Science in Christian Perspective



New Features For PSCF

John W. Haas, Jr.
Gordon College
Wenham MA 01984

From: PSCF 49 (December 1997): 211.

Old traditions often become deeply embedded. Except for minor tweaking, PSCF has maintained its present form for two decades. However, recent discussions with ASA commissions, the Young Scientists Task Force, and the Executive Council have suggested new categories of articles in an effort to attract a wider readership and serve our membership more effectively.

News & Views  examines recent developments in science which have significance for the ASA mission. We will offer short informed statements on the science involved, include references to the wider literature, then provide context for the implications that might be drawn for a Christian understanding of nature or the scientific enterprise. Will you contribute to this section?

The Young Scientists' Corner provides features of interest to students and those in the early stages of their scientific career. To begin, we offer a biographical essay from a married scientist-engineer duo which describes what drew them to science (and each other) and how this has played out in their relationships with the Christian community. There are other themes that could be explored. We look to our readers for suggestions and written contributions.

Another idea, Rapid Communications category for PSCF, has been simmering in the minds of the editor and the Communications Commission. For several years there has been a running debate as to the validity of placing everything from PSCF on our web site. Proponents say that our outreach will be maximized if that were the case; others ask who will pay for this service. One step in the direction of electronic publication would be to offer web-site publication of papers that speak to current issues, whether breaking stories in the scientific literature or hot-button items on the science-religion listserves. As a quarterly with an eighteen month backlog of papers, PSCF occasionally offers articles that are "out of date." There are several papers in the review process on Intelligent Design-Theistic Science issues which fit this category.

Electronic papers would go through the same peer review/ revision process and be abstracted in PSCF. The full paper would appear only on our web page. We would aim for publication within three months of receipt. Authors of papers in this category would have their choice of electronic or regular publication. Please let me know what you think of this proposal.