Knowable Magazine from Annual Reviews: The Search for Answers, Fueled by Research

Adding a new voice to the growing offerings of online science journalism, Knowable Magazine from Annual Reviews will debut at the World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco on October 26, 2017.

This online-only magazine will explore the real-world significance of scholarly research, punctuated with forays into wonder and awe. Review articles written by leading scholars from the nearly 50 Annual Review journals serve as springboards for stories in Knowable Magazine. Through in-depth features, explainers, articles, essays, interviews, infographics, slideshows and comics, Knowable Magazine bridges the gap between review articles written by invited experts and the information needs of a broader audience.

This initiative receives generous support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Explaining the relationship between Annual Reviews and Knowable Magazine, President and Editor-in-Chief Richard Gallagher says:

“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. Knowable Magazine will help share these insights with a wider audience in more approachable ways.”

In terms of what makes Knowable Magazine different from other sources of scientific information, Editor Eva Emerson says:

“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. 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.”

Other staff members include: Rosie Mestel (Deputy Editor); Lindzi Wessel (Reporter) and Katie Fleeman (Audience Engagement Editor).

This new publication has an Advisory Group that comprises the following experts in scientific communication:

Knowable’s rich blend of content will appear on its own website and also be freely available under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND). If you are attending the World Conference of Science Journalists next week and want to meet the magazine team and other members of Annual Reviews, please check out our schedule here.

You can sign up for further updates about Knowable Magazine and connect with Knowable Magazine on Facebook and Twitter.

Knowable Magazine From Annual Reviews – launches @WCSJ17

It’s all systems go as we prepare to launch Knowable Magazine from Annual Reviews at the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) which starts on October 26 in San Francisco. Our new digital magazine is supported by generous grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Knowable Magazine will explore the real-world significance of scholarly research, punctuated with forays into wonder and awe. Review articles written by leading scholars from the nearly 50 Annual Review journals serve as springboards for stories in the online-only magazine. Through in-depth features, explainers, articles, essays, interviews, infographics, slideshows and comics, Knowable Magazine bridges the gap between review articles written by invited experts and the information needs of a broader audience.

Knowable Magazine Editor, Eva Emerson, formerly of Science News said:

“Scientists have been incredibly successful in exploring and describing much of the world and universe. At Knowable Magazine, we want to provide a current picture of what’s known and what’s not known about important areas of research.”

For those of you coming to the WCSJ, here’s a snapshot of where you can find us and when.

If you need an additional reason to attend our “Meet the Knowable Editors” event (with chocolate) on Friday afternoon, then we are hoping to have an additional free item to give away to the first 100 people who show up.

Rosie Mestel, Deputy Editor for Knowable Magazine, will also be at the Unofficial Pop-Up Pitch Slam on Saturday, October 28.

You can sign up for further updates about Knowable Magazine and connect with Knowable Magazine on Facebook and Twitter.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and benefit of society. Please visit the Annual Reviews Press Center to sign up for media-only access to journal content.

 

Annual Reviews appoints Katie Fleeman as Audience Engagement Editor for Knowable Magazine

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that Katie Fleeman has been appointed Audience Engagement Editor for Knowable Magazine From Annual Reviews, a new digital publication, set to launch October 26, 2017 at the World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco (more information on our schedule).

Editor Eva Emerson welcomed her, saying:

“As hire number four to the Magazine team, Katie bridges the gap between our content and its audience, helping to ensure that stories reach and are shared by those who will be most impacted by the content. Her superb organizational ability and can-do attitude has already been a boon to the team.”

Katie brings experience in both academic publishing and mass media, with an emphasis on new, digitally-native publications. She joins us from the issues-driven media company ATTN:, where she was the second hire on the audience team and the first employee dedicated to analytics. Previously, she was on the marketing team at the nonprofit Open Access publisher PLOS, promoting both the blogs network and the suite of journals. She studied history at UC Berkeley.

Knowable Magazine will explore the real-world significance of scholarly research, punctuated with forays into wonder and awe. Review articles written by leading scholars from the nearly 50 Annual Review journals serve as springboards for stories in the online-only magazine. Through in-depth features, explainers, articles, essays, interviews, infographics, slideshows and comics, Knowable Magazine bridges the gap between review articles written by invited experts and the information needs of a broader audience. This initiative receives generous support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and benefit of society. Please visit the Annual Reviews Press Center to sign up for media-only access to journal content.

