John Michels published the first issue of the current Science magazine in February 1883. He had published an earlier version of the magazine from 1880 to 1882 with funding donated by such historical luminaries as Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. However, he could not achieve consistent quality with this version of the publication and stopped publishing it by March 1882. Within a year, the new version of Science magazine had over 2,000 subscribers.
Science magazine's first editor was Samuel H. Scudder. Soon after its early success, the magazine began to struggle financially again and was on the verge of folding before it was bought by a professor of psychology at Columbia University, James McKeen Cattell. Cattell took over editorial duties and remained in charge of the magazine over the next half century, making Science one of the country's leading scientific publications. The current version of Science covers a very wide range of scientific issues.
After Cattell's death in 1944, the magazine floundered and was in need of editorial guidance. Graham DuShane became its editor in 1955. DuShane engineered the takeover of another publication, The Scientific Monthly, which almost doubled the readership of Science in one single move. In 2001, Science published a groundbreaking draft study of the human genome project.