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YSM – The Oldest College Science Publication in the United States
The Yale Scientific Magazine (YSM), established in 1894, is the oldest college science publication in the United States and is the premier science publication at Yale.
The student-run magazine publishes print issues four times a year on groundbreaking scientific research at Yale and beyond. The YSM team is composed of writers, editors, photographers, artists, designers, and businesspeople, all of whom, as stated on the YSM website, are “united by the belief that science should be accessible and exciting to everyone—even those without a scientific background.” The magazine reaches over 2,000 subscribers from all around the world and is run by a team of over 100 students.
The History of YSM
YSM published its first issue in 1894, making it the nation’s oldest college science publication.
YSM was disbanded in 1918 due to lack of student support.
Revival of the Magazine
In 1927, the magazine was revived with the financial support of YEA.
YSM is still actively publishing issues every year. Go to their website to view their most recent issues!
The Yale Scientific Magazine, originally titled the “Yale Scientific Monthly,” was founded in 1894 as the oldest collegiate scientific quarterly in the United States. The Yale Science and Engineering Association has supported the Yale Scientific Magazine since 1927.
After some troubled years of low readership, the Yale Scientific Monthly ceased publication after its 24th edition in 1918 due to lack of student support.
In 1927, the Sheffield School senior class resolved to restart the publication, this time as the Yale Scientific Magazine. The Yale Engineering Association (YEA, the former name of YSEA), got a bulk subscription for the association’s members with the help of YEA secretary George Moore — helping the magazine secure funding for printing and distribution of the publication. In return for the guaranteed subscription base and capital, YEA would receive space in YSM’s publications for publishing YEA’s newsletter.
Ever since, YEA has been a proud sponsor for YSM and has financially supported the publication each year. The two organizations have developed a long history of working together, and while YSEA no longer receives space in YSM’s publication for its newsletter, the two organizations still collaborate on a number of initiatives.
In 2003, YSM launched their website at yalescientific.org. To this day, they are still actively publishing issues. In addition to their quarterly print publications, they also have a blog on their website titled “The Scope” that talks about interdisciplinary topics in science and an outreach branch named “Synapse” that coordinates a number of community outreach initiatives.
YSEA’s Partnership with YSM
YSEA has been a proud sponsor of YSM ever since 1927, when it helped to support the revival of YSM. Every year, YSEA provides funding for the magazine’s publications, which helps the magazine offset printing and distribution costs. In return, YSEA receives ad space in YSM for some of the magazine’s publications. As a result of the long-standing relationship between YSEA and YSM, the two organizations often work together and rely on each other for support.
For example, one of the partnerships that have resulted from this relationship is that if an interested person wishes register for a YSEA membership, they are also offered a complimentary subscription to YSM, free of charge.
The two organizations also work together on the “Meet the Profs!” series, where an editor from YSM and a board member from YSEA coordinate an event through the Yale Alumni Association to put together a panel interview of a Yale professor whose research is particularly fascinating.
In addition to financial support, YSEA also sometimes provides advisory support for YSM. Since YSM is student-run, this means that there is a high turnover rate by definition as editors of the magazine graduate from college. Since members of YSEA often stay on longer than members of YSM, YSEA is able to provide guidance to YSM in the event that an unfamiliar situation arises for the magazine’s current editors.
In light of YSEA’s financial support of YSM, we would like to state that YSEA firmly believes in the editorial independence of YSM. One of YSEA’s core policies with regards to YSM is to never force any action upon YSM in order to preserve the integrity of the magazine’s publications.
Besides running a quarterly publication, the Yale Scientific Magazine also runs an online blog called “The Scope” where writers speak on topics in science beyond the immediate research of Yale professors. In this blog, the Yale Scientific Magazine publishes pieces on a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics, spanning from the story behind the woman who was the first documented case of Alzheimer’s disease to the struggle to vaccinate developing nations against COVID-19. The Scope is a treasure trove of fascinating articles, all of them that highlight the interdisciplinary nature of science with other parts of society!
Synapse is the official outreach branch of the Yale Scientific Magazine. As a Yale Dwight Hall member group and student organization, it is in charge of the community outreach projects of YSM. It aims to cultivate the interest in science, research, and scientific journalism in students of all ages, and to help them pursue science after high school.
- Science on Saturdays:
- Six times a year, Synapse co-hosts a day-long event called “Science on Saturdays” along with Pathways to Science. During this event, Yale students and professors volunteer to give science demonstrations and guest lectures to local families in New Haven.
- Resonance is a annual conference for high school students (age 15+) in the New Haven area who want to learn more about current science topics. It is a day-long conference held on Yale campus and run by Synapse. The inaugural event was held in November 2013, and welcomed 50 high school students onto Yale’s campus for talks by Yale professors, classes taught by Yale undergraduates and tours of science facilities.
- YSM National Essay Competition:
- Synapse also runs an annual nationwide essay contest that aims to increase interest in writing about science. The contest was created in the spirit of mentoring young science writers for the future. The winner has their piece featured in the Yale Scientific Magazine publication and may even receive scholarship money depending on available funding!
YSM has over 100 years of writing quality scientific articles. The magazine documents the groundbreaking research that is being done by Yale professors in the quarterly publications, captures fascinating and unique scientific stories in The Scope, and does amazing outreach work through Synapse.
YSEA is extremely proud to be a partner of YSM and is honored to be able to support its publications.
Main page of the YSM website: https://www.yalescientific.org/
Synapse webpage: https://www.yalescientific.org/synapse/