The Sciences

Now That's What I'm Talking About!

Cosmic VarianceBy cjohnsonSep 26, 2005 9:02 PM


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Well, I received a FedEx overnight package this morning, and as I had to write a lecture and then teach it, I did not open it immediately, and almost forgot about it until now. I was curious and a bit suspicious, since I'm not important enough to get things sent by FedEx out of the blue like that. Well, I opened it up to a pleasant surprise: Seed. The newly relaunched version. And it looks great! What is Seed? It is a magazine put out by the Seed Media Group, and their motto is:

Science is Culture

Yes! The whole world view expressed by the magazine (and the group, as far as I can tell) seems to be so in line with my fantasy of the way society should be in terms of being science-savvy, which I've talked about so many times in other posts on this blog. (See here, here, here, here, and comments of mine in the accompanying discussion threads too.) Basically, its a glossy, hip, very designer magazine.... about science! There are interviews, articles of various sorts, and even a sort of photo showcase where there's huge glossy photos, each with a chalkboard equation with a sentence associated to it. (Examples: The quantum mechanical spectrum of a particle in a 1D box; the running coupling constant of QCD -last year's nobel prize by the way, etc...) There's an "agenda" section, listing a number of upcoming science events, such as plays and exhibitions, around the country. And there are just lots of lovely huge glossy photos of beautiful things from art and science! Many of the advertisements are science-ified too! The book reviews are about science books, and the tv shows and movies that are advertised or discussed have strong science themes. This is exactly the sort of thing I want to see more of. I really hope that I'll see an office worker coming home from downtown reading a copy, instead of or alongside their copy of Los Angeles magazine, or the New Yorker, or (dare I say it) Los Angeleno, or anything....Then I'll be even more excited. (As it is, I'm almost in tears with joy at this already.....and I have not even read a word of it yet; I hope I don't have to take back some of those precious exclamation marks I'm using up....) There's a little article on science blogs, by the way (this was bookmarked with a post-it note: thanks, whoever, for sending it!). We're mentioned, along with Pharyngula, Not Even Wrong, String Coffee Table and Quantum Diaries [Update: They mention Luboš Motl's Reference Frame too!]. Contributor Joshua Roebke talked about the aspects of the role of science blogs, quoting Peter Woit, Luboš Motl, and our very own Sean Carroll (who is apparently one of the "main contributors" to CosmicVariance, although I note that the discussion they quote from is in fact a post of JoAnne's .....ahem!). And it gets better. Not only do they walk the walk, they talk the talk too. Here is an extract from the editorial welcome, which gets it right on the nose, as far as I'm concerned:

We believe that science matters, and will edit this magazine through that lens. We believe that a modern democracy requires a more science-savvy citizenry, and we will strive to be a tool in that transformation.

Yes! Yes! My daily mantra that I whisper reverently at my bedside every morning! To quote Sean and Risa: Someone's been reading CosmicVariance! :-) (I'm not serious of course, there surely must be others out there with my dream, right?) More:

We will help you better understand the big topics in science today and how they are affecting our lives. We will showcase the vivid intersection of art and science, and let the images speak for themselves. We will be truly international, mirroring the borderlessness of science, and we will introduce you to the revolutionary minds driving these times. Welcome to the new Seed.

Oh, Joy. -cvj

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