Life Science Media

We’re grateful to Louis Francini for volunteering his time to work on this list.

Top Candidates

Scientific American

Aim and Scope

Popular science articles on recent discoveries, tech innovations, and overviews of ongoing research. They publish (print + paid online subscription) magazine articles, as well as blog articles.

“Scientific American, the longest continuously published magazine in the U.S., has been bringing its readers unique insights about developments in science and technology for more than 170 years. […]

Scientific American is the award-winning authoritative source for the science discoveries and technology innovations that matter. […]

Scientific American is a truly global enterprise. Scientific American publishes 14 local language editions, read in more than 30 countries. Scientific American has 3.5 million print and tablet readers worldwide, 5.5 million global online unique visitors monthly, and a social media reach of 3.5+ million.”

Example magazine articles

Example blog posts

Submission process

Magazine: https://www.scientificamerican.com/page/submission-instructions/

New Scientist

Aim and Scope

This magazine that covers all aspects of science and technology.

New Scientist is widely read by both scientists and nonscientists as a way of keeping track of scientific and technological progress. Many science articles in the general press are based on its contents, as New Scientist covers the social and cultural impacts and consequences of scientific and technological discovery, not just the underlying science. The magazine carries regular features, news and commentary on environmental issues and is an acknowledged source of evidenced information from the scientific community.

In every weekly issue of New Scientist you will find:

  • News: Much of our news coverage is exclusive to the magazine and includes in-depth special reports on the latest issues, a technology section on emerging technologies and insightful editorial comment.
  • Features: Our expert team of writers explores key developments in depth in the features section which includes at least four feature-length articles every week.
  • Regulars: Regular magazine sections include interviews with high-profile personalities, book reviews, readers’ letters and comment and analysis. ‘Feedback’ adds quirky stories from the world of science and beyond. ‘The Last Word’ includes questions and answers on everyday scientific phenomena sent in by our readers.

A successful feature will generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Ideas or discoveries that make you go WOW!
  • Discoveries that answer long-standing scientific questions
  • Authoritative reporting on the science behind stories of public concern
  • Things that are great or helpful to know, often related to health or self-improvement
  • Technology trends poised to change the way the world works
  • The definitive guide to…
  • Fun, quirky or unusual stories with a science or technology angle

Example articles

The guide for freelancers links to several examples.

Submission process

“The ideal pitch is just a few paragraphs long. It should quickly tell an editor what the story is, what’s new and why New Scientist should cover it. It should be well written and give a flavour of the tone of the finished feature.

Bear in mind that New Scientist features are stories, and follow a narrative structure. Make sure you not only tell us what the story is, but also how you plan to tell that story in a compelling way.

We strongly advise that you show an awareness of the magazine, website and our readers. It’s worth repeating that before you send a pitch, please check the New Scientist online archive to see what we’ve done in the area in the past.

Above all, we are looking for imaginative treatments and high-quality writing. A pitch that conveys the promise of something original and different is more likely to catch an editor’s eye.” (Full submission guide: https://www.newscientist.com/in209-guide-for-freelancers/)

Vox

Aim and Scope

Vox is an American news and opinion website.

Vox’s mission is to “explain the news”, meaning it strives to make sure its readers “understand what just happened,” by providing “contextual information that traditional news stories aren’t designed to carry.”

It is known for its progressive political stance.

Example article

Wild animals endure illness, injury, and starvation. We should help. by Jacy Reese (2015)

Vox is currently in the process of hiring staff writers who will focus on effective altruism and related topics.

Quillette

Aim and Scope

Quillette publishes articles on science, news, culture, and politics.

“Quillette is a platform for free thought. We respect ideas, even dangerous ones. We also believe that free expression and the free exchange of ideas help human societies flourish and progress. Quillette aims to provide a platform for this exchange.”

Example articles

Submission process

“Send an idea for an article or a completed article draft to pitch@quillette.com. Due to the volume of submissions we receive we unfortunately cannot guarantee a reply to every email.” (Source: http://quillette.com/about/)

Undark

Aim and Scope

Undark publishes articles on the intersection of science and politics/economics/culture.

