103 Must-Follow Feeds in Science, Culture, Design, and More
The greatest and worst thing about the Internet is how much amazing stuff it has to offer. Websites, tweets, Instagrams, podcasts, newsletters—it’s a tsunami of awesome, threatening to drown you in mind-expanding revelations. Venture into this informational vortex with caution. Seek guidance—ours. What follows is the most comprehensive collection of Internet excellence around. The capstone to our New Guide to Cultural Literacy, this is WIRED’s uberlist of feeds: Everyone you need to follow in Science, Culture, Business, Security, and Design. Collect ‘em all.
Emily Lakdawalla | Twitter
You don’t love space science enough. Lakdawalla works for the Planetary Society, and her Twitter feed (What’s Cassini up to? Oh hai Saturn!) will boost your affection. (Illustrated above).
CityLab | Website
Cities aren’t—or at least shouldn’t be—accidental. The intrepid writers for CityLab find the data that explains how cities work and how they’re changing.
Alex Wellerstein | Twitter
It’s nuclear weapons all the way down, as tweeted by a nuclear historian.
Myles Lab | Twitter
Sean Myles’ plant biology lab at Dalhousie University in Canada uses genetics to understand the history and evolution of what people eat. He’s an ace with apples and trained on wine grapes, and his team’s insights on the genetics of our food are invaluable.
Retraction Watch | Blog
When a journal pulls a paper for being wrong or fake or plagiarized, Ivan Oransky’s crew is there to make sure science does better next time.
Mike Bostock | Github
Let Bostock—until recently a graphics editor at The New York Times—show you how he uses the web’s native languages to turn raw numbers into shapes, colors, graphs, charts, and maps.
Last Word on Nothing | Blog
This crowd of amazing science journalists got together to write stories and they ended up generating a beautiful website. From “How to Write a Science Feature” to imploring the National Institutes of Health to fund research on orphan diseases, they publish essay after essay, all lovely, about the culture of science itself.
Leonid Kruglyak | Twitter
He’s a straight-up biologist and yeast expert, but Kruglyak is also one of the most social-media-engaged researchers out there. Come for the thoughtful analysis of new research; stay for the humor. (Party trick: Add “because epigenetics” to the end of your fortune cookie reading.)
StarTalk | Radio
The title is a misnomer. Neil deGrasse Tyson covers GMOs, the science of sex, and tons of other topics with guests you definitely want to hear from.
The Story Collider | Podcast
Riveting tales