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150 Years of Advancing Science: A History of AAAS
AAAS and the Maturing of American Science: 1941-1970

When he turned 65 in 1925, Cattell proposed an agreement under which Science would become AAAS's property upon his death in return for an annuity to be paid to his widow.  Thus, AAAS expected eventually to assume control over the magazine. Nevertheless, when Cattell died in January 1944, AAAS was largely unprepared to assume the responsibilities of editing and publishing Science. Cattell's widow, Josephine Owen Cattell, who had worked alongside him since the 1890s as Science's unofficial managing editor, continued as editor for almost two years after his death (although her name never appeared on the masthead). 

From 1946, when Science was finally transferred to AAAS control, until 1956, when Graham DuShane assumed the editorship, the magazine floundered.  Seven people, including administrative secretary Howard Meyerhoff,  served as editor during this period (1949-53), but none was able to exert adequate leadership.  Probably the major milestone of DuShane's six-year term was the merger of The Scientific Monthly into Science in 1958.  While many readers regretted the loss of the Monthly, the effect was to nearly double the circulation of Science from 38,000 in 1957 to over 61,000 in 1958. 
Cover of Science, October 12, 1962.
While DuShane brought some stability to Science and made many improvements in the magazine, it was his successor, Philip H. Abelson, who transformed it into the internationally-renowned scientific journal it is today.  Abelson, codiscoverer of neptunium, the first transuranium element, and director of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (of which he subsequently became president), served as editor from 1962 to 1984. 

Abelson improved Science's review process and the quality of its articles by cutting the lag time between receipt and publication of an article (in part by encouraging editors to phone prospective referees instead of writing them).  He modernized printing and management practices and strengthened the news section.  Circulation doubled during his first 10 years as editor.

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