Connect With Our Experts using Remarq

We are pleased to announce a partnership with Remarq, a new scholarly collaboration network from RedLink, that facilitates online annotation and encourages informed conversation between readers, authors, and editors. To use this new service, sign up here.

Annual Reviews President and Editor-In-Chief Richard Gallagher said:

“We are excited to introduce the Remarq scholarly collaboration network on the Annual Reviews site. Remarq promotes informed discussion and teaching by facilitating annotation of our articles. You can make your comments available to the entire audience or restrict them to personal use. A group sharing option will soon be added. I encourage all users to sign up. It truly is an opportunity to ‘Connect With Our Experts’.”

Watch this two minute video to find out how it works:

  1. Readers register with Remarq, using your ORCID, LinkedIn credentials, or email address.
  2. Authors may register with Remarq and then claim their articles. Remarq will alert authors every time a reader posts a question or comment in relation to their article.
  3. Users can make annotations and notes that are either private or public.  In the coming weeks, Remarq will also add a feature to allow the creation of collaborative groups.
  4. To maintain an appropriately high level of discourse on our site, we are drafting guidelines for constructive engagement.
  5. Article sharing is encouraged and permitted within the Remarq network and participants may do so without fear of breaking copyright rules.
Remarq commenting box

We will be writing to all our authors soon to encourage them to register, but if you want to get started now you can sign up here.

About. Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society. To find out how we create our highly cited reviews and stimulate discussion about science, please watch this short video. Members of the media can visit our Press Center to sign up for journal access.

The Science of Art and Plant Monitoring: Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry Volume 10

Browse the Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry Volume 10 table of contents.

AC10-artThere’s something magical about how scientific technology and techniques can peel back layers of paint and dust to reveal new information about an object or artist. Karen Trentelman’s article “Analyzing the Heterogeneous Hierarchy of Cultural Heritage Materials: Analytical Imaging” only increased my enjoyment of the topic. I was especially intrigued by the approach laid out in the introduction:

“In the creation of works of art, the extent to which human activity is necessary or able to control the final product can also be considered in terms of different length scales. Generally, the most important macroscale property, and the one entirely controlled (or at least actively sought) by the artist, is the overall appearance, broadly understood to include qualities such as color, texture, sheen, and shape. However, although the artist may control the final appearance through the selection and exploitation (whether deliberate or incidental) of specific mesoscale (or smaller) properties, the intrinsic micro- to nanoscale physics and chemistry that produce the desired macroscale appearance are out of the artist’s control. For example, a layer of varnish only a few tens of microns thick can dramatically change the appearance of a painting; the artist can control the choice of varnish and the thickness and method of application, but the index of refraction and surface tension properties that impart the desired saturation of color and surface appearance are controlled by nature.”

The ideas in Kwak et al.’s article “Nanosensor Technology Applied to Living Plant Systems” took me a bit by surprise. I knew that there was research that involved precision monitoring of agriculture, but I didn’t realize that plants could be actively managed at this level with great potential to change the way agriculture works:

“In the field of plant biology or agriculture, nanosensors have been used as nanobiosensors environmental pollution (25). Several nanosensors have been developed to detect contaminants, such as crystal violet or malachite green concentrations in seafood, and parathion residues or residues of organophosphorus pesticides on vegetables)…. The installation of nanosensors or nanoscale wireless sensors in living plants is currently applied to enable the real-time monitoring and early detection of potential problems related to biochemistry and metabolism.”

Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, she has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.

 

Historical Context: Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 86

Browse the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 86 table of contents.

This volume of the Annual Review of Biochemistry opens with an autobiography by Christopher Walsh, titled “At the Intersection of Chemistry, Biology, and Medicine.” I especially enjoyed his memories of his early days in research and how these early projects shaped his long-term research:

“Two epiphanies turned my attention away from medical school, which had
been my default expectation, to biomedical research as a career option. The
first came from research on fire ant trail substance pheromone. I was involved
in a joint project between Professor Law and Professor E.O. Wilson in the
Biology Department. Wilson has been the world’s expert in ant biology and the
lessons learned from their interdependent society for the past 60-plus years.
My efforts at partial purification resulted in my initial research paper,
published in Nature no less. Although it would be another 30 years before I
published in Nature again, in my callow enthusiasm I thought from this
encounter that the research enterprise would be exciting.”

