Mission and History
For almost a century, Science News journalists have covered advances in science, medicine and technology for the general public, including the 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial, the advent of the atomic age in 1945, the space race, and the revolution of genetic engineering from the discovery of DNA to today’s gene-editing technology.
We were founded as an independent nonprofit in 1921 by newspaper magnate E.W. Scripps and zoologist W.E. Ritter, who wanted to improve the quality and accuracy of science journalism. We remain true to that mission today.
We believe in the power of knowledge and the free flow of information to build informed, enlightened and engaged communities. Our mission is to provide independent, unbiased coverage of science and give people the tools to evaluate the news and the world around them.
We connect with audiences through our print magazine and the ScienceNews.org website. Our sister website, Science News for Students, makes science accessible for people ages 9 and up, while teachers and students in almost 5,000 high schools read us in print and online through Science News in High Schools.
Science News is published by the Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to expanding scientific literacy, effective STEM education and scientific research through its award-winning publications and world-class science education competitions.
Editorial Independence and Code of Ethics
In support of our mission to serve the public interest by providing accurate, unbiased coverage of news in science, medicine and technology, we follow widely recognized standards of journalism developed and adhered to by major news organizations. That includes being honest and transparent in our work and in our interactions with sources and readers.
Accuracy is central to our pursuit of the truth, and we make great effort to ensure that our work is factually correct, fairly presented and in context. We strive for professional impartiality while reporting thoroughly and comprehensively.
We are accountable for all we do.
We don’t pay for interviews, and we pay our own way. We credit the sources of information that wasn’t generated by our independent newsgathering. We don’t use pseudonyms, composite characters or fictional names, ages, places or dates. In the rare instance in which we allow a source to remain anonymous, we explain why, typically because a person’s safety or livelihood would be at risk.
Transparency in funding
We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News, of which we are a member:
Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and all sources of revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.
Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
We make public the names of all donors and institutions who give $5,000 or more per year. We accept donations from people who wish to remain anonymous, as long as their identity is known to us. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.
We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in the articles we publish. If we find or learn of an error, we will correct it as soon as possible and add a note to the story explaining the changes that have been made. If you spot an error in a story on our website, in the magazine or in any Science News product, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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