Articles from 01/2011

  • On Rethinking IP

    Licensing patents for the developing world can help bring innovations in nutrition, medicine, and countless other fields to the people who need them the most.

  • On Science Publishing

    The scientific paper has long been the unit of scientific knowledge. Now, with print media lapsing into obsolescence, the internet is poised to transform science publishing and science itself.

  • On Science Transfer

    Emerging global challenges demand rapid responses from the scientific community. This can only be achieved through a reformation of the culture and practice of science—and its relation to the wider world.

  • Wild Animal Sex

    New research in birds, reptiles, and insects is redefining “normal” sexual behavior, revealing that gender-bending, promiscuous, and dangerous sex isn’t limited to humans.

  • Mapping Science

    Mapmaking has a new challenge far more involved than depicting the traits of the physical world. As revealed in a stunning new collection, the Atlas of Science, the task at hand is at once ambitious and amorphous: to map the world of scientific knowledge, the collective wisdom that humans have accumulated over time — and continue to generate at an ever-increasing pace.

  • On Peace

    History—not to mention differing languages, cultures, and values—can make peace difficult to achieve. Science is a common ground upon which nations can collaborate to improve our world.

  • If it’s Inspiring, Can it Be Wrong?

    After attending last week’s ScienceOnline conference in North Carolina, Dave Munger asks whether relying on titillating tactics is a boon or bane for promoting science to the public.

  • On Soil

    Long regarded as lowly “dirt,” soil is gaining attention as a vital natural resource. The Global Digital Soil Map will generate data crucial for combating hunger, poverty, and climate change.

  • Public Presence & Social Science

    The social sciences deal with humanity’s most pressing problems, but there are barriers between practitioners and the public. We must restructure these disciplines from the ground up.

  • Calling All Mapmakers

  • Five Centuries of Influenza

    Historical records show that flu pandemics have been occurring for at least 500 years. Researchers are now studying these historical pandemics to help prevent future disease.

  • Disposable Heroes

    If scientific evidence suggests that even mild blows to the head in full-contact sports can in time be neurologically debilitating, why isn’t more being done to reduce the risks to athletes?

  • On Overconfidence

    Humans are overconfident creatures, which boosts our persistence, ambition, and drive—but can also lead to disasters. We can make such false beliefs work to our benefit.

  • The Revenge of Comic Sans

    New research suggests that less-legible, less-elegant fonts might actually promote better recall of information. Dave Munger examines the evidence.

  • The Web is Not a Gadget

    The Web hasn’t been designed to do anything. And so it doesn’t do anything, much less anything smart, creative, or suggesting awareness.


  • 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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