I also liked the description of his first research group:

“Starting a research group is like diving into the deep end of a pool to find out if you can swim, with no prior instructions on what keeps people afloat. At the outset, aged 28, I was at most 5 years older than the students in my group. The sales and instrument people who would drop by would ask me all the time if Professor Walsh was in. I usually replied that unfortunately he was otherwise occupied.”

Nielsen’s article “Systems Biology of Metabolism” is a wide-ranging article that gave me a better understanding of metabolism—a subject I’m interested in but find very complicated. I especially enjoyed the history of the subject in the Introduction to the article, including the “golden age of metabolism studies.” These bits of history are very useful context.
bi-ribosomal rnaI discovered another historical section in Matzov’s article, “A Bright Future for
Antibiotics?

“This article addresses a major problem in modern medicine: resistance of pathogens to antibiotics. It focuses on how antibiotics paralyze ribosomes, the universal multicomponent cellular particles that translate the genetic code into proteins. It highlights conventional and nonconventional suggestions that may relieve, to some extent, the current problematic medical situation and shows how we may benefit from the vast amount of available structural information. Notably, understanding the mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics could not even be dreamt about when a project aimed at the determination of the atomic structure of ribosomes was started during the last two weeks of November 1979.”

Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, she has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.

Ice Crystals and Ice Cream: Annual Review of Materials Research Volume 47

Browse the Annual Review of Materials Research Volume 47 table of contents.

I am thrilled to introduce you to “Physical Dynamics of Ice Crystal Growth” by Libbrecht. This article provided me with a welcome break from the heat and inspired a great deal of respect for this field (as well as a snow dance in my office chair). It’s a really great article and I hope you go take a look—even if just to gaze in wonder at the figures.

MR47-ice

“The winter clouds produce a great diversity of snow-crystal forms, from slender columns to thin plates, at times branched, sectored, hollowed, and faceted, as shown in Figure 1. Yet extensive laboratory and theoretical investigations have still not determined why these varied structures appear under different growth conditions. For example, we do not yet possess even a qualitative understanding of why snow crystal growth alternates between plate-like and columnar forms as a function of temperature, as seen in Figure 1, although this behavior was first observed more than 75 years ago.”

I would be willing to bet that most of us have bent a spoon while attempting to scoop hard ice cream. A few of us have gone on to write scientific papers about it, as I discovered in the article by Sethna et al. “Deformation of Crystals: Connections with Statistical Physics.”

MR47-ice cream“A metal spoon will spring back into its original shape under ordinary use, but when scooping hard ice cream, one may bend the spoon too far for it to recover (Figure 1). The spoon is made up of many crystalline grains, each of which has a regular grid of atoms. To permanently deform the spoon, atomic planes must slide past one another. Such glide happens through the motion of dislocation lines. The dynamics, interactions, and entanglement of these dislocation lines form the microscopic underpinnings of crystal plasticity, inspiring this review.”

It’s a noisy world out there and I’ve often wished for better soundproofing.  I was not aware of the complexity of those sound barriers until discovering Yang & Sheng’s article, “Sound Absorption Structures: From Porous Media to Acoustic Metamaterials.” I particularly enjoyed the early section on “traditional porous materials such as plastic foam, fiber glass, and mineral wool.”

“Because sound is associated with very small air displacement velocities, its dissipation as a function of frequency must obey the linear response theory, in which the generalized flux (e.g., electrical current density, flow rate, heat flux) is linearly proportional to the generalized force (e.g., gradients of electrical potential, pressure, temperature). Because dissipative force varies linearly as function of the rate (e.g., dynamic friction varies linearly as a function of relative velocity) and dissipated power is given by the product of force and flux, it follows that sound dissipation is a quadratic function of frequency, as shown below. Hence, for low frequency sound, dissipation is inherently much weaker than for high-frequency sound.”

Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, she has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.