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David J. Rhees, Chapel Hill - 1979
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On New Year's Day, 1921, Edwin Slosson began his first day of work as editor of Science Service at a borrowed desk in the corner of a small room in the National Research Council building in Washington, D.C. 54 At this moment, Science Service was hardly more than an idea, and it would take most of the decade to establish itself as a successful institution. The first five years were plagued with discouraging setbacks, as the Service groped its way through formidable problems concerning the production and placement of its science news and the development of sound editorial policies. Most serious were the production-placement problems of finding qualified writers, establishing contacts in the scientific community to provide sources for stories, and convincing newspaper editors that their readers wanted to know more about science. Also difficult to resolve were the policy problems of choosing a role as publicity agent for scientific associations or as independent news service, and deciding how much to yield to the popular demand for sensationalism without sacrificing the educational aspects of science. the by-line of Science Service had become familiar to millions of readers across America and popular science had found a permanent place in the daily press.

Chapter Two -    Part I    Part II    Part III    Table of Contents

Copyright David J. Rhees, 1979

National Museum of American History

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