Dan Koshland, 1920-2007:
In Memoriam

Dan Koshland; photo courtesy of AAAS Archives
Daniel E.
Koshland

Photo: AAAS
Archives

Science and AAAS mourn the passing of Dan Koshland, the distinguished biochemist who served as the journal's editor-in-chief from 1985 to 1995.

Dr. Koshland's nearly eleven years of leadership brought many positive changes to Science's approach to staffing, manuscript selection, and evaluation of research, as well as an attitude that helped solidify Science's place as the world's leading journal of general scientific research, news, and commentary. His tenure at the journal complemented his work as a leading scientist and exemplified his position as an outstanding citizen of the global scientific community.

We extend our sympathy and thoughts to Dr. Koshland's family -- and mourn the loss of a long-time supporter and good friend. Below, as a tribute, we offer links to some articles about Dan Koshland, a sampling of his editorials and articles, and the thoughts and reflections of some of his friends and former colleagues at Science.

About Dan Koshland

Selections by Dan Koshland

From Annual Review of Biochemistry

How to Get Paid for Having Fun [PDF]
In this Annual Reviews prefatory chapter for 1996, Koshland looked back at his career and scientific life. (Science warmly thanks Annual Reviews for permission to post this article.)

From Science and Science Classic

Following is a selection of editorials, along with a recent Perspective posted posthumously, that give a cross-section of Koshland at his best.

Staff Remembrances

Phil Szuromi, Supervisory Senior Editor
"Dan anticipated that many emerging areas in chemical research would be fostered at the interface with biology and medicine, and he spent many hours, usually late in the day, teaching me, a mere physical chemist, about biochemistry, molecular biology, and biology in general. I benefited not only from his insight but also his foresight."
Wendy K. Shank, Senior Production Manager
"My greatest appreciation of Dan Koshland came from his genuine respect and interest in all aspects of the work required to publish a weekly journal of Science's caliber and reputation. He had a talent for making staff realize that, regardless of rank or position, their every contribution was key to Science's overall success."
Paula Kiberstis, Senior Editor
"My fondest memory of Dan is that on his final day at Science, he walked from office to office delivering envelopes containing personalized hand-written notes of appreciation for each editor. My note, which I have kept all these years, was very perceptive and made me realize that Dan had as much insight into human nature as he did into science."
Barbara Jasny, Deputy Editor, Commentary
"When Dan came to visit Science, he would not be happy if the atmosphere was too placid or self-satisified. He would walk down the halls with his eyes twinkling, and propose new projects or controversial ideas in order to stir everyone up. He helped to make Science an exhilarating place to work. "
Floyd Bloom, Science Editor-in-Chief, 1995-2000
"Dan Koshland was an extremely wise and creative scientist and brought those skills to the editorship of Science with eloquence, excellent humor, and high-minded independence. I will miss him."
Pamela J. Hines, Senior Editor
"Dan was joyful about science, and found something interesting in so many fields, looking for where the next great discoveries might emerge. He shared his delight generously, and always brightened the day."
Monica M. Bradford, Executive Editor
"My mother always told me that actions speak louder than words, and Dan Koshland exemplified that adage for me. I had been the assistant managing editor at Science for just under a year, when the managing editor, Pat Morgan, was asked to oversee a new electronic venture for AAAS. Dan informed me that I was too young and inexperienced to get the job, but he’d like me to fill in until they could find someone else. Well, after three months as 'acting' managing editor, Dan told me he’d changed his mind and I could have the job. He’d decided I had earned a chance -- and that opportunity changed my professional development in profound ways. . . . If I’d gotten hung up on his words, and not paid attention to his actions, I would have missed the opportunity of my life. . . . Thanks to Dan, I’ve had 18 wonderful years at Science working with incredible, creative colleagues and having the time of my life."
Constance Holden, News Writer
"He presented each of us with a rose on Valentine's Day -- or was it Christmas? . . . Anyway, it was a very gracious, gentlemanly, and at the same time personal and distinctive gesture that was unforgettable."
Stella Hurtley, Senior Editor
"Dan always seemed to me enthusiastic and decisive, always generous with his time and his support. His passion for science shone through and inspired us all. Goodbye Dan, you will be missed."
Shirley Malcom, Head, AAAS Education and Human Resources Directorate
"Dan and I had a strange, warm and wonderful relationship -- spent largely in friendly disagreements. He complained that those of us in the other part of the building (read, 'not on the Science staff') were taking resources that the magazine needed; I'd counter that we were the basis for the nonprofit status. He was a big fan of the San Francisco 49'ers, and, as I was a Washington fan, we would 'review' the outcomes (W-L records) of each other's teams. I always knew that he was rooting for us to succeed. He quietly directed honoraria that he would not accept for the support of our Black Churches Project activities. Dan knew the uphill battles we were waging to support kids' education in the sciences, and on that, he was on our side."
Beth Rosner, Publisher
"He was a genuinely warm and caring person who encouraged people at all levels of the organization to have passion about their works and lives. He inspired us all."
Gilbert Chin, Senior Editor
"I shall always recall how much Dan liked to argue about manuscripts -- whether the results were right, and whether they meant anything even if they were right -- and how vividly these arguments reflected his passion for science and for scientists of all shapes and sizes. He wouldn't often be convinced by your arguments, but he cared so much for the science and for the people doing it that he was always willing to take the time to listen."
Andrew Lawler, News Writer
"I had been at Science Magazine only a month or so, and was working late. Suddenly, a strange man in a trenchcoat and fedora walked into my office from the darkened hallway, gave me a small box of chocolates, and then vanished. I had no idea who he was, until the next day, when someone explained it was the editor. It was an unusual and welcome visitation."
L. Bryan Ray, Senior Editor
"Dan had an infectious enthusiasm for science, with both a 'big S' and a 'little s'. You just couldn’t be around him for very long without feeling inspired by him."