The Science Talent Search (STS), America's oldest and most prestigious nationwide precollege competition, was initiated in 1942 by the Society for Science and the Public (called Science Service until 2008). The Society for Science and the Public is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of scientific knowledge through publications and educational programs such as science fairs and scholarship competitions.

Watson Davis, former director of Science Service beginning in 1928 and publisher of Science News, wanted to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the general public. To do this, Davis collaborated with the American Institute of the City of New York in 1941 to organize 800 existing science clubs throughout the country. Science Service linked these science clubs with museums, and other educational ...

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