Your Great Idea Here

Science, technology, and life.
Dec. 22 2008 10:34 AM

Your Great Idea Here

Human Nature is on vacation and won't be back till after New Year's. In the spirit of the holidays, I'd like to thank each of you for staying in touch as a reader and, I hope, as a correspondent . In fact, I'd like to ask one favor of you: Tell me how you'd like me to do my job differently.

The mission of this column is to explore the ways in which science and technology are changing how we live, what we think, and who we are. It's a huge and growing part of modern life. Traditional media have covered it poorly, I think, because they're too accustomed to the old system of beats. There's the science beat, where you cover the latest studies. There's the health beat, where you cover the human body. And then there are political and cultural beats, which address how we live and govern ourselves.

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

Advertisement

The problem with the old system is that technology is moving so fast, and transforming society so extensively, that we can no longer adequately cover politics and culture without accounting for science and technology. Nor can we cover science and technology without examining how they're affecting culture and politics. Hence this column.

With that framework in mind, which topics should I be covering more? Which developments am I missing? Which questions am I neglecting to ask? And while you're at it: Which formats do you prefer to read? How often do you want to be updated? Do you prefer the longer pieces of previous years? The quick headline links of last spring? The daily, medium-length blog items of the last month or so? Something else?

Who are your favorite writers on science and technology? Your favorite news sources? Your favorite blogs? Last spring I drew up a list of blogs and news outlets. I'll probably adapt it to run in the right-hand column of this page. Should I add to it? If I narrow it, which links should I keep? Got any good books to recommend?

One thing I've come to admire about science, as opposed to politics, is its humility. Today's proudest theories are always at the mercy of tomorrow's inconvenient data, and today's seemingly straightforward data are always open to being reshuffled by tomorrow's perspective-shifting theories. We have a lot to learn from each other.

So give me your best advice . I can't learn without you. And I'll be back to return the favor in 2009.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 16 2014 8:00 AM The Wall Street Bombing: Low-Tech Terrorism in Prohibition-era New York
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 7:36 AM The Inspiration Drought Why our science fiction needs new dreams.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 16 2014 7:30 AM A Galaxy of Tatooines
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.