Meanings of Science Project

Meanings of Science in the Modern World Project

Science is one of our most valuable sources of knowledge. But it remains the least accessible domain of learning. New forms of knowledge and scientific breakthroughs  happen every day, yet these insights are rarely made available to stakeholders like policy makers, scholars from other fields, or the public.

With support from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the Marginalia Review of Books has launched its “Meanings of Science in the Modern World Project,” bringing the academy’s deepest scientific insights to everyone.

Knowledge, even when it is created, often has no path to reach those who need it. That is why we will be featuring regular publications by scientists and scholars trained to think about science and its significance in contexts beyond the laboratory—all without a paywall.

Science has answers to issues of fundamental human importance. But if such knowledge is only distributed to a select few, then there can be no integration with other forms of knowledge for the public good. The Meanings of Science project embodies our core mission, and it is a first-step towards a larger goal: helping create a new culture of scientific literacy and debate, one that is open to all.

Current Project Contributors Include: 

Philip Ball, Writer, broadcaster, former editor of Nature, physicist by training

Lorraine Daston, Director Emerita of Max-Plank Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago

Stephen Gaukroger, Historian of Philosophy & Science, former editor of Intellectual History Review

Peter Harrison, Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland

Vittorio Hösle, Paul Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters, Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures; Concurrent Professor of Philosophy and of Political Science at Notre Dame;Founding Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

Avi Loeb, Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University & Founder of the Galileo Project

Samuel Loncar, Philosopher, writer, and Editor-in-Chief of Marginalia Review of Books

Erika Lorraine Milam, Professor of History of Science, Princeton University

Iain McGilchrist, Psychiatrist, Neuroscience Researcher, Philosopher and Literary Scholar

Tom McLeish, Physicist & Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York, England

Lisa H. Sideris, Professor of Environmental Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara

Nick Spencer, Writer and Senior Fellow at Theos Think Tank

Linda Elkins-Tanton, Foundation and Regents Professor, School Of Earth and Space Exploration; Distinguished Global Futures Scientist, Global Futures Scientists and Scholars; Vice President & Regents Professor, ASU Interplanetary Initiative; Principal Investigator of NASA’s Psyche mission to explore the metallic asteroid 16 Psyche

Resources Currently Available at Marginalia

How Special is Science? – Philip Ball

Science and Human Values: An Interview with Peter Harrison

What is Soft Matter?– Philip Ball Reviews Tom McLeish

For the Life of Science: Quantum Mechanics and The Writing Life – Philip Ball

Cosmic Humaily: Harvard’s Avi Loeb on Extraterrestrials and the Future of Science

Beyond Weird: Quantum Mechanics with Philip Ball

Do you love science and want to make a contribution to the project?
Yes, donate now.