Science As Lens

Letter from the Editor / by Adam Bly /

Science has shaped our world—now it will change the way we see it. A reflection on the past and future role of this magazine in both documenting this transformation and catalyzing it.

When I launched Seed, I had the idea that science was becoming the fundamental driver of our times. I believed that science held great promise to improve the state of the world, and I set about creating a magazine that would capture the cultural shift that I saw science spurring. The tagline of the magazine evolved from “Beneath the Surface,” in its earliest days, to “Science is Culture”—reflecting my belief that our mission was first to uncover the machinations of this shift and then to proclaim its direction. In the past three years, we have sought with each issue to present the ideas underpinning this new reality. From politics to economics, art to design, religion to war, we’ve examined how science has been transforming every facet of culture and society. And we’ve looked to science itself for the discoveries and revelations that would change our sense of self and place in the universe. With a missionary zeal, we strove to bring “Science is Culture” to life.

Today that tagline is arguably self-evident. Science is culture. Other forces are undeniably affecting the state of world—faith and free markets among them. But science is the overwhelming agent of change in these times. Science affects every single person on the planet and is behind the transformations—social, economic, philosophical, artistic, and political—that will define the 21st century.

So where do we go from here? Seed has always been about more than journalism; we exist to chronicle but also to help effect change.

What follows is an inventory of sorts for the next phase in the life of Seed. It derives from a series of talks I’ve delivered recently around the world—in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. This is a work in progress. I now put this out to you, our readers, to help drive the ideas forward and be part of the dialogue. What comes from our discussions in the coming months in the pages of Seed, on seedmagazine.com, ScienceBlogs, and in person, will inform the future of this magazine and, we hope, inspire discourse and change beyond our pages.

Originally published February 10, 2009

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