ABOUT THIS ISSUE
by the Editorial Collective
This issue of Science for the People represents a turning point in the production of the magazine. In accordance with the resolution passed at the Northeast Regional Conference last November, the system involving relatively autonomous editorial collectives, each responsible for all phases of production of one issue of the magazine, will be replaced by three more permanent committees. The new structure involves more clearly defined division of labor — one committee handles editorial aspects, another has charge of production itself
(layout, paste-up, etc.), and a third is responsible for distribution. The editorial collective system allowed for a diversity of style and political opinion and provided a forum for some very exciting ideological debate. But it is a method that is no longer appropriate for the direction in which Science for the People has chosen to move. The new structure allows for the development of a more coherent, consistent analysis that we hope will help in our recent efforts to build unity in the organization on a national level. As ever, and more now that we are in transition, we welcome and seek your reactions to our efforts.
At the beginning, the three of us who make up this editorial collective, all women, envisioned the May magazine strongly oriented around issues of women and science. Such material, based on a strong class analysis and dealing concretly with the realities of our lives, is not,
however, just sitting around in our files waiting to be published. As it turned out, the major article about women (“RN’s Strike”) is a reprint from another publication.
The article about the RN strike in San Francisco and subsequent organizing efforts there is especially timely in light of the recent strike of interns and residents in New York City hospitals. These efforts represent a new understanding among health professionals that providing quality patient care is impossible under existing conditions of understaffing, long hours, low pay and in the absence of worker control.
Other limits are presently imposed on the quality of health care besides those directly dealt with in those strikes. The recent conviction of Dr. Kenneth Edelin in Boston is resulting in frequent denial of one phase of basic medical services to women all over the world. In his
poem about Marie Farrar, Bertholt Brecht expresses the timeless desperation experienced by women who are denied control of their own bodies. Some members of Science for the People participated in one of the marches in New York City commemorating International Women’s Day and spoke about some of these issues at the rally at the UN. The text of that speech is reprinted in this issue.
We continue in this magazine Science for the People’s analysis of the so-called “energy crisis” with some interesting research from Charlie Schwartz of the Berkeley chapter. And Al Weinrub reviews the pamphlet “The Energy Crisis and The Real Crisis Behind It”, a recent addition to the growing list of excellent anti-imperialist popular-style pamphlets available from United Front Press in San Francisco. Also appearing in this issue is a critique by some Boston Science for the People members of the recent theories of limits to growth. Because these theories have been getting a lot of attention in science and economics circles, we felt that the Jhirad/Lowe/Strigini analysis was important to print. It exposes the myth upon which all of these “doomsday” theories rest—namely that capitalism must prevail. One
weakness of the article, however, is that although it clearly states that under a more rational system of distribution of resources (based on the needs of the majority rather than profit for the few, i.e., socialism) real scarcity is a much longer way off, it fails to be explicit about the ways that socialism would solve these problems. We would have liked to see a more detailed picture of concrete changes that socialism will bring to our daily lives in terms of food, transportation, the quality of our environment, etc.
Although the method of production of Science for the People changes with the next issue, the articles are still drawn from our readers. We expect this new system to allow us to build up a substantial file of material (by subject) that can be tapped when we want to present
articles covering certain areas. It means, we hope, increased ability to communicate with authors in advance of publication about changes in content or style. So please continue to send us your articles, and short news and cartoons and photographs and requests and questions and comments and criticisms. The quality of Science for the People depends on your input.
If you can help with: drawings, cartoons, photographs, or designs, which pertain to …science, technology, energy, pollution, conservation, health care, nutrition, computers, women in science, the struggle against racism and imperialism, community organizing, etc. Please
The Production Committee
Science for the People
9 Walden Street
Jamaica Plain, MA. 02130
NOTE: During the last weeks of the production of this magazine, the long struggle in South East Asia has been building toward people’s victory. We in Science for the People are inspired by the strength and courage of our sisters and brothers in Indochina and wish to express our solidarity with them. We rejoice in this time of triumph.
CONTRIBUTORS:David Gaynor, Elinor Blake, Thomas Bodenheimer, Carol Mermey, Ad hoc Committee on International Women’s Day, Bertholt Brecht, Maurice Bazin and Brazilian comrades, AI Weinrub, Charles Schwartz, New York City SftP, Fran Conrad, David Jhirad, Marion Lowe, Paolo Strigini.
EDITORIAL COLLECTIVE: Carol Axelrod, Mina Otmishi, Ginnie Pierce.
p. 6, 8 Women’s Press
p. 10 Witches, Midwives and Nurses
p. 16 Technology Review
p. 17 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
p. 19 Environment
p. 20, 21 Kathe Kollwitz
p. 22, 24 PorQue
p. 28 LNS/cpf
p. 31, 35 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
p. 38 CPF
ERROR: Vol. VII, no. 2, page 36. The first sentence in the second column should read, “Dimitroff* instructed that fascism in power is ‘the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, and most imperialist elements of finance capital. “‘
EDITORIAL PRACTICE: Each issue of Science for the People is prepared by a collective assembled from volunteers by the magazine coordinating committee. A collective carries out all editorial, production, and distribution functions for one issue. The following is a distillation of the actual practice of 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 twelve-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. Science for the People is now available in microfilm from Xerox University Microfilms, 300 North Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48106, (313) 761-4700.