What makes up DNA? Besides instructions for manufacturing proteins, that is. In the early days of genetic sequencing, some scientists wondered if it might contain messages. One 1978 paper investigated whether the DNA of a phage virus “carries a message from an advanced society” (it doesn’t seem to).
That paper is still being cited in modern work. Should we be surprised? There is something beguiling about the possibility that the letters making us up are also used somewhere far away. On the other hand, the lack of any such message may make the stronger point, telling us that the meaning we’re looking for is scattered across a much broader canvas, and ours to discover.
Magazines have DNA, too. Nautilus’ has been crafted by the hard work of writers, illustrators, designers, and staff over the past six years, each contributing their own fingerprint. I was lucky enough to be the founding editor, and the editor in chief in good times and bad. I joined my team in fashioning a voice full of wonder and play for the magazine, celebrating two National Magazine Awards, and triaging the financial challenges of the past two years.
Now Nautilus has turned a corner. A group of investors have acquired the magazine and given it a new lease on life. We have delivered our much-delayed 24th print issue, accelerated our debt repayment schedule, and are planning for a new future.
With this turn, the magazine’s DNA is shifting. Now that Nautilus has found its footing, I feel comfortable moving on to pursue a new role elsewhere. (Send me a note if you want to know more!) Kevin Berger, Nautilus’ long-time features editor and a key part of its DNA since the beginning, is taking up the reins. But I’ll still be involved in the background, mixing in the occasional letters from a distance.
Editor at Large
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