2021 Annual Report: Science News Media Group

Annual Report 2021: Science News Media Group photo collage

In our centennial year, Science News continued its mission of providing accurate, independent coverage for the public across all fields of science, including efforts to combat climate change, the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, using psychedelics to treat brain disorders, the science of misinformation, new missions to Mars, and in-depth coverage of the pandemic, including the deployment of life-saving vaccines to combat COVID-19.

Century of Science

Our Century of Science digital experience builds on more than 80,000 news reports in our archives to reveal the major advances across the sciences that have transformed our understanding of the world, the universe and our lives. Join us in exploring our current climate crisis and how it came to be, the twisting tale of human evolution, the most bizarre and unexpected cosmic phenomena and much more.

Explore a Century of Science

The Wonder of Science

We reveled in the joy of discovery, including learning about jumping spiders’ remarkable eyes, sea slugs that can grow a new head, the first flight of a helicopter on Mars, polar bears that wield weapons, “ghost tracks” that reveal humans’ early arrival to the Americas, the first tortoise known to hunt prey, and our interactive exploration of all the gravitational waves discovered to date.

Ethics and Science

Advances in science and technology can have the power to do good or wreak havoc, and the public often isn’t involved in discussing risks until they become reality. So we asked readers in advance what they thought about the ethics of new brain-reading technologies and the lack of diversity in DNA databases used for medical research. “The thought of someone accessing a person’s brain is absolutely terrifying,” one reader wrote. We used reader comments to inform our questions to scientists.

Science News for Students

Science News for Students helped young people better understand the world around them and their own changing lives, including the health effects of stressors such as social media, weight shaming,  racism and discriminatory policing, and social-media posts — especially those filled with hate speech. A powerful piece explained emerging data on how the impulsivity characteristic of adolescence is driven by puberty’s rewiring of the brain’s “reward system” in preparation for adulthood.