Quanta Magazine Celebrates Five Years of Public Service Science Journalism

The award-winning magazine is illuminating fundamental math and science research for millions of readers around the world

In an uncertain time in the media business, Quanta Magazine has flourished as a source of deeply reported, well-crafted articles about the cutting edge of scientific and mathematical understanding.

Since launching as Quanta on July 16, 2013, the magazine has attracted a loyal and rapidly growing audience through its core news features as well as interviews, columns, blog posts, videos, puzzles and podcasts. The magazine’s seven-minute planetarium show, titled “Journey to the Birth of the Solar System,” has been picked up by 14 planetariums and counting.

Quanta has received many accolades. It is “highly regarded for its masterful coverage of complex topics in science and math,” writes Undark magazine.

“If you aren’t reading @QuantaMagazine, you are missing some of the finest, sharpest science writing of our time,” tweeted Maria Popova, founder of the popular Brain Pickings blog.

The Nobel Prize-winning physicist David Gross calls Quanta “the greatest thing to happen to science journalism in many years.”

This November, the magazine will publish two books with MIT Press featuring the biggest ideas in math and science from the last five years: The Prime Number Conspiracy and Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire.

Thanks to its position as an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation, Quanta’s staff can focus entirely on providing quality journalism to its readers free of paywalls, subscription fees and outside advertising.

Over the last year, around 5 million readers have visited QuantaMagazine.org to enjoy tales of discovery such as how ants harness mathematics to build bridges, surprising new evidence about the size of infinity and the ongoing hunt for our solar system’s ninth planet. Quanta’s reporting reaches millions more through syndication partnerships with outlets such as Wired, The Atlantic, Scientific American and The Washington Post. Quanta articles are also translated and republished in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Chinese.

Helmed by former New York Times journalist Thomas Lin, this young publication is staffed with experienced, award-winning editors and writers. Four Quanta articles have been featured in anthologies featuring the best writing in mathematics.

The American Institute of Physics awarded senior writer and editor Natalie Wolchover its 2017 Science Communication Award for her article “What No New Particles Means for Physics.” Wolchover previously received the 2016 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award from the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing for four of her articles in Quanta.

Quanta Magazine is consistently superb,” says Steven Strogatz, popular math writer and Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. “It’s head and shoulders above anything else out there for science and math coverage. It goes beyond the latest press releases and looks at important trends and breakthroughs with great depth and clarity.”

Last year, Quanta launched a new logo and a redesigned website. The new site presents the magazine’s reporting in a responsive, open design with modern features that help readers engage more deeply with the content and with each other.

The updated website received raves from both readers and design experts. It finished runner-up in the science category of the 2018 Webby Awards and earned an honorable mention in the Awwwards web design contest.

“Five years ago, we launched a science magazine that was different by design,” Lin says. “Instead of churning out quick, snackable content about health and technology, we wanted to deliver deep, accessible, accurate stories about the biggest mysteries in the universe. There’s something thrilling about new ideas that have the power to advance the boundaries of human knowledge. I don’t know what big new ideas will emerge five years from now, but we’ll be reporting it in Quanta Magazine.”

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