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Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and is considered one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals. The journal is peer-reviewed, is published weekly, and has a print subscriber base of around 130,000. Because institutional subscriptions and online access serve a larger audience, its estimated readership is one million people .
The major focus of the journal is publishing important original scientific research and research reviews, but Science also publishes science-related news, opinions on science policy and other matters of interest to scientists and others who are concerned with the wide implications of science and technology. Although most scientific journals focus on a specific field, Science and its rival Nature cover the full range of scientific disciplines. Science places special emphasis on biology and related fields such as biochemistry, ecology and epidemiology.
Membership in the AAAS is not required to publish in Science. Papers are accepted from authors around the world. Competition to publish in Science is very intense, as an article published in such a highly-cited journal can lead to attention and career advancement for the authors. Less than 10% of articles submitted to the editors are accepted for publication and all research articles are subject to peer review before they appear in the magazine.
Science was founded by New York journalist John Michaels in 1880 with financial support from Thomas Edison and later from Alexander Graham Bell. However, the magazine never gained enough subscribers to succeed and ended publication in March of 1882. Entomologist Samuel H. Scudder resurrected the journal one year later and had some success while covering the meetings of prominent American scientific societies, including the AAAS.  However, by 1894, Science was again in financial difficulty and was sold to psychologist James McKeen Cattell for $500.
In an agreement worked out by Cattell and AAAS secretary Leland O. Howard, Science became the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1900.  During the early part of the 20th century important articles published in Science included papers on fruit fly genetics by Thomas Hunt Morgan, gravitational lensing by Albert Einstein, and spiral nebulae by Edwin Hubble.  After Cattell died in 1944, the ownership of the journal was transferred to the AAAS. 
After Cattell's death, the magazine lacked a consistent editorial presence until Graham DuShane became editor in 1956. Physicist Philip Hauge Abelson, the co-discoverer of neptunium, served as editor from 1962 to 1984. Under Abelson the efficiency of the peer review process was improved and the publication practices were brought up to date. 
Science encountered controversy in 2006 when papers on stem cell research by Hwang Woo-Suk were withdrawn by Seoul National University due to apparent scientific fraud. Kennedy defended the peer reveiw system, pointing out that catching fraud would require "costly and offensive oversight on the vast majority of scientists in order to catch the occasional cheater".
Online versions of full-text archive articles are not generally made available to the public. Full text is available online to AAAS members from the main journal website back to mid-1996. Individual and institutional subscriptions are also available for a fee (though it is significantly less expensive to simply join the AAAS and receive the magazine for free). The Science website also gives free access to some articles (principally original research articles and editorials) as well as the complete table of contents of the current and past issues, a year after their publication. Access to all articles on the Science website is free, if the request comes from an IP address of a subscribing institution. Articles older than 5 to 6 years are available via JSTOR and recent articles older than 12 months are available via ProQuest.
Science has played an active role in promoting the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. It was in the 4 May 1984 issue of Science that Robert Gallo, Mikulas Popovic and their colleagues published the four papers that would quickly solidify consensus on HIV. These papers were published after a press conference on 23 April, proclaiming that HIV had been isolated and shown to cause AIDS. This pattern of "science by press conference", bypassing the usual avenues of peer review, would become common practice throughout the following decades.
Following an investigation in 1989 by Chicago Tribune investigative reporter John Crewdson, a controversy over priority of the "discovery" of HIV ensued for many years. Serge Lang has called Crewdson's reporting on the controversy "one of the major journalistic contributions in decades...they have set standards of depth, thoroughness, and accuracy in journalism which the scientific press might well emulate." In contrast, Lang regards Science's reporting on the Gallo controversy as "tendentious", citing articles from 8 November 1985, and especially "The Aftermath of the Gallo Case", 7 January 1994. Defects Lang found in the latter included tendentious titling, appeals to authority ("experts"), misquoting of sources (David Goldstein), exclusion of conflicting opinions (Suzanne Hadley), and lack of historical context.
Other HIV/AIDS issues
On 9 December 1994, Science published a "special news report" by Jon Cohen entitled "The Duesberg Phenomenon",  which purported to answer Duesberg's objections to the HIV theory. This article is still one of the most frequently cited by orthodox defenders. Duesberg's response can be found here. Lang found many faults with the article, most especially tendentious titling, the misrepresentation of Duesberg as an isolated voice, and the failure to report questions raised by other scientists such as Harry Haverkos, Harvey Bialy, and the Perth Group.
A week later, on 16 December, a "Research News" article also by Cohen appeared, purporting a new viral causative agent for Kaposi's Sarcoma. Curiously, Cohen made no mention of KS when reporting the "Duesberg phenomenon", although he must have been aware of the fact that the confusion over KS posed serious questions for the HIV theory. As Duesberg wrote in his response to the 9 December article, "Cohen himself appears to become part of the phenomenon."
Then, on 14 April 1995, Science published a "ScienceScope" article entitled "Congressman [Gil Gutknecht] Uncovers the HIV Conspiracy". Gutknecht had written a letter to Anthony Fauci with 12 detailed scientific questions regarding HIV and AIDS. Lang took issue with the "ScienceScope" article, saying that "[its] title grossly misrepresents Gutknecht's letter. The problem is not one of conspiracy."
These three articles, together with a factually defective review of Elinor Burkett's book The Gravest Show on Earth (again by Cohen), several rejected letters to the editor by dissidents, and the failure to report on a recent conference on poppers and an AAAS symposium led Lang to proclaim in late 1995 of an "unreliable mess in Science."
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Nature, another notable scientific publication and long-term competitor
- Challenges, which documents how Science has handled HIV/AIDS over the years
|This page uses content from the Science_(journal) article on Wikipedia, captured on 3 Feb 2006. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the AIDS Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|