Farewell to one of many greats of Science Information

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Science Information was based with a mission to fight disinformation by giving individuals correct details about science. Kendrick Frazier devoted his life to that trigger. I used to be saddened to be taught of his sudden passing in November, at age 80. He was one among Science Information’ proudest supporters, first as a reader, then beginning in 1969 as a reporter protecting largely earth sciences after which as editor in chief.

After Frazier left Science Information, he spent a long time as editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, however he by no means actually left the Science Information household. “Being at Science Information was my dream, since I had been a reader for a lot of, a few years as a teenager,” Frazier informed Maria Temming, assistant editor of Science Information Explores, when she interviewed him whereas researching the historical past of Science Information for our centennial (SN: 3/26/22, p. 16).

He was particularly happy with our rigorous (some would possibly say obsessive) requirements of accuracy: “It’s a high quality, dependable, respectable science information supply,” he informed Temming, “and I’ve all the time been happy with it, as a result of we all the time — and also you all the time — put scientific discoveries in perspective.”

Once I was named editor in chief in 2018, Frazier despatched me a form and inspiring e-mail. He was a detailed reader of each phrase we revealed, and I got here to relish our e-mail and telephone conversations. We talked about how Science Information lined politically contentious points again within the Seventies, about how we have been managing the challenges of protecting the pandemic and local weather change, and concerning the surge in international misinformation surrounding these points, such because the falsehood that COVID-19 vaccines trigger infertility.

In truth, reporting for Science Information is what helped spark Frazier’s curiosity in difficult disinformation, Temming says. In 1976, he lined a gathering the place astronomer Carl Sagan, psychologist B.F. Skinner, science fiction creator Isaac Asimov and different luminaries pledged to provide the general public “entry to info by which they’ll choose the validity of bizarre claims.” The duvet artwork for Frazier’s article (at left) is mind-bending (this was the ’70s, in any case). Prefer it? You should buy it on a T-shirt at www.societyforscience.org/retailer

I’ll miss my conversations with Frazier, each for his deep insights and his unfailing kindness. I’ll all the time bear in mind his enjoyment of our work and within the work of all science journalists. And I’ll bear in mind his pleasure in defending science towards charlatans and propagandists. It was the enjoyment of a battle nicely fought.

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