Mosaic, a new digital publication dedicated to exploring the science of life, is set to launch on 4 March 2014. Mosaic will carry long-form features, articles and films that tell the stories behind biomedical research and its impact on society. All articles will be free to read, and text features will be published under a Creative Commons licence so that it can be reproduced and distributed freely across other platforms.
Launched by global charitable foundation the Wellcome Trust, Mosaic will aim not only to explain scientific developments, but to set them in context, to be read and understood by anyone who is curious about science, whether they have specialist knowledge or not.
At a time when many mainstream print publications lack space, Mosaic aims to provide a new outlet focussing on in-depth science writing, broadening the range of science media content available to the public. Mosaic will publish compelling, narrative-based articles each week, of up to several thousand words, exploring each subject from various angles and ensuring readers are better placed to ask questions about science. So far, Mosaic has commissioned several high profile writers, including Carl Zimmer, Rose George, Virginia Hughes, Ed Yong and Jenny Diski, whose work will feature in the first few editions.
The Creative Commons (CC-BY) licence will allow content to be reproduced anywhere, including paid-for websites and magazines and publications that are funded by advertising, as well as independent blogs. This publishing model runs alongside the Wellcome Trust's commitment to Open Access, enabling Mosaic articles and the issues they engage with to reach as wide an audience as possible.
Mark Henderson, Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust said: "The Wellcome Trust is committed to engaging the public with the areas of research we support and encouraging discussion around the contributions and challenges they bring. Digital technology now gives us the chance to do this by supporting great journalism and sharing it with the large but poorly-served general audience with an affinity for science. We hope Mosaic will help to give life science, and the many issues it raises, a more central place in the national and international conversation."
While Mosaic will explore new trends and emerging themes in biomedical science and the medical humanities, areas in which the Wellcome Trust funds, its content will not be restricted to research funded by the Trust. When Mosaic does cover Trust-funded research, the editorial policy will ensure transparency in outlining the Trust's involvement.
Writers and contributors to Mosaic will also be encouraged to blog about their progress and create additional content to engage their readers, with discussion continuing on the Mosaic blog after publication. Mark Henderson adds: "Science doesn't stop when a feature is published, so neither should we."
Current stories in development for Mosaic include a look at the taboo of menstrual hygiene, what happens in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, cycling in cities and what it means to be normal.