Seed magazine's mission to make science sexy has had skeptics clucking their tongues since the periodical's launch five years ago. 'If you trivialize a subject such as science and technology,' scolded R. Bruce Journey, former publisher of MIT's Technology Review, back in 2001, 'you do so at your own peril.' Whatever.
Founder and editor in chief Adam Bly, a child prodigy who launched his career as a cancer researcher at 16 and dropped it at 21 to start Seed, appears to have escaped that peril. But maybe that's because Seed doesn't really trivialize its subject at all.
The best comparison for Seed is the early years of
Rolling Stone, when music was less a subject than a lens
for viewing American culture. In other words, what sets
Seed apart from its competitors is its focus on
storytelling-and the unfolding dramas enacted in our 21st-century
laboratories make for some pretty fascinating tales.
Recent issues have featured a profile of Elizabeth Gould's exploration of the effects of environment on brain development and an ambitious roundup on 'the culture
that has arisen to combat HIV/AIDS' in the past 25 years. Compelling stuff, and hardly trivial.
Subscriptions: $19.95/yr. (6 issues); 866/298-5654; www.seedmagazine.com.