Articles from 11/2010

  • On Closing the Culture Gap

    Climate change, biodiversity loss, nuclear conflict—all are caused by human activity. We need a way to reorganize and refocus the sciences and humanities with a “Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior.”

  • Wealth of Nations

    Shared natural resources underpin the global economy, but our current economic system does not acknowledge their worth. Can a major new effort to assess the costs of biodiversity loss force a paradigm shift in what we value?

  • On Competitive Collaboration

    Hundreds of multinational collaborators, thousands of scientists, and a $10 billion particle accelerator at CERN have produced a new working model for science—and for globalization.

  • On the Next Internet

    Grid computing began as a data-management solution for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Now, it stands to redefine collaborative problem-solving in science and beyond.

  • All-Natural, All-Toxic

    Scientists are beginning to understand the surprising evolutionary mechanisms that allow poisonous creatures to evolve and flourish.

  • On a Global Foresight Commons

    Secrets have long been the governing paradigm in national security and government intelligence. But the scientific challenges we face today demand a new ethic of openness.

  • On Nonproliferation

    For world leaders, nuclear terrorism is an overriding common risk that can be confronted only with a common strategy: a global alliance.

  • A Letter from the Editor

    Solutions to interconnected and complex challenges require more than new ideas. They require a new starting point. A reframing of the questions. A categorical affront to the null hypothesis. A global reset.

  • The Second-Place Sex

    Why chess may be an ideal laboratory for investigating gender gaps in science and beyond.

  • Redefining “Mental Illness”

    As consensus emerges on the physical basis of mental illness, the mental-health community is fracturing over what, exactly, constitutes “mental illness” in the first place.

  • Agriculture in the Wild

    Humans aren’t the only creatures that grow their own food. Leaf-cutter ants, trees, and even protists do it too.

  • Good Placebos Gone Bad

    Placebos are supposed to be inert controls, designed to prove a drug’s efficacy. Consequently, placebo composition is rarely documented in drug trials. Is this dangerous?


  • Ideas

    I Tried Almost Everything Else

    John Rinn, snowboarder, skateboarder, and “genomic origamist,” on why we should dumpster-dive in our genomes and the inspiration of a middle-distance runner.

  • Ideas

    Going, Going, Gone

    The second most common element in the universe is increasingly rare on Earth—except, for now, in America.

  • Ideas

    Earth-like Planets Aren’t Rare

    Renowned planetary scientist James Kasting on the odds of finding another Earth-like planet and the power of science fiction.

The Seed Salon

Video: conversations with leading scientists and thinkers on fundamental issues and ideas at the edge of science and culture.

Are We Beyond the Two Cultures?

Video: Seed revisits the questions C.P. Snow raised about science and the humanities 50 years by asking six great thinkers, Where are we now?

Saved by Science

Audio slideshow: Justine Cooper's large-format photographs of the collections behind the walls of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Universe in 2009

In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism.

Revolutionary Minds
The Interpreters

In this installment of Revolutionary Minds, five people who use the new tools of science to educate, illuminate, and engage.

The Seed Design Series

Leading scientists, designers, and architects on ideas like the personal genome, brain visualization, generative architecture, and collective design.

The Seed State of Science

Seed examines the radical changes within science itself by assessing the evolving role of scientists and the shifting dimensions of scientific practice.

A Place for Science

On the trail of the haunts, homes, and posts of knowledge, from the laboratory to the field.


Witness the science. Stunning photographic portfolios from the pages of Seed magazine.

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