The Times Science Review

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Between 1951 and 1966 The Times published a separately paid-for quarterly science review; the new publication started with the title of "The Times Review of the Progress of Science", but subsequently became better known as "The Times Science Review" for its 15 year existence.

Remarkably in 1953, both "The Times" newspaper and its new Science Review supplement failed to report on the discovery of the structure of DNA in Cambridge, which was first reported on by the News Chronicle and then the New York Times. The discovery was made on February 28, 1953; Sir Lawrence Bragg's original announcement of the discovery at a Solvay conference on proteins in Belgium on 8 April 1953 went unreported by the British press! The first Watson/Crick paper appeared in Nature magazine on April 25, 1953.

Bragg, the director of the Cavendish Laboratory, where James D. Watson and Francis Crick worked, then gave a talk at Guy's Hospital Medical School in London on Thursday, May 14, 1953 which resulted in an article by Ritchie Calder in The News Chronicle of London, on Friday, May 15, 1953, entitled "Why You Are You. Nearer Secret of Life." The news reached readers of The New York Times the next day; Victor K. McElheny, in researching his biography, "Watson and DNA: Making a Scientific Revolution", found a clipping of a six-paragraph New York Times article written from London and dated May 16, 1953 with the headline "Form of `Life Unit' in Cell Is Scanned." The article ran in an early edition and was then pulled to make space for news deemed more important. (The New York Times subsequently ran a longer article on June 12, 1953). The Cambridge University undergraduate newspaper Varsity also ran its own short article on the discovery on Saturday, May 30, 1953.

Started in 1951, "The Times" Science Review was discontinued in 1966; "The Times" started a new 'Eureka' monthly science magazine in October 2009; the new 60-page magazine, is given away for free with "The Times" on the first Thursday of each month.

Science historians can easily access the 15 years of issues of "The Times" Science Review at the Newspaper Library at Colindale, London under System number: 013904756, starting with The Times Review of the Progress of Science no.'s 1-3 (Aug.1951 - Spring 1952), followed by no.4-60 Summer 1952 - Summer 1966 under Shelfmark: 1952-1966 LON LD2 NPL.

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External links[edit]

  • [1] The Newspaper Library, Colindale, London
  • [2] New "Eureka" magazine