Allen Hammond, who will serve as its editor and publisher, is no stranger to new publications. He created the "Research News" section of Science magazine and several years later persuaded its publisher, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to support a magazine for the public that became Science 80. Three years ago he took on a second job as editor of Issues in Science and Technology, a new semi-scholarly publication on science policy published by the National Academy of Sciences. Hammond resigned that position January 1 to devote his energies to his latest venture, which he said is being financed by a private partnership of individuals interested in science publications.
"We will be writing for people who are interested in science but who don't have a lot of time to spend reading about it," said Hammond. "We're going to provide information, not entertainment, and that means reaching a largely professional audience."
Hammond said the newsletter will describe those developments within science and technology "most likely to have an impact economically, intellectually and socially. We'll be offering a higher level of interpretation than what's typically offered in news stories."
Hammond hopes to attain a circulation of 50,000 within one year, and has begun to solicit charter subscriptions from individuals at a special price of $17.97. The annual rate for corporations and libraries will be $30.
In the meantime, the National Academy is refusing to confirm or deny rumors about impending changes in Issues, its erudite but money-losing publication for the public. Hammond said he has suggested several ways to improve its financial condition, including reducing the size of the quarterly magazine from its current 128 pages, cutting by one-half its circulation of 25,000, and sharply raising its annual subscription price of $24, at least to institutions.