Download the universe

Carl Zimmer and a broad group of science writers and scientists have started a new collaborative review site, focused specifically on science e-books and apps: "Download the Universe".

Ebooks are once again redrawing the boundaries. Walk into a book store and look at the science section. Most of the books are between about 200 and 400 pages. Most are created by large publishing houses. There's nothing fundamentally wrong about a 50-page book, of course. It just doesn't fit comfortably into the publishing business--a business that has to contend with costs for printing books, storing them in warehouses, shipping them to book stores, and accepting returned books. Ebooks create an economic space for the very short book (and the very long one). They also allow authors to reach readers without having to persuade a publisher that their book will earn back an investment.

I will be contributing reviews to the site, with the first one coming up sometime in the next couple of weeks. I am so excited to be exploring the growing potential of e-books, apps and other innovative ways of communicating science.

You can of course see part of my diversified efforts here on the blog, where I now have a mix of stories, streaming lectures, labs, and open science. I have a few other projects in the works that will open up more new ways of communicating human evolution research, and I'll be using e-book formats extensively. It's a great time to be a scientist!