The President's Page: Scientific communication


  • Philip H. Abelson


The primary function of scientific societies is to facilitate comunication among their members. A strong vital scientific discipline is unthinkable in the absence of good communication among peers. Most of creative activity is a solitary thing. The individual scientist must have courage and perserverance in pursuing his own course. But from time to time he must interact with others if he is to be fully effective. Much of the needed interaction occurs at the various types of scientific meetings where enthusiasms are exchanged and where a sense of what is significant is sharpened. Meetings are essential, but the form of communication that sets the standards of quality and integrity for a discipline and constitutes the body of its enduring values is journal publication.