Thursday, October 13, 2005

SEED 2.0

I am currently enjoying the sweltering humidity and heat down here in South Florida, so I won't be able to post much today and tomorrow as the beach is calling my name.

However, I wanted to update the loyal PRADE readers on a great publication I picked up for the flight down here.

SEED is a magazine founded on the simple principle that "Science is culture." The magazine is dedicated to exploring the ways that science and technology impact our daily lives, changing our perceptions and even altering our social structures and relationships.

It is a science magazine that is remarkably interesting and readable for the lay person. Most importantly though, all the articles never lose sight of answering the simple question - what will this mean to me? That perspective is fundamental in making the latest scientific breakthroughs and discoveries relevant to every global citizen - something that the editor convincingly argues is extremely necessary in a modern democracy.

And yet SEED doesn't dumb down the concepts at all - in fact even the ads are intelligent and thoughtful. And the editors have found a great balance between feature articles and shorter tidbits to make each issue span a variety of different scientific fields.

SEED actually launched in 2003, but it recently retooled and relaunched with a new layout and structure as part of the SEED Media Group - I picked up the first new issue dated October/November.

You can tell a lot of thought went into the design, with the spine of each issue sporting a chemical absorption spectrum of the element that corresponds to the issue number (ie. #1 is hydrogen). Each page also features a progress bar at the top indicating where you are located in the magazine. I also thought the photo essay in this issue was particularly clever - with the photographer using photos of people to demonstrating complicated chemical properties. Each section is divided by full page photographs, this issue features four species of endangered microscopic organisms from the quickly disappearing Arctic sea ice.

SEED's mission is both honorable and extremely timely, as science and culture intersect with increasing frequency as debates about abortion, stem cell research, evolution, pollution, and space exploration bombard us daily. However, SEED's success is more a product of the magazine's execution - the writing is clear and insightful and ultimately engaging. The layout is clever and the images stimulating. And throughout the magazine, SEED never loses sight of its target audience and its noble mission of being "the first 21st century science magazine for our 21st century science culture."

You can subscribe right
here for only $14.95 for 6 issues.

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