‘Do not ever call GeneWatch a newsletter,’ says editor Evan Lerner, laughing. ‘That was one of the first things drilled into me.’ The 2004 graduate of Brandeis University does understand the designation, however. At just 20 pages, printed on matte beige paper with a card stock cover, and nary an ad in sight, GeneWatch is a far cry from the thick, glossy magazines that line the newsstand. In moxie, and in quality of content, however, the tiny publication is a heavyweight.
The official mouthpiece of the nonprofit watchdog group Council for Responsible Genetics (CRG) for the past 24 years, GeneWatch dedicates itself to monitoring the ethical and environmental impact of biotechnology, and over the past year has set the bar for reporting on critical issues such as genetic profiling and DNA databases.
The approachable, elegantly written bimonthly is best when it examines the often ignored over-lap of science, philosophy, and politics-making it essential reading for anyone interested in the social consequences of developing technology. And the CRG has just two full-time employees: Lerner and president Sujatha Byravan, a molecular biologist, activist, and journalist.
Subscriptions: $35/yr. (6 issues); 617/868-0870; www.gene-watch.org.