From ScienceWriters: Knowable Magazine set to launch

Adding a new voice to the growing offerings of online science journalism, Annual Reviews is launching a digital magazine. Knowable Magazine uses various forms of storytelling to explore the life, physical, and social sciences. The magazine debuts at WCSJ2017.

The online-only magazine will focus on exploring the real-world significance of research, punctuated with forays into the wonder of the world around us. Knowable's standpoint is that, given the right tools and effort, the diverse phenomena that the universe presents to us can, in theory, be understood and explained.

Knowable magazine home page

"It's a pro-science attitude, but tempered with humility," said Eva Emerson, Knowable's editor and a longtime NASW member. "Scientists have been incredibly successful in describing much of the world, but gaps and unexplored areas will always remain. We wanted a name that applauds the rational effort to probe nature, while acknowledging science's limits."

Review articles from the 48 current Annual Reviews journals will serve as springboards for journalistic pieces in Knowable, including in-depth features, explainers, and even comics.

"Content in the Annual Reviews journals will provide the seeds of ideas, but we will make editorial decisions based on our own independent judgments on how to best inform and intrigue readers," said Emerson.

The magazine is supported by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

"Annual Reviews articles synthesize findings from individual studies into something larger, articulating where a field stands, what is controversial and what the future may hold," said Richard Gallagher, president of Annual Reviews. "Knowable will help share these insights with a wider audience in more approachable ways, and we'll open up the full review article to readers who want a deep dive into the topic."

As a journalistic endeavor, Knowable will look beyond the rapid-fire pace of reporting on single scientific studies, adding analysis, context, and perspective to news from all areas of science.

ScienceWriters Fall 2017 cover

"What makes Knowable different in concept is that we are following scientific developments, but our reporting is based on reviews that integrate years of study. We will be writing about areas that have matured, or failed to mature, providing panoramic views of science and its impacts," said Emerson. "Many new results are intriguing, and worth covering, but seeing results in a deeper context can better reveal what actually makes a difference in peoples' lives. That's what we aim to do."

Knowable's rich blend of content will appear on its own website and also be freely available under a Creative Commons license. Knowable will actively seek partners interested in republishing the magazine's offerings.

Emerson came to Knowable from Science News, where she was editor in chief from 2012 to 2017. Deputy editor is Rosie Mestel, previously chief magazine editor at Nature and a former health and science editor at the Los Angeles Times. Reporter/producer Lindzi Wessel came aboard after internships at Science magazine and STAT. The five-person team will also include an art director and an audience engagement editor, and the magazine will feature the work of a network of freelance contributors.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and benefit of society. Founded 85 years ago, Annual Reviews publishes volumes in a wide range of fields, from animal biosciences and fluid mechanics to economics and organizational psychology. To sign up for media-only access to journal content, email your credentials to

(Source: news release)

(NASW members can read the rest of the Fall 2017 ScienceWriters by logging into the members area.) Free sample issue. How to join NASW.

Oct. 26, 2017

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