“The name Undark arises from a murky, century-old mingling of science and commerce — one that resulted in a radium-based industrial and consumer product, called Undark, that was both awe-inspiring and, as scientists would only later prove, toxic and deadly. We appropriate the name as a signal to readers that our magazine will explore science not just as a “gee-whiz” phenomenon, but as a frequently wondrous, sometimes contentious, and occasionally troubling byproduct of human culture.

As such, the intersection of science and society — the place where science is articulated in our politics and our economics; or where it is made potent and real in our everyday lives — is a fundamental part of our mission at Undark. As journalists, we recognize that science can often be politically, economically and ethically fraught, even as it captures the imagination and showcases the astonishing scope of human endeavor. Undark will therefore aim to explore science in both light and shadow, and to bring that exploration to a broad, international audience.

Undark is not interested in “science communication” or related euphemisms, but in true journalistic coverage of the sciences.”

Undark has a few different sections:

  • Variables: features, essays, op-eds, columns, and reviews
  • Case Studies: Investigations, long-form narratives, and other in-depth reports
  • Cross Sections: blog for breaking news and brisk analyses

Example articles

Blog:

Short feature:

Op-ed:

Long-form:

Submission process

Proposals must include a brief author bio and clips of, or links to, previously published work. Details and submission form: https://undark.org/submission-guidelines/

The guidelines vary depending on the type of submission:

  • Blog posts: “Writers wishing to contribute to Undark’s blog, Cross Sections, should send a short query describing the topic and its timeliness.”
  • Short features (< 2000 words): “Writers wishing to submit ideas for shorter features, profiles, essays, Q&A’s, and reviews should submit 200 to 300 words describing the proposed piece and how it fits into the magazine’s editorial mission.”
  • Op-eds: “Writers wishing to submit ideas for opinion pieces should submit a brief summary describing the issue of concern, its timeliness, the argument to be made, and a full disclosure of all relevant personal and professional affiliations.”
  • Long-form projects: “Writers interested in pitching a long-form project should submit a thorough proposal that outlines the narrative thrust and expected length of the piece; highlights key characters and subjects; and clearly articulates how the proposal meets the magazine’s mission of shedding light on the often fractious intersection of science and society. Writers are encouraged to detail any travel that might be required as part of the project.”
  • Multimedia (data visualization, video, audio): “Please include resumes and links or attachments to previous work.”

Nautilus

Aim and Scope

Online and print science magazine that “combines the sciences, culture and philosophy into a single story.” It publishes one issue on a single selected topic each month on its website, releasing one chapter each Thursday.

Example article

Fish Can Be Smarter Than Primates

Submission process

“Please send story ideas and pitches to ideas@nautil.us” (Source: http://nautil.us/contact)

Quartz

Aim and Scope

Website that primarily publishes news articles. They have an “Ideas” section that is mainly written by outside contributors. They describe it as being “for stories that lead with an idea–an argument to think about something in a new way”, and topics include “economics, technology, policy, science, health, management [and] business”. Also: “These stories often discuss topics in the news right now. They can also be the product of research, reporting, personal experience, professional expertise, or some combination of those traits. They can take the form of opinion or commentary, but they don’t have to.”

Example article

To Truly End Animal Suffering…

Submission process

Send a pitch to ideas@qz.com

“Do you have an idea in mind? If you haven’t written it as a complete article yet, don’t. We really prefer that you first send us what’s called a pitch: a paragraph or two at most, describing what you intend to say. Again, write well, as this is sort of an audition with the editor. If we think you can deliver, we’ll usually ask to see a draft. And if we have any thoughts about your idea, we may offer some feedback designed to help you shape your story, so that it has a better chance of being published.

If you’ve already written the entire piece, just paste it into the body of your email—no need for attachments. Introduce yourself and explain what you’ve written in a few sentences at most. Then, let your writing speak for itself. That writing should be clear, concise, and almost certainly short. Also, we want you to write about what you do, but we don’t want a sales pitch for your new product or service.

