Part Four: Polemics and Personages
The story begins in September 1963 when for the first time a professional journal, The American Behavioral Scientist, investigated the circumstances surrounding the publication of Immanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision in 1950. The authors of the ABS studies, which were collectively entitled The Politics of Science and Dr. Velikovsky, presented a great deal of material that would appear to a reasonable man of good will to be damaging to the pretenses of scientific institutions, scientific practices, and certain scientists themselves. Various explanations for the behavior of scientists were offered, and substantiated by considerable evidence. A plea was made to receive Velikovsky's theories with a courteous and just appraisal, forgetting the disgraceful past treatment meted out to his work and to his character.
The following material consists of an article reproduced in its entirety from the April 1964 issue of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists together with comments on that article, published in the American Behavioral Scientist of October 1964. A demand for a retraction and a chance for a full response was not conceded by the Bulletin, and required the full reproduction and response. Still, no way was available for answering the Bulletin before its own readership, who were left feeling that Velikovsky and the ABS both had been put in their place. The story is developed more circumstantially in The Cosmic Heretics.