To our readers! For many of you, the Bulletin is the main point of contact with Science for Peace. What would you like to see in the Bulletin?_ To start a debate about future form and content, Phil Ehrensaft sent the following message by electronic mail from Montreal:
The following comments on proposed changes in the Science for Peace Bulletin summarize discussions among Montreal members of SfP. They are predicated on an appreciation of the energies Gwen Rapoport devoted to making the Bulletin a going concern as a monthly and improving a publication which has appeared thanks to her time and efforts.
Two kinds of changes would benefit the Bulletin and help Science for Peace as an organization.
First, the Bulletin should have greater substance. There should be articles, debates, and reviews which are long enough to be thoughtful and catalyze discussion. This would mean a review which has more pages than at present. If the choice is between monthly publication versus a more substantial Bulletin, I think the choice should be a bimonthly or even quarterly publication.
One possible format would be to have members with expertise in a variety of areas make regular contributions on important developments in their areas of expertise. Another format would have issues organized around special themes. The two formats could be combined. The objective is to use the collective knowledge and expertise of our members in a Bulletin which would be eagerly read by members, other people in the peace movement, and policy-makers. In short, I think organizational matters should be discussed in occasional newsletters. The Bulletin should be turned into a serious publication which makes full use of our intellectual resources.
Secondly, in order to get the message across, we should use desktop publishing software on a computer to produce the final layout. I don’t know if people ought to pay so much attention to appearances, but, in fact, they do, and we should organize ourselves accordingly.
In summary, we should
- change the Bulletin into a more serious publication;
- organize as much work for the Bulletin as possible via Bitnet electronic mail (money saved on long distance calls as deadlines approached would quickly pay for a modem);
- have text delivered by Bitnet or on diskettes, to minimize typing work at the SfP office, and
- have someone use a basic desktop publishing software program (no need for anything too fancy) to turn out professional-looking galleys on a quality laser printer.
In a subsequent message, Phil agreed that it is important to keep members in close touch with the activities of SfP. He suggested that we might continue monthly publication of the Bulletin,_ with special review issues containing longer articles (say) every three months. Incidentally, we will of course accept contributions in either of the official languages.
Please send your opinions to the National Office … so that we may present them to the Board of Directors in the near future.
Editors’ note: We thank all who sent in contributions. We are sorry that there has not been space for all submitted material, and that we have had to shorten the book reviews somewhat, preserving, we hope, the essential points.