10 years of I, Science

10 years turquoise 857x321Launched on 14th March 2005, I, Science is fast approaching its 10th anniversary, and we are about to produce our 30th issue.  Issue 1 (available here) covers a range of subjects that are still topical: organic farming, climate change, open access publishing, neuroscience and space research among them.

I am reproducing below the text of the first editorial; you can see an article from issue 1 here.

A SCIENCE MAGAZINE that has absolutely nothing to do with science. This was one of the ideas we touted around in our earlier group meetings before deciding to settle on the current paradigm for I, Science: a magazine that shows science in its societal context. With the possible exception of the metaphorical front cover, everything in this magazine is clearly related to science. From the comedy of the Punk Scientists through to the opinion pieces on the relationship between science and religion, and the interviews with prominent media scientists – the articles in this magazine show how science interacts with society, culture, the media and government.

Bearing in mind that an average Imperial student is already exposed to more science in one term than an average person on the street is in a lifetime (fact): why this magazine at Imperial? The answer is quite simple: science is fascinating. However boring lectures can sometimes get and however irksome exams can be, the ideas, ethical dilemmas and new philosophical ground generated by science and technology are changing our world-view like nothing else in modern culture. There is currently talk of a new ‘third culture’ emerging beyond the Two Cultures divide between the arts and the sciences described so famously by C. P. Snow. The third culture encourages scientists to communicate the significance of their ideas to the public and one another, and interprets the impact of empirical research on society.

Imperial is one of the best research institutes of its kind in the world. The ideas being generated here have consequences far beyond the four walls of the South Kensington campus. Some of the most amazing and influential research in the world is being done here at Imperial. But we don’t get to write about it and respond to it. This is a forum where we can communicate our enthusiasm for science; I, Science hopes to develop a ‘third culture’ at Imperial.

Aside from this, the magazine also places emphasis on presenting science in an interesting and entertaining way. Communicating science is an art form in itself and the magazine will hopefully give budding writers a chance to engage with a ‘scientifically literate’ readership. However, this issue of of I, Science has shown that there is a great deal of scope for broad and varied content.

This is the first edition of the first ever science magazine at Imperial College. It would not have been possible were it not for the commitment and talent our contributors and editors. It would also not be possible without the support of Felix. So, with this in mind, I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts. I think you all have a magazine to be proud of.

Darius Nikbin

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