AUTHOR: EMILE ZUCKERKANDL, p.15
Over the last decades, there has been an inflation in the number of new scientific journals, and, from a general point of view, this can be considered as an untoward development. Not infrequently, however, given the rate of production of scientific findings and the growth and diversification of many fields, an increase in the number of journals surely can reflect a healthy expansion. In my view, this indeed applies to the field of molecular evolution, a position with which others appear to agree (R. Kaufman, The Scientist, May 3, 1993, page 1).
Along with the Journal of Molecular Evolution and Molecular Biology and Evolution there is now a third journal, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, which will no doubt contribute to the field, as well.
What goes for journals in this area also applies to societies: In the vast field covered by molecular evolution it is good to have more than one. In addition to the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, the International Society of Molecular Evolution has been founded. Its members automatically receive the Journal of Molecular Evolution.
The idea of this society is by no means new. It was discussed, received support, and was publicly mentioned at the Darwin Centenary Conference in 1982.
Through the two societies, the spreading of the interest in molecular evolution to all corners of the scientific world can be most effectively promoted. For the ready dissemination of new knowledge, one benefit attributable to the founding of ISME is a very substantial reduction of the cost of the Journal of Molecular Evolution.
For sure, the two societies should do what they can to cooperate whenever possible in the interest of the field. There should be many such pleasant occasions.
Journal of Molecular Evolution
Palo Alto, Calif.