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Podcasts, Slideshows, and Videos, Oh My!

Fenella Saunders

American Scientist is a bimonthly magazine, so we try to fill each issue with enough ideas and insights to keep you engaged for two full months. In the digital age, we’re no longer limited by what we can print on paper, however. Our staff is therefore working to provide you with a rich multimedia experience as well.

At you can find a wealth of podcasts, ranging from short audio interviews to full talks accompanied by PowerPoint slides, all of which showcase leadings scientists in their fields. Some recent examples include a talk with Sukanta Basu, a researcher in wind power, and Ron Alterovitz, who studies methods to teach robots movements and new tasks.

You’ll also find some more visual presentations. Brian Hare, who studies the cognitive abilities of dogs, discusses his work in conjunction with a slideshow that illustrates some of his test subjects and techniques. A recent video features an in-depth discussion with Yi Lu about his work in DNA nanotechnology, moderated by me here at the magazine’s editorial office, and includes images that further explain his work.

American Scientist has also embraced social media; you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep current on the latest science news. And the value of social media goes both ways, as showcased in Tim K. Davies’ article about using tourist images of whale sharks to track these ocean giants and to aid in their conservation. Robert J. Wood discusses the challenges of manufacturing at the millimeter scale, and has developed some ingenious fabrication methods inspired by origami and children’s pop-up books. And Clare Dobbs looks at the ways that new computer simulations are expanding our understanding of how stars form. There will be additional multimedia material on our website to accompany these and other articles in the issue. A box in the Letters to the Editors section details some of the online features to watch for.

Once you’re on the website, I hope you’ll take some time to poke around and explore. A full catalog of American Scientist articles is available back to 1998. You never know what you might find in our archive—everything from classic features to eye-opening perspectives on today’s research. We often highlight past articles that relate to current news on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, one more reason to follow those.

You don’t have to wait until your next print edition of American Scientist to join us in exploring the ever-changing world of science. And you can also drop us a note anytime to let us know what you think. We are always looking for new ways to broaden our conversation, and we hope you’ll join us in that endeavor. —Fenella Saunders

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