a website collaboration between Science Service and the Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Institution Archives Story

William A. Deiss, June 1974


Science Service, Circa. 1920-1963
(183 cubic feet) SI Archive RECORD NUMBER 7091

Science Service was established in 1920 through the efforts of E. W. Scripps in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Research Council.

In 1919 Scripps had established the American Society for the Dissemination of Science. Unknown to Scripps the three major scientific organizations were trying to agree on a format and establish a popular science journal.

In 1920 Scripps met with representatives of the AAAS, NAS and NRC in an attempt to pool resources. Out of that meeting came Science Service, a news service designed to popularize science and disseminate scientific knowledge to the Masses.

Edwin E. Slosson (1865-1929) a chemist, a prodigious journalist, and editor of the Independent, was appointed first editor of Science Service in 1921, a post he held until his death.

Watson Davis (1896-1967) was appointed Managing Editor of Science Service in 1921, and became Editor of the Science News Letter in 1922. After Slosson's death, Davis assumed the duties of Director, a position to which he was officially appointed in 1933. Davis served as Director until 1967.

This collection consists of records documenting the daily activities of Science Service, and the professional activities of Edwin E. Slosson and Watson Davis.

  • Series 1, Boxes 1-7

  • Daily Mail Reports-Science Service
    Consists of reports sent out daily to newspapers that subscribed to Science Service.


  • Series 2, Box 8

  • Executive Committee Minutes and Reports, 1923 - 1942

  • Series 3, Box 9

  • Edwin E. Slosson Personal Files, 1910 - 1920

  • Series 4, Boxes 10 - 21

  • Director's Files, 1921 - 1928

  • Series 5, Boxes 22 - 28

  • Managing Editor, 1922 - 1925 (files of Watson Davis)

  • Series 6, Boxes 29 - 36

  • Watson Davis, personal files

  • Series 7, Boxes 39 - 44

  • Manager of Science Service, 1921 - 1925

  • Series 8, Boxes 45 - 125

  • General Correspondence, 1927 - 1963

  • Series 9, Boxes 126 - 137

  • American Documentation Institution, 1938 - 1945

  • Series 10, Boxes 138 - 144

  • Syndicated Correspondence, 1954 (Correspondence with newspapers subscribing to Science Service)

  • Series 11, Boxes 145 - 149

  • Latin American Translations, 1940 - 1950 (Document efforts to translate Latin American scientific publications into English)

  • Series 12, Boxes 150 - 141

  • National Inventor's Council, 1940 - 1949

  • Series 13, Boxes 152 - 153

  • Interlingua Files (Materials regarding efforts to establish an international scientific language)

  • Series 14, Box 154

  • Knud Rasmussen Expedition, 1920

  • Series 15, Boxes 155 - 156

  • UNESCO, 1948 - 1951

  • Series 16, Boxes 157 - 160

  • Rockefeller Foundation Survey and Conferences

  • Series 17, Boxes 161 - 163

  • Photographs, posters and cartoons

  • Series 18, Boxes 164 - 183

  • CBS Radio Talks, 1939 - 1959 (Text of talks delivered by Watson Davis on scientific topics)



National Museum of American History
Home
Search - Site Map - Subjects to Choose From - Numbering Format

Credits - Copyright - Comments