World / Development

The Mom-and-Pop Water Shop

Power Player / by Maywa Montenegro / December 8, 2009

Microbiologist Ranjiv Khush and hydrologist Jeff Alberts are bringing an entrepreneurial approach to an age-old dilemma: how to bring clean, safe water to the developing world.

Now In Development

  • A Natural Obsession

    Organic foods are exploding in popularity. But fears of biotechnology—and a widespread mistrust of science—won’t help efforts to create a truly sustainable agriculture.

  • Lessons for Science Envoys

    Sheila Jasanoff examines President Obama’s Middle East science envoy program and offers five crucial tips on what scientists should avoid overseas.

  • A Universal Truth

    The universality of basic science may be the deepest link between the US and the Muslim world.

  • Sowing Africa’s Green Revolution

    Small-scale farmers are Africa’s greatest asset
    a fact now being recognized on a global scale as President Obama and other G8 leaders call for major new investments in African agriculture.

  • Malaria: Five New Weapons

    Profiles of the most promising and innovative approaches to fighting malaria, from a living drug pump to strategic computer models.

  • A Not-So-Silent Spring

    The evidence is growing of long-term health problems related to spraying DDT in homes in the developing world.

  • Case Study: Troubles in Kenya

    On the eastern coast of Kenya, controversy erupts over plans to turn a biodiversity hotspot into farmland for Qatar.

  • Hungry for Land

    Growing food in foreign lands has a long history. But the 21st century version of outsourced agriculture presages something fundamentally new.

  • Why Environmentalism Needs High Finance

    Conservationists may wish money were no object, but if nature is to survive, economic incentives and biological imperatives must align.

  • Banking the Monsoon

    In a small village in the center of Gujarat, India, a society grows from clean water and satellite maps.


In Defense of Difference

Scientists offer new insight into what to protect of the world's rapidly vanishing languages, cultures, and species.


Slow Burn

Since 1962, a coal fire has been raging beneath Centralia, Pennsylvania, and it may continue burning for centuries. When the very ground beneath your feet catches fire, how can you extinguish the blaze?


Frozen Foodies

The South Pole may be the most desolate region on Earth. But even at the bottom of the world, people have to eat. Here’s how they do it in Antarctica.

Seed Debate

Food Fight, Conclusion

What's the surest path to sustainable food security?Highly efficient farming that draws on the arsenal of modern technology? Diversified agriculture driven by the conservation of nature and culture?In their closing statements, our debaters remain steadfast in their opposing stances.

Now on

  • Ideas

    I Tried Almost Everything Else

    John Rinn, snowboarder, skateboarder, and “genomic origamist,” on why we should dumpster-dive in our genomes and the inspiration of a middle-distance runner.

  • Ideas

    Going, Going, Gone

    The second most common element in the universe is increasingly rare on Earth—except, for now, in America.

  • Ideas

    Earth-like Planets Aren’t Rare

    Renowned planetary scientist James Kasting on the odds of finding another Earth-like planet and the power of science fiction.

The Seed Salon

Video: conversations with leading scientists and thinkers on fundamental issues and ideas at the edge of science and culture.

Are We Beyond the Two Cultures?

Video: Seed revisits the questions C.P. Snow raised about science and the humanities 50 years by asking six great thinkers, Where are we now?

Saved by Science

Audio slideshow: Justine Cooper's large-format photographs of the collections behind the walls of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Universe in 2009

In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism.

Revolutionary Minds
The Interpreters

In this installment of Revolutionary Minds, five people who use the new tools of science to educate, illuminate, and engage.

The Seed Design Series

Leading scientists, designers, and architects on ideas like the personal genome, brain visualization, generative architecture, and collective design.

The Seed State of Science

Seed examines the radical changes within science itself by assessing the evolving role of scientists and the shifting dimensions of scientific practice.

A Place for Science

On the trail of the haunts, homes, and posts of knowledge, from the laboratory to the field.


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