Society for Science, formerly known as Science Service and later Society for Science and the Public, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of science, through its science education programs and publications, including the bi-weekly Science News magazine and Science News Explores.

Society for Science
Type501(c)(3) Non-profit
ProductsScience News
Science News Explores
Key people
$31.9 million (2021)[2]
Endowment$101.3 million (2021)[2]
Formerly called
Science Service

The organization is headquartered in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded as Science Service in 1921, the Society for Science has been dedicated to expanding scientific literacy, access to STEM education and scientific research for more than 100 years.[4] In pursuit of this goal, it publishes two magazines: Science News and Science News Explores (formerly Science News for Students), and manages student science fair events including the International Science and Engineering Fair, the Regeneron Science Talent Search (previously known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, the oldest and longest running science fair competition in the US), and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge (JIC) competition.[5]



20th century

Emma Reh (1896–1982) was a science journalist for Science Service in the 1920s and 1930s. Here she is visiting an archaeological site in Oaxaca, Mexico.[6]

Society for Science was founded in 1921 by journalist Edward W. Scripps and zoologist William Emerson Ritter, under the name "Science Service", with the goal of informing the public of the latest scientific discoveries and achievements.[7][4] The Science Service emerged from a reorganization of a group that Scripps and Ritter had originally founded in 1919 as the American Society for the Dissemination of Science.[7]

Scripps and Ritter accomplished their goal by distributing the latest science research to the public through a news service for reporters. In 1922, due to interest from non-journalists, Science Service started distributing Science News-Letter, which became a magazine in 1926. It quickly became a prime source of science news for libraries, schools, and individuals. In 1942, Science Service launched the first of its prestigious education competitions, the Westinghouse Science Talent Search.

Between World War I and World War II, Science Service sponsored Science Clubs of America, founded by Watson Davis. It was a national organization to popularize science among amateur scientists. High school science clubs were encouraged to join.[8]

From 1940 through 1989, Science Service sponsored the Things of Science Club. Subscribers received a monthly box containing some kind or material or artifact, along with an pamphlet describing experiments that could be done with it. Sometimes the kits contained parts that could be assembled into a scientific instrument.[9]

21st century


Beginning in 2003, it published Science News for Kids, an online magazine aimed at students, teachers and parents. This became Science News for Students. In 2022, with the publication of a new magazine of the same name, SNS was rebranded as Science News Explores.[10]

In 2008, Science Service was renamed as the Society for Science & the Public, in order to better reflect the mission of the organization to advocate for science in the public interest.[11]

In 2021, the organization announced it had shortened its name from Society for Science & the Public to Society for Science.[12]

See also


The Society for Science administers three science competitions:


  1. ^ "Society for Science Financials", Society for Science.
  2. ^ a b "Society for Science", Financial Report.
  3. ^ ", Society for Science. Accessed: September 13, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Mission & History". Society for Science. Retrieved September 13, 2023.
  5. ^ JIC, Society for Science.
  6. ^ "Emma Reh (1896-1982)". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  7. ^ a b Tobey, Ronald C. (1971). The American Ideology of National Science, 1919-1930. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 9780822975946. pp. 66-70.
  8. ^ "News and Views: Science Clubs of America". Nature. 148 (3759): 590. 15 November 1941. doi:10.1038/148590a0.
  9. ^ Othman, Frederick C. (October 7, 1947). "Thing-of-the-Month Club will provide remarkable objects". San Jose Evening News. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Science News Explores | News from all fields of science for readers of any age". August 22, 2023.
  11. ^ "Centennial:2008". Society for Science. Retrieved September 13, 2023.
  12. ^ "Society for Science & the Public Shortens Name to Society for Science | Society for Science". Society for Science |. 2021-01-06. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  13. ^ "Regeneron ISEF". Society for Science. Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  14. ^ "Science Talent Search". Society for Science. Retrieved September 13, 2023.
  15. ^ "Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge". Society for Science. Retrieved 13 September 2023.