About This Issue

About This Issue

by The Editorial Collective

‘Science for the People’ Vol. 4, No. 6, November 1972, p. 2 – 3

At the end of the summer, when the rest of the Movement seemed to be in the doldrums, the Science for the People November collective was in full swing. United by our lack of vacations, we have pieced together reports and  analyses from the disparate areas of SESPA activities.

Attempts at doing people’s science—a theme big enough to fill an entire issue—is explored in a challenge to SESPA members to take part in occupational health organizing, and in a description of a rat control project carried out by students at a community college in Philadelphia. The articles approach the same issue from different perspectives, the one how people with technical skills can recognize and ally with a particular constituency, the other how a community aware of its problems can acquire and use relevant technical skills.

Parallel themes emerge in two articles about Latin America. “Questions from Argentina” is an analysis of the alternatives facing progressive scientific workers in the Third World. A review of Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire describes how education can be a process of community consciousness raising.

This summer our comrades in Europe attacked the myth of the neutrality of science by demanding that prominent American physicists, members of the Jason Division of the Institute for Defense Analysis, discuss their warmaking activities when they appeared at scientific meetings. We include a report of these actions as a part of our continuing struggle against the complicity of scientists in the maintenance of the imperial war machine.

“Tyranny of Structurelessness,” reprinted from Second Wave, analyzes problems in the womens’ movement. A majority of the editorial collective felt that it was also of particular relevance to organizational problems facing SESPA.

Our preparations of this issue took place alongside discussions of SESPA structure and function which are referred to in the introduction to “Tyranny … ” and in the Boston chapter report. The nature of the magazine should be part of that discussion. At times the editorial collective felt isolated from the SESPA membership and from the public at large which reads the magazine. Science for the People is an organ of communication as well as a literary exercise, educational pamphlet, self-advertisement and organizing tool. That means we want to hear more about what people are actually doing and thinking, especially from the membership outside the Boston area. Contributing an article is not an ego-trip for self-styled heavies. If you want to read material that speaks to your particular conconcerns, you may have to write it yourself.

EDITORIAL COLLECTIVE: Pat Henson, Frank Mirer, Rick Paul, Lorraine Roth, Jenny Thie

CONTRIBUTORS: Gar Allen, Ana Berta Chepelinsky, Collectif Intersyndical Universitaire d’Orsay “VietnamLaos-Cambodge,” Laird Cummings, First Casualty Press, Britta Fischer, Joreen, Frank Mirer, Lorraine Roth, Marco Saraceno, Paulo Strigini, Students and Neighbors Action Project, Al Weinrub

LETTERING: Lorna Williamson

PASTE UP: Britta Fischer


page 3, Creem/CPS
pages 4 & 7, Survival Kit
page 5, Roxane Hynek/CPS
page 6, Appalachian People’s History Book
pages 10 & 32, Science
page 11, Indochina Chronicle
pages 17, 18, 28, 29, & 30, Ciencia Nueva
page 23, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
page 24, School or Scandal
page 36, CPS

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.

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