graduate and undergraduate level did not recognize the existence of this field. Academics serving as faculty in electrical engineering departments were often accused of being physicists rather than engineers and not belonging to electrical engineering.
The IEEE expressed some interest, but was concerned that we did not have a strong previous IEEE connection. The Nuclear Science Group contacted us and invited us to join with them to publish our proposed Transactions. We then became the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society and published both the Transactions on Nuclear Science and the Transactions on Plasma Science. In order to make this happen however, we had to draft a new constitution and bylaws.
There were many difficulties with this, because the Nuclear Science Group had a much different approach to their Transactions. For example, Nuclear Science would publish primarily conference papers in the Nuclear Science Transactions while we insisted on having peer reviewed manuscripts. We also had differences regarding the printed format—the Nuclear Science Group utilized camera-ready manuscripts, while we wanted typeset manuscripts.
The representation on the Administrative Committee of the Society was also a significant issue—should it be based on the number of subscribers to the respective Transactions or should it be based on the fact that there were two separate Transactions. Then, how would we treat conferences if we didn’t publish their proceedings in the Transactions on Plasma Science.
We agreed to publish an IEEE Conference Record. After many many deliberations and discussions the first issue of the Transactions on Plasma Science appeared in 1973, with James E. Drummond serving as Editor. Edward J. Powers served as the second editor and Steven J. Gitomer currently serves as the editor of the Transactions on Plasma Science.
J. Leon Shohet
The distinctive orange cover of the journal, as well as banners at Plasma Science events, are 'Tennessee Orange,' picked by Igor Alexeff, Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
A. L. Peratt