That’s the final point I’d like to make on the writing: No matter how amazing your story is, if it’s not told well, we won’t be able to use it. So write it, then write it again, then have your colleagues and trusted friends read it, and keep going until you think it’s great. Don’t dash it off, hit send, and then realize (too late) you left out three key points. We’ll forgive the stray typo, but a muddy argument that’s hard to follow leaves my colleagues and me grasping at how to fix a story. So, write well, and if you get stuck, it’s best to ask your editor for guidance before you try to power through.”

Full guide: https://qz.com/635686/the-complete-guide-to-writing-for-quartz-ideas/

New Republic

Aim and Scope

The New Republic is a liberal American magazine of commentary on politics and the arts.

“The New Republic was founded in 1914 as a journal of opinion which seeks to meet the challenge of a new time. For over 100 years, we have championed progressive ideas and challenged popular opinion. Our vision for today revitalizes our founding mission for our new time. The New Republic promotes novel solutions for today’s most critical issues. We don’t lament intractable problems; our journalism debates complex issues, and takes a stance. Our biggest stories are commitments for change.

Today, The New Republic is the voice of creative thinkers, united by a collective desire to challenge the status quo.”

Example articles

Submission process

https://newrepublic.com/pages/contact

“The New Republic accepts unsolicited submissions via email. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond to all of them. For submissions we’re interested in, response times will vary depending on the urgency of the piece. No phone calls please.“

For PhD students and/or academics

Science

Aim and Scope

Science, also widely referred to as Science Magazine, is the peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and one of the world’s top academic journals.

The major focus of the journal is publishing important original scientific research and research reviews, but Science also publishes science-related news, opinions on science policy and other matters of interest to scientists and others who are concerned with the wide implications of science and technology. Unlike most scientific journals, which focus on a specific field, Science and its rival Nature cover the full range of scientific disciplines. According to the Journal Citation Reports, Science’s 2015 impact factor was 34.661.

Example articles

Main article section: How to pay for saving biodiversity

Policy Forum: Principles for gene drive research

Submission process

See Information for authors.

Aeon

Aim and Scope

Aeon publishes “in-depth essays and incisive articles” on science, philosophy, society and the arts.

“Since 2012, Aeon has established itself as a unique digital magazine, publishing some of the most profound and provocative thinking on the web. We ask the big questions and find the freshest, most original answers, provided by leading thinkers on science, philosophy, society and the arts.”

Aeon has two different text sections (as well as a video section):

  • Essays: Longform explorations of deep issues written by serious and creative thinkers.
  • Ideas: Short provocations, maintaining Aeon’s high editorial standards but in a more nimble and immediate form. Published under a Creative Commons licence.

Example articles

Essays:

Ideas:

Submission process

“Aeon no longer accepts unsolicited pitches. If you are an academic who would like to get in touch with one of our commissioning editors directly, please email editorial@aeon.co and provide us with a short bio and a link to your faculty page or website. If you can provide a sample of writing for a non-specialist audience that will be very helpful.” (Source: https://aeon.co/contact)

The Conversation

Aim and Scope

The Conversation is an independent, not-for-profit media outlet that uses content sourced from the academic and research community. Since the Australian website’s launch in March 2011, it has expanded into six editions, with the addition of a United Kingdom (UK) version in 2013, United States (US) in 2014, Africa in May 2015, France in September 2015, and Global in September 2016.

Example articles

Submission process

See their pitch requirements. 

Project Syndicate

Aim and Scope

“Project Syndicate produces and delivers original, high-quality commentaries to a global audience… Project Syndicate’s contributors are prominent politicians, policymakers, scholars, business leaders, and civic activists from six continents. They include Nobel laureates, heads of state, grassroots campaigners, and academic specialists in fields ranging from economics and politics to the natural sciences and cultural studies – all of whom bring to bear the credibility, diversity, and high-quality analysis that readers demand.”

Example article

Are Insects Conscious?

Submission process

https://www.project-syndicate.org/pages/submission-guidelines