The headlines were different when the biweekly broadsheet began, but the engine of innovation behind them was the same as it is today: science. Readers of Scientific American’s first issue, dated August 28, 1845, must have been struck by the front-page story on “Improved Rail-Road Cars” that were “calculated to avoid atmospheric resistance.” They may have marveled at the item about Morse’s telegraph, which speculated: “This wonder of the age, which has for several months past been in operation between Washington and Baltimore, appears likely to come into general use through the length and breadth of the land.”

Reflecting the profound changes in science and society in the past century and a half, the top stories today have changed—global warming, stem cells, and technologies for energy independence, to name a few. But science is still at their roots. Indeed, it is clearer than ever that it is not some remote endeavor that occurs in walled-off ivory towers, removed from the concerns of humankind. Far from it. Science, and the technologies that grow out of it, touches the lives of all people. And as advances have arisen, Scientific American has been there to explain and enlighten.

We could not do so without the generous amounts of time provided by our scientist sources and contributors. The researchers who author articles for us are at the pinnacles of their fields; more than 120 Nobel laureates are among them. The scientists spend hours explaining their research and findings to our reporters and editors. They help to check the accuracy of informational graphics, charts and tables. And they, along with our expert journalists and editors, suggest ideas for stories that deserve coverage in the pages of the magazine and online at That working relationship has always been implicit in everything we do.

Continuing in that tradition of close collaboration, we have now expanded our board of advisers. Below, you will see the names of people who have agreed, as friends of the magazine, to assist in our mission of being for you, our readers, the best source for information about science and technology advances and how they will affect our lives. The advisers give us feedback on story proposals and manuscripts from time to time. We may tap their expertise for planning. I personally hope that they will critique and challenge us as well, holding us up to the kind of scrutiny that every endeavor requires to excel.

In responding to my invitation, many of the advisers reacted with warm words about Scientific American, telling me how it had inspired them as readers or reminding me of its critical role in informing the public. That is a daunting level of expectation to live up to, but in those same scientists and experts we also have a powerful tool toward that end. Our goal, of course, is to better serve you, our readers.

Board of Advisers
Leslie C. Aiello
President, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research

Roger Bingham
Professor, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego

G. Steven Burrill
CEO, Burrill & Company

Arthur Caplan
Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania

Sean Carroll
Senior Research Associate, Department of Physics, Caltech

George M. Church
Director, Center for Computational Genetics, Harvard Medical School

Rita Colwell
Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland College Park and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Drew Endy
Professor of Bioengineering, Stanford University

Ed Felten
Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University

Michael S. Gazzaniga
Director, Sage Center for the Study of Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara

David Gross
Frederick W. Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara (Nobel Prize in Physics, 2004)

Lene Vestergaard Hau
Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics, Harvard University

Danny Hillis
Co-chairman, Applied Minds

Daniel M. Kammen
Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley

Vinod Khosla
Founder, Khosla Ventures

Christof Koch
Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology, Caltech

Lawrence M. Krauss
Director, Origins Initiative, Arizona State University

Morten L. Kringelbach
Director, Hedonia: TrygFonden Research Group, University of Oxford and University of Aarhus

Steven Kyle
Professor of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

Robert S. Langer
David H. Koch Institute Professor, M.I.T.

Lawrence Lessig
Professor, Harvard Law School

John P. Moore
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

M. Granger Morgan
Professor and Head of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Miguel Nicolelis
Co-director, Center for Neuroengineering, Duke University

Martin Nowak
Director, Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University

Robert Palazzo
Provost and Professor of Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego

Lisa Randall
Professor of Physics, Harvard University

Martin Rees
Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, University of Cambridge

John Reganold
Regents Professor of Soil Science, Washington State University

Jeffrey D. Sachs
Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

Eugenie Scott
Executive Director, National Center for Science Education

Terry Sejnowski
Professor and Laboratory Head of Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Michael Snyder
Professor of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine

Michael E. Webber
Associate Director, Center for International Energy & Environmental Policy, University of Texas at Austin

Steven Weinberg
Director, Theory Research Group, Department of Physics, University of Texas at Austin (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1979)

George M. Whitesides
Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

Nathan Wolfe
Director, Global Viral Forecasting Initiative

R. James Woolsey, Jr.
Senior Executive Adviser for Energy and Security, Booz Allen Hamilton

Anton Zeilinger
Professor of Quantum Optics, Quantum Nanophysics, Quantum Information, University of Vienna

Jonathan Zittrain
Professor, Harvard Law School

Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "From the Sources."