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Science
National Geographic Magazine

National Geographic Magazine July 2020

The latest news in science, exploration, and culture will open your eyes to the world’s many wonders. Get a National Geographic digital magazine subscription today and experience the same high-quality articles and breathtaking photography contained in the print edit.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
science-based coverage is more vital than ever

WE PUBLISHED the first issue of National Geographic in October 1888. The magazine looked quite different from today’s, with a plain brown cover and not a single photograph in its 98 pages. Clearly, a lot has changed. But two things have remained constant: We have always covered science, and we’ve always covered the environment. “Geographic Methods in Geologic Investigation” is one headline from that first issue. “The Great Storm of March 11-14, 1888” is another. Today we’re still covering storms, especially as they grow fiercer with climate change. And we’re still covering groundbreaking science—perhaps now more than ever, as we document the coronavirus that has swept across the Earth since the start of the year. In this issue of National Geographic, along with our exclusive coverage of Mount Everest, there’s a special report…

1 min.
how the world sees the virus

LOOKING AT THE CRISIS FROM EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLE IN THIS SECTION Warnings We Ignored The Cost of Distancing A View From Nairobi Water for Handwashing PHOTOS: LUISA DÖRR; LINDOKUHLE SOBEKWA, MAGNUM PHOTOSPAOLO VERZONE; DIANA MARKOSIAN. PHOTOS: OLIVIA ARTHUR, MAGNUM PHOTOS; LUCA LOCATELLI; ISMAIL FERDOUS; GUEORGUI PINKHASSOV, MAGNUM PHOTOS. PHOTO: JONAS BENDIKSEN, MAGNUM PHOTOS…

2 min.
the backstory

WHEN THE WORLD seems unkind, “home is the place where … they have to take you in,” wrote the poet Robert Frost. But in the era of a deadly virus that requires self-isolation for weeks on end, homes have become much more than sources of comfort and familiarity. We’ve turned them into schools and offices, centers of entertainment, and hot spots of tension. If boredom, stress, and anxiety could be harnessed for energy, they’d power the planet. Photographers around the globe have captured images of this strange time, when we’re separated from each other by walls and windows. Seen together, the photos make us wonder, what even is a home? In a world plagued by COVID-19, the answer has increasingly become a measure of privilege. Do you have a home? Do…

7 min.
why weren’t we ready for this virus?

IN THE FIRST WEEKS of the coronavirus pandemic, I couldn’t bear to read about our collective early missteps. Not only because the implicit rebuke felt futile—what was the point in knowing that the grim reality we were living could have been avoided?—but because, in my case, it also felt deeply personal. Each article I read about missing the warning signs of a devastating new virus reminded me that decades ago, scientists had been worrying about that very thing, and a few science journalists were writing about their alarm. I was one of them. When I started researching this in 1990, the term “emerging viruses” had just been coined by a young virologist, Stephen Morse. He would become the main character in my book A Dancing Matrix, published three years later. I…

5 min.
we are not made for this new normal

THE NOM ENCLATURE WAS so strange at first, and then it was everywhere: in our stories, our questions, our arguments, our dreams. In California, where I live, I wake with a racing heart one morning because in the nightmare I was trying to buy cloth, for a mask, but the other shoppers wouldn’t distance. How do they say it where you are? I type online to friends in other places, and the responses pile on. Distanciamento social, Brazil. Distanciation sociale, France. To meters avstand, Norway—two meters distance. From Mexico City comes a picture of the new cartoon superhero, Susana Distancia, grinning from a sort of isolation bubble inside of which she holds both arms straight out to the sides, marking the no-approach zone. A Delhi friend passes on a comic’s line…

1 min.
when the virus came to kenya