Articles from 12/2010

  • On Delivering Vaccines

    Vaccine deployment is a challenge in the third world with its unreliable power grids and roads. We need a self-sufficient device—a super thermos—to surmount this lack of infrastructure.

  • On Meaningful Observation

    Adding art and design to science education would put a bit of humanity back into the innovation engine and lead to the most meaningful kind of progress.

  • On Education

    With a cross-disciplinary approach to education, we can train a new class of problem-solvers to address current global challenges, from poverty to climate change.

  • The Power of the People

    Dave Munger test-drives two newly unveiled tools for understanding vast sets of cultural and scientific data.

  • On International Cooperation

    Progress on world challenges, from the environment to health to food security, depends on interdisciplinary, globe-spanning conversations.

  • On Early Warning Signs

    Rapid shifts are the hallmark of climate change, epileptic seizures, financial crises, and fishery collapses. Deep mathematical principles tie these events together.

  • On Systemic Risk

    In an increasingly interconnected world, the actions of the few can rapidly spiral into a global crisis. Policymakers must learn from recent events to control the risk latent in our interdependence.

  • Toxic House Cats?

    Up to half of all humans are infected by a cat-borne parasite that can cause stillbirth, brain damage, and a host of other subtle neurological effects. Is vaccination the solution?

  • The Improvisational Brain

    Watching a musician in the throes of an improvisational solo can be like witnessing an act of divine intervention. But embedded memories and conspiring brain regions, scientists now believe, are the true source of ad-hoc creativity.

  • On Resilience

    How much disturbance can a system withstand? With roots in ecology and complexity science, resilience theory can turn crises into catalysts for innovation.

  • On Restoring the Oceans

    Earth’s oceans are in trouble. But the 2010 Census of Marine Life—the first ever attempt to document all that lives in the sea—will kick-start the recovery effort.

  • Death for “Arsenic-Based Life”?

    A hotly anticipated announcement last week from NASA that scientists had discovered an exotic form of life ended up revealing more about science journalism than astrobiology.

  • Tensions Rise in Cancún

    Tensions rise into the second week of the UN climate meetings as the draft negotiating text receives mixed reviews. As the time to narrow down proposals dwindles, negotiators perform under heightened pressure to strike a deal.

  • Knowing Sooner

    Our world is an uncertain place where biological systems and financial markets can collapse in an instant. Powerful predictive models fueled by smarter data sets are the tools that will allow us to know sooner and adapt more quickly to the problems that define our complex age.

  • Much At Stake In Cancún

    As UN climate meetings started this week in Cancún, the deficit of trust between developing and developed countries is stunningly apparent. Overcoming this hurdle will be critical to COP-16 success—with political consequences that reach through the decade.

  • The Human Animal

    The special bond that often forms between people and both domesticated and wild animals may be, paradoxically, part of what makes us human.


  • 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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