Scientific Inquirer’s Marc Landas aims to emulate Wired for science

Chief editor at Scientific Inquirer Marc Landas seeks to make scientific knowledge more accessible to the general public.

Scientific Inquirer’s Marc Landas aims to emulate Wired for science

The more informed we are, the better we understand things and the more likely we are to survive. Science feeds our curiosity and answers questions like, “Do vaccines really work?” or “Is there a cure for coronavirus?”

But science can understandably be a bit boring to some people, and that’s what science-dedicated online media Scientific Inquirer wants to solve.

“There are too many things in modern society that require a working knowledge in order to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, even non-academic science publications are so straight-laced and literal with their coverage that there is no appeal for people who aren’t ‘into’ science,” explains Marc Landas, founder and chief editor of Scientific Inquirer.

Launched in 2017, US-based Scientific Inquirer is a digital science magazine dedicated to making scientific knowledge more accessible and easier to understand. The site does this by publishing easy-to-digest lifestyle content (including topics like sports, cannabis, and music, among others) while explaining a bit of the science behind each story.

Marc shares his thoughts on why he’s building Scientific Inquirer alongside a group of freelance journalists.

Dedicating 20+ years to journalism

Marc spent around two decades honing his craft as a writer and journalist. In 1992, he started his editorial career working with music and sports media, including Source, Vibe, Fox Sports, and Major League Baseball.

As a biology undergraduate, Marc decided to find a science-related career instead. It didn’t veer too far away from journalism, though. He became a science writer for a London-based B2B publisher called Scientist Live and then again a New York-based biotech publisher called Genetic Engineering and Technology News.

Marc believes that the general public needs to have more general science literacy, but such content doesn't have to be dull. This was the philosophy behind Scientific Inquirer's inception. Marc wanted to educate the public by sugar-coating science ‘with lots of sprinkles.’

He says, “Ultimately, I’d like the public to read the site’s articles without them even knowing that they are learning something science-related."

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Since April 2017, the site has published hundreds of stories. Scientific Inquirer recently explored a staple Filipino cuisine and sports concussions. After reading the articles, curious audience members should understand the history and culture behind that delicious Filipino dish and the role that genetics plays in sports concussions. Apart from that, there are plenty of topics for everyone on Scientific Inquirer, including books, film, and even politics.

“Scientific Inquirer doesn’t take the 'scientific' part as literally as other media sites out there. We explore science as a part of a much larger society, especially in terms of arts,” explains Marc. “We explore the squishy areas where science and art intersect. There was a time when the overlap between the two fields was almost complete, which is why universities still have Arts and Sciences departments. The name is left over from a time when the two were inextricably linked.”

Marc mentions wanting to emulate media site Wired, but with a scientific touch rather than tech. The editor is also planning to host events and participate in the metaverse in the future. He welcomes potential partners in Decentraland to reach out.

Different perspectives lead to great ideas

Scientific Inquirer accepts story pitches from freelance journalists. “I love the different viewpoints freelancers bring to the table. I can’t imagine life without them,” says Marc.

Interested freelancers can apply to join Scientific Inquirer’s project on ContentGrow by filling out this form. Marc is particularly looking for timely evergreen topics related to everyday life and culture.

The team also welcomes advertisers and partners looking to run online ads and sponsored posts.

When it comes to advice to fellow practitioners, Marc shares a line from John Lennon: “There are no problems, only solutions.” He believes that seeing challenges from this perspective makes life less stressful and more constructive.

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