When Science News first went online in 1996, about one-fifth of Americans had access to the internet, and those who did spent very little time there. Dial-up modems were painfully slow. AOL was the largest internet service provider, and Amazon was a start-up online bookseller.
In those early days, journalists quickly realized how great the World Wide Web could be for researching subjects, connecting with sources and publishing. Julie Ann Miller, editor of Science News at the time, wrote in the magazine that it was too early to know if the Web would supplant newspapers and television (SN: 12/21/96 & 12/28/96, p. 402). But, she noted, “we are already benefiting from its ability to reduce the obstacles of distance and time to help us carry the news of science to an ever-widening audience.”
Are we ever. Today most people read Science News on their phones, and “reading” includes watching videos and engaging with interactive graphics that we could barely dream of offering 23 years ago. Digital publishing promises to keep evolving at an astonishing pace. To ensure that our online audiences have the best possible experience, we’ve rebuilt the Science News website to make it faster and easier to navigate, including browsing almost 100 years of science in our archives. And it’s beautiful.
We’ve also upgraded our site for Science News in High Schools, which connects our journalism to teachers and students at almost 5,000 high schools. And the rebuild of our Science News for Students site, for readers ages 9 and up, is well under way. Take a look, and let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new Science News site is built on WordPress, an open-source publishing platform that will make it easier for us to evolve with technology. I am grateful to our publisher Maya Ajmera and many others at our parent nonprofit Society for Science & the Public for supporting this effort, and to our digital team led by Kate Travis and our partners at Alley Interactive for making it happen. Of course, one thing isn’t changing — our commitment to bringing you top-quality reporting on the latest in science, medicine and technology. However you connect with us, we aim to continue to make that experience more illuminating, thought-provoking and delightful.