This book is the result of all that I have experienced in my professional life. Thus, everyone with whom I have had a relationship has in some way influenced the arguments and findings contained herein. Bosses and mentors certainly had a major role shaping the experiences upon which I have relied so heavily. They include Dave Callender, Alan Schaffer, Sy Zeiberg, Albert Latter, William Spuck, Mal Yeater, and Rhody Stephenson. Colleagues Larry Delaney and Dick Montgomery played instrumental roles in my serving on the Army Science Board and participating on several studies of the Naval Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences. I have been blessed to work with some of America’s smartest and brightest scientists and engineers. I admit to having worked in a forest of giants. I owe each and every one of them a great deal. They will remain unnamed since the list is too long and I would undoubtedly leave someone very important off the list. Therefore, I must express my great appreciation to them as a group.
The idea of writing the book lies with several colleagues on the Army Science Board. They include John Cittadino, Phil Dickinson, Bob Douglas, and Gil Herrera. I was encouraged further in this direction by colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which was my employer at the time. They include Elliot Framan, Gerry Meisenholder, and Al Paiz. Without the suggestions and encouragement of these kind people, I would never have considered writing this book.
This book is itself truly a product of America’s technology. The personal computer and its word processor has greatly facilitated the writing and editing. The internet has proved to be invaluable in researching information that I would have had little likelihood of finding in a traditional library. Even Wikipedia deserves special mention. Although it is not recognized as a scholarly research source, its articles provide useful background information and direct visitors to appropriate references in their bibliographies.
The encouragement of family and friends has been essential to the book’s completion. My good friend Bob Canovitz has encouraged me from start to finish. Sally, my wife, has been my greatest fan and helpmate. She has read every draft, providing feedback on everything from English usage to the comprehensibility and flow of the ideas and concepts contained herein. Finally, I am deeply grateful to my reviewers, Charles Bridges, Gerri Caldwell, Gil Herrera, Jim Vlasek, and Sheldon Wettack, whose feedback and corrections of fact and grammar enhanced the final version considerably. It has indeed taken a community of supporters to produce this book. I am also grateful to Algora Publishing and their editing team for their essential role in completing the realization of this book. I am most honored and appreciative.
Lynn G. Gref Topanga, California