Essays In Arts And Sciences Journal

The Journal of Design and Science (JoDS), a joint venture of the MIT Media Lab and the MIT Press, forges new connections between science and design, breaking down the barriers between traditional academic disciplines in the process. Targeting readers with open, curious minds, JoDS explores timely, controversial topics in science, design, and society with a particular focus on the nuanced interactions among them.


“Resisting Reduction” Essay CompetitionNow Closed

5 March 2018

Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal. We are thrilled by the number of responses we received and the many ways you engaged with our third issue. We will be back in touch regarding round two by Monday, 2 April 2018.

Announcement: “Resisting Reduction” Essay Competition

7 February 2018

The MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab announce a call for essays on the topic of resisting reduction,broadly defined, for the Journal of Design and Science. Essays should be in conversation with Joi Ito’s manifesto, “Resisting Reduction,” and the articles, also on this theme, published in the third issue of JoDS.

In support of open access scholarship and the free exchange of ideas, JoDS will award up to ten authors $10,000 each for chosen essays. Selections will run in JoDS under a Creative Commons license and will be published in an MIT Press volume. Proceeds from the publication of this volume will support open access publishing at MIT.

Please visit our Essay Competition page to learn more.

Issue 3 of JoDS is Now Live

5 February 2018

The third issue of JoDS, “Resisting Reduction,” looks at designing a complex and unknowable future with machines questioning theories such as Singularity and modern economic and market-based decision making. The essays, in conversation with Joi Ito’s manifesto “Resisting Reduction,” explore machine intelligence in light of diverse ecosystems in nature and its relationship to humanity.

Enjoy, and please join the JoDS conversation!

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Science, art and culture archive

Science, art and culture archive

How to write

Five top science book writers offer advice for budding authors in a series of interviews in Nature's Books & Arts section. Peter Atkins reveals the hard work behind a successful textbook; Carl Zimmer highlights how passion is essential for popular science; David Brin reveals how criticism improves his fiction writing; Georgina Ferry shares research tips for biographies; and Joanna Cole explains how to convey science to children.

Being human

Why do we behave in the way that we do? This series of Essays reveals how the latest research is altering our understanding of what it is to be human. Whether in relation to religion or to our collective behaviour in cities, experts explore the potential impact on society, now and in the future, of discoveries in psychology, anthropology, genetics, neuroscience, game theory and network engineering.


'Horizons' articles present experts' visions of the foreseeable future of a research theme. The articles are commissioned by Nature's editors, and usually published without peer review, given Nature's intention of capturing a respected individual perspective. The articles are intended to anticipate the future, but also to influence it.

Science and Music

This weekly series explores what the latest scientific research has to say about music – what it is, why we make it, how we make it, why we listen to it and how it is changing. Nine opinion pieces from leading world experts working at the interface between science and music discuss how the latest developments in physics, psychology, materials science, information science, neuroscience and anthropology might give us new answers to these ancient questions.

Hidden treasures series

Every month throughout 2008 Alison Abbott looks into the holdings and history of one of Europe's unique small collections or scientific monuments off the well-beaten museum track. The series will, we hope, inspire a greater interest in where scientists have come from, and encourage those on the conference circuit with a few hours to spare to visit these 'hidden treasures'. Delight is guaranteed.

Children's Books

Books for young readers are the focus of this special Books & Arts section, and accompanying podcast. Expert reviewers, their children and their grandchildren weigh up the different approaches publishers are taking to communicating science to tomorrow's lab heads and policy makers. From pop-ups to how-to's, biographies to fiction, encyclopaedias to compendiums - find out how books are trying to hold their own against the myriad other information sources now available to budding scientists.

Science fiction

Fifty years ago this month Hugh Everett III published his paper proposing a "relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics" - the idea subsequently described as the 'many worlds' or 'multiverse' interpretation. Its impact on science and culture continues. In celebration, a science fiction special edition of Nature on 5 July 2007 explores the symbiosis of science and sf, as exemplified by Everett's hypothesis, its birth, evolution, champions and opponents, in biology, physics, literature and beyond.


Nature is proud to present the return of Futures to the mother ship: a forum for the best new science-fiction writing, exploring some of the themes that might challenge us as the future unfolds. Prepare to be amused, stimulated, even outraged, but know this: the future is sooner than you think.

Essays: Connections

From cell biologists to quantum physicists, researchers are struggling to work out how systems involving large numbers of interacting entities work as a whole. In this collection of Essays, scientists explain how a systems approach, in parallel with the reductionism that dominated twentieth-century science, promises to yield fresh insight, and in some cases, to challenge the most widely held concepts of their field.

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