Eight Ways to Get Your Geek On

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Our library contains 1,300 publications–a feast of magazines, journals, alt-weeklies, newsletters, and zines–and every year, we honor the stars in our Utne Independent Press Awards. We’ll announce this year’s winners on Sunday, April 25 at the MPA’s Independent Magazine Group conference in Washington, D.C. and post them online the following Monday. We’re crazy about these publications, and we’d love it for all of our readers to get to know them better, too. So, every weekday until the conference, we’ll be posting mini-introductions to our complete list of 2010 nominees.

The following eight magazines are our 2010 nominees in the category of science/technology coverage.

California, published at UC Berkeley, is as eclectic as its community. The quarterly opens with sneak peeks at research in motion, such as cyborg spy beetles and the science of humor. The features that follow challenge conventional wisdom and tap iconoclastic characters to bring high-minded theories down to earth.

Engineers are responsible for some of the most exciting innovations in modern science. IEEE Spectrum, the official magazine of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, translates the advances in computers, robotics, and other fields of science into a language that geeks can love and anyone can understand.

We wish more reporters would go to Johns Hopkins Public Health for story ideas and analysis instead of relying on oversimplified press releases. The biannual publication brings a global perspective to everything from malaria and AIDS research to sleep disorders and innovations in eyewear.

Only one magazine would teach readers how to make a steampunk electrostatic generator and a letterpress printing machine in the same issue. Make magazine takes science away from the scientists and puts technology in the hands of garage innovators and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

In a world besieged by a seemingly endless list of baffling challenges, Miller-McCune is a smart, clear-eyed tonic. The monthly’s editors seek out cutting-edge research to demystify the day’s most pressing issues and highlight institutions and innovators that provide reason for hope.

Science News is inexhaustible. Every two weeks it surveys groundbreaking research in a variety of disciplines to deliver in-depth, inviting stories. Want to know a lot more about archaeology? A little something about superstring theory? This is your go-to guide.

Stanford reports on the awe-inspiring work done by its host university’s faculty, students, and alumni, and then produces an impeccably rendered general-interest magazine. And although its stories cut across disciplines, we’re drawn to its richly researched stories on global health, conservation, and psychology.

Technology Review does much more than review the day’s coolest gadgets and mind-blowing scientific innovations. MIT’s magazine gets into the cultural and political implications of those innovations to help experts and casual readers better understand how new technology will change the wider world.

Want more? Meet our health and wellness and spirituality nominees.

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.