If the editors of Poisk, a lively new science newspaper published in Moscow, need historical justification for their project, they can point to Lenin, who on his deathbed in 1922 called for a newspaper that would provide a forum for scientists.

Or the editors can produce the letter Soviet physicist Pyetr Kapitsa wrote to Nikita Khrushchev in 1958 on behalf of his colleagues at the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Kapitsa, who would later win the Nobel Prize in physics, humbly wrote: "I would like to bring to Your attention the fact that for the successful resolution of scientific work in this country, creation of such a periodic newspaper has become increasingly necessary."

Poisk, however, is clearly a product of the Age of Gorbachev. The 8-page, 5-kopeck weekly newspaper (about a nickel in U.S. currency), published since May, offers its 250,000 readers an engaging mix of investigative journalism, politics,...

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