This past Sunday was 13.7's third anniversary. It's been an unexpected and rewarding journey for all involved, evolving into a jam session of ideas about science and culture. Thanks to everyone for making it a success and joining in with us as we kick around some big ideas.
So a long time ago, on a college campus far, far away (well as far as New Hampshire is from New York), Marcelo Gleiser sat me down and told me he had an idea:
We should do a group blog, something that covers science and culture, but not with the usual dichotomies like the atheism vs. religion thing. We could get a bunch of people together who like to come at things sideways.
It was one of those moments when you can feel your life taking a sharp turn around the corner and onto Interesting Street.
It took some doing. We had to reach out to like-minded folks, we had look for a good home and we had to give it a name. With grace and good luck, we ended up at NPR with a collection of folks who were a bit heretical and super fun to think (and work) with on a project aimed at opening up a dialogue about science and culture. That was three years ago this week. That was how 13.7 Cosmos and Culture was born. Here are the first pieces we published three years ago:
- "Noticings: The Art And Science Of Social Invention" by KC Cole on Dec. 16, 2009
- "Crossroads Real And Imagined: Why I'm Here." by Adam Frank on Dec. 16, 2009
- "Science For A New Millennium" by Marcelo Gleiser on Dec. 16, 2009
- "Entering A New Time For Our Co-Evolving Civilizations" by Stuart Kauffman on Dec. 16, 2009
- "Climate And The Final Factor" by Adam Frank on Dec. 16, 2009
- "Evolution, Religion And Climate" by Ursula Goodenough on Dec. 18, 2009
The blog has gone through some changes over time, with new bloggers joining us and old friends moving on. Through it all, 13.7 has grown both in its readership (we get millions of page views a year now) and its scope. A real community has grown up around the project: the bloggers, the folks at NPR and our family of readers and commentators. Each post we write is a chance to go in new directions. Each discussion with you makes us think anew about what we've said and where we should go in future posts.
It's exactly as it should be. We are all here to learn.
Life is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, covered in chocolate sauce. But for all the joy that comes with trying to push back the veil of mystery, doing it alone just isn't as much fun as taking part in the giant jam session that is 13.7.
So, with great expectation, we look forward to year #4. (Unless the whole 2012 apocalypse thing turns out to be true, in which case: So long, and thanks for all the fish.)