Philip H. Abelson, former editor of Science magazine, has been selected to receive the National Academy of Sciences' 1992 Public Welfare Medal. The academy's highest honor, awarded annually to recognize extraordinary use of science for the public good, will be presented to Abelson at a ceremony in April. Abelson, who held the top editorial post at Science for 23 years, is currently the magazine's deputy editor for engineering and applied sciences. When he assumed its helm in 1962, Science had a circulation of about 75,000, and covered chiefly the biological sciences. Abelson broadened its coverage to a wide variety of disciplines, including chemistry, physics, and planetary science, and added such sections as "News & Comment" and "Research News." Science's circulation had reached about 155,000 by the time Abelson retired in 1985.
The eclecticism that Abelson drew on as Science's editor showed itself long before he took that job. By the...
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