I noticed yesterday that there’s a new group blog, at NPR, on science and culture, and – to my pleasant surprise – one of the co-authors is my friend and colleague KC Cole, the well known (and quite marvellous) science writer! I’ve met the physicist Marcelo Gleiser who will be a co-author and he seems like an excellent new voice to hear from. Astrophysicist Adam Frank and Biologists Ursula Goodenough and Stuart Kauffman round out the exciting-looking roster. (I cheekily grabbed a screen shot of the roster photos (left) from their site.) There are a number of lovely pieces up on the site already for you to read.
The blog is called 13.7, a number that might be familiar to you.
No? You might be thinking that it is the new high price for a basic over-priced cup of “gourmet” coffee in some new tediously pretentious cafe in LA (and believe me, I’d not be at all surprised), but I was in fact referring to the 13.7 billion years that is the age of our universe. I think that is the primary meaning they had in mind too. I’m pleased to see these new voices in the blogosphere, and pleased that authors of blogs of this sort can still come up with excellent names! 13.7 is a really rather nice name and, in a slightly inside way, captures the scope, variety, and grandeur of the themes I expect they’ll explore in much the same way that the name Cosmic Variance promised (and delivered) for that group blog back in 2005. I came up with that name a little before we launched the blog (we mulled over several good names until that one struck me out of the blue as ideal and my then co-bloggers agreed) and I’ll admit that I remain pleased with its evocative feel, and general fresh-sounding aspect.
Incidentally, much the same thing happened with the name Correlations a bit later on in 2007. The name struck me out of the blue as perfect for what we were trying to as the companion blog to PBS’ (then) new TV show Wired Science. I really like the name. Sadly, the show was canned after a bit and so the blog was shelved, the name frozen with it.
Anyway, back on topic, let’s all wish 13.7 good luck, and pay them a visit form time to time to read and say hello. Since it is an NPR blog, I expect that it will have a solid readership and lots of interesting links to some of the great stories that show up on the various NPR shows.
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):