After 90 years of effort, the job remains undone.
Achieving nonagenarian status is an admirable accomplishment for anybody, regardless of other achievements or lack thereof during those nine decades. But Science News has plenty of accomplishments to celebrate on the occasion of its 90th birthday.
Since mimeographed sheets of science news articles were first distributed as the Science News-Letter in March 1922, our writers and editors have been embedded in the scientific process. We've recounted great steps in science's progress and the impact of technological snafus and natural disasters. Our pages have recorded the arrival of antibiotics, the discovery of antimatter antimatter: see antiparticle.
Substance composed of elementary particles having the mass and electric charge of ordinary matter (such as electrons and protons) but for which the charge and related magnetic properties are opposite in sign. , the surprise of nuclear fission fission, in physics: see nuclear energy and nucleus; see also atomic bomb. and the atomic bomb atomic bomb or A-bomb, weapon deriving its explosive force from the release of atomic energy through the fission (splitting) of heavy nuclei (see nuclear energy). The first atomic bomb was produced at the Los Alamos, N.Mex. . Satellites, space probes and lunar landings. DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. , gene-splicing, genome sequencing and cloning. Three Mile Island, the 1984 chemical catastrophe at Bhopal and the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear fiasco of 2011.
Throughout all these years, the purpose of Science News has remained the same: to tell everyone who is interested what scientists are finding out about the world. And to put those findings and their implications into a context that makes their significance to society clear. As articulated by E.W. Scripps, the journalist who was instrumental in founding the organization that publishes Science News, the institution's objective should be "to present facts in readable and interesting form"--not for the purpose of promoting any particular cause, but to provide readers facts upon which they could base their own opinions.
For the special anniversary section in this issue (Page 20), Senior Editor Janet Raloff (who has been around for nearly 40 percent of the magazine's existence) pored over the Science News corpus to identify the most noteworthy facts that we have presented to the public in interesting and readable form.
Space constraints allowed highlighting just a few of the many gems in our archival mine. But they are exemplary samples of the wealth of science that the last nine decades has witnessed, and of science's impact on human civilization and individual people. These reminiscences offer a reminder of how essential science is to the fabric of modern life. And they illustrate one unchanging un·chang·ing
Remaining the same; showing or undergoing no change: unchanging weather patterns; unchanging friendliness. truth about science: It is never static. News from science today continues to flow as swiftly as ever, and helping people keep up with it all is no less important now than it was 90 years ago. It's a task that society will need somebody to do for a long time to come, no doubt even longer than another 90 years.--Tom Siegfried, Editor in Chief