About This Issue

About This Issue

By the Editorial Collective

‘Science for the People’ Vol. 4, No. 5, September 1972, p. 2-3

The January 1972 issue of Science for the People suggested that there was an interest in seeing an issue on “Science Teaching from a Radical Perspective,” and with the appropriate back-to-school month staring us in the face, we looked at each other and said, “Hey, let’s put out an issue on science teaching from a radical perspective!”

We have covered most of the suggestions listed in the box of the January issue-critiques of present methods and curricula, ideas and reports of new approaches which have been tried, and resources for new teaching materials and methods. Although most of these articles deal with teaching at a college level, the basic philosophy of science teaching expressed in them could be applied as well to students of any age.

Once we have rejected the dry, irrelevant, “objective” science teaching prevalent in schools today, where do we turn? Many “free school” alternatives would be content to make science “fun” by turning science into field trips and building clever gizmos (the Mr. Wizard approach). This approach helps to loosen up the sterility of science, but doesn’t begin to explain its social and political implications. The relevance of science teaching lies in the world outside of the classroom.

The articles included are not only descriptions of courses given but also include the dynamics of the student-teacher relationship, for method as well as content is in need of revision.

As if to emphasize the non-objectivity of university science, we have an article on the JASON project, in which our universities’ “finest” do their duty to their country by designing anti-personnel flechettes.

Now federal employees are joining students in demanding that the institutions of which they are a part show some response to moral demands made upon them as can be seen in the NIH/NIMH Vietnam Committee Moratorium Report.

Also in this issue, the SESPA spirit spreads worldwide; included is correspondence from Ireland Hanoi the Philippines, Paris and occupied Viet Nam.

EDITORIAL COLLECTIVE: Marcia Deihl, Susan Graesser

A Word About the Collective: The two survivors of the original seven collective members are not science teachers by any means. One of us is a secretary in a university science department, and the other is a computer programmer. But we proceeded undaunted to put out this issue, with a combination of ingorance and dedication. Our ignorance has since decreased.

CONTRIBUTORS: Rita Arditti, Dan Connell, H.N. Dobbs, David Jhirad, New York Regional Anti-War Faculty and Student Group, Science Teaching Group, Science for Viet Nam, Elliott Schiffman, Tom Strunk, Al Weinrub, Bill Zimmerman

DESIGN AND LAYOUT: Marcia Deihl, Britta Fischer, Herb Fox, Susan Graesser

PICTURE CREDIT: Bernado Corio, page 5; Mettie Whipple, page 6; Project Physics Course, Holt Rinehart & Winston, pages 16, 32, 33, 35, 37; The Hub, page 19; From Tales for Sara, drawn by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, page 27; Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times (cinema), page 28; Steinberg, page 30; Masami Miyamoto, page 34; Wide World Photos, page 39; Pirated scraps of Alphabet, here and there

EDITORIAL PRACTICE: Each issue of Science for the People is prepared by a collective, assembled from volunteers by a committee made up of the collectives of the past calendar year. A collective carries out all editorial, production, and distribution functions for one issue. The following is a distillation of the actual practice of the past collectives.

Due dates: Articles received by the first week of an odd-numbered month can generally be considered for the magazine to be issued on the 15th of the next month.

Form: One of the ways you can help is to submit double-spaced typewritten manuscripts with ample margins. If you can send six copies, that helps even more. One of the few founding principles of SESPA is that articles must be signed (a pseudonym is acceptable).

Criteria for acceptance: SESPA Newsletter, predecessor to Science for the People, was pledged to print everything submitted. It is no longer feasible to continue this policy, although the practice thus far has been to print all articles descriptive of SESPA/Science for the People activities. Considerably more discrimination is applied to analytical articles. These are expected to reflect the general political outlook of Science for the People. All articles are judged on the basis of length, style, subject and content.

Editorial Procedure: The content of each issue is determined by unanimous consent of the collective. Where extensive rewriting of an article is required, the preference of the collective is to discuss the changes with the author. If this is not practical, reasons for rejection are sent to the author. An attempt is made to convey suggestions for improvement. If an article is late or excluded for lack of space, or if it has non-unanimous support, it is generally passed on to the next collective.

Editorial statements: Unsigned articles are statements of the editorial collective.

Opportunities for participation: Volunteers for editorial collectives should be aware that each issue requires a substantial contribution of time and energy for an eight-week period. Help is always appreciated and provides an opportunity for the helper to learn, and for the collective to get to know a prospective member. There are presently plans to move the magazine production to
other cities. This will increase the opportunity for participation. For legal purposes Science for the People has become incorporated.

in memoriam: COLLEEN MEIER, August 3 at age 26. A founder of Science for the People, part of the Helen Keller Collective, veteran of many actions for peace and against the misuse of science, biochemist and graduate student, a woman of generous spirit victimized by a competitive and insensate system. We pledge to you Colleen, not only to continue the struggle against this degrading system but also to learn from our collective failure how to be better human beings to one another.


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