Who we are
Leapsmag is an editorially independent, award-winning online magazine that aims to foster a society-wide conversation about the impact of groundbreaking advances in the life sciences and related fields. Leapsmag publishes reported feature articles, commentary, personal essays, and interviews with innovators whose work stands to affect us all.
Rapid progress in the life sciences stands to touch us in the most powerful ways: from conquering our deadliest diseases and decoding our genetic makeups, to preserving our memories and extending our lives. But the speed of innovation happening in labs across the globe is far outpacing our understanding of how to handle it. Morally, legally, and politically, we find ourselves facing thorny new issues that have no clear consensus or obvious resolution. Rather than splinter off into isolated echo chambers, now is the time to come together to discuss what happens next. How should society deal with emerging breakthroughs today to create the future we want tomorrow? The mission of leapsmag is to reflect on this critical question. We aim to publish competing viewpoints side by side; to tell stories that deserve to be heard; and to spark wonder about the possibilities that may lie ahead. Real and lasting advances in our lifetimes are not a given. The most technologically advanced societies can still go dark without a beacon of the right ideas to guide them. The articles and essays published here will help play a small part in clarifying and accelerating our desired future for the interested public, scientists, policy makers, business developers, and many others all around the world.
Who is funding it and why?
Leapsmag was created by Leaps by Bayer, a new innovation initiative whose mission is to “aim for fundamental breakthroughs in the life sciences – ‘leaps’ that have the potential to change our world for the better.” Leaps by Bayer holds the conviction that ‘fundamental breakthroughs’ are absolutely necessary to conquer the most demanding challenges facing humanity. And, crucially, that society should have a say about how these breakthroughs will affect humanity going forward; this is where Leapsmag comes in. Today’s media landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, and as traditional journalism struggles to keep up, new models are emerging. Leapsmag is a bold experiment: It is the first magazine for mainstream readers created by a pharmaceutical company. It is not an arm for corporate publicity, but a journalistic enterprise whose goal is to seek truth and foster a spirited exchange of ideas, while maintaining a high bar for neutrality and editorial excellence. In this era of #fakenews and sponsored content masquerading as journalism, we think it is especially important to maintain high standards for neutrality, accuracy, and transparency. Some may wonder: is this possible? We think so, as do others, including our Advisory Board. We invite you to share our journey along the way.
Leapsmag articles do not reflect or represent the views of Leaps by Bayer. All editorial decisions, including what stories to cover and which opinions to publish, are made solely by the editor-in-chief in service to our readers. Any reporter worth her journalism degree will tell you that skepticism runs in our blood. We doubt claims, question motives, dig for facts, and seek truth. So when Leaps by Bayer first expressed interest in hiring me to run their new online magazine, I hesitated. But the more I learned about it, the more I understood. The payoff they are after is cultural: By creating a neutral space for high-quality discussion around some of our era’s most controversial issues, they hope to deter ignorance, expand minds, and provoke discussion about how breakthroughs across the life sciences ought to affect us all. That is the ethical way to innovate. And just as an advertiser exerts no influence over a newspaper’s content, I am under no mandate to cover Leaps by Bayer; they do not oversee my editorial calendar, review articles before publication, or censor critical opinions. The decision to publish every word on leapsmag is mine alone. – Kira Peikoff
We want leapsmag to be as open a magazine as possible, representing a wide range of opinions from diverse contributors across the globe. We publish scientists, journalists, politicians, thought leaders and others alongside each other, because we believe that the greatest progress will be made by listening to and learning from as many people as possible. With this in mind, we welcome you to get in touch with us to offer feedback or responses to articles, or to suggest how you may be able to contribute: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Responses page now to see what others have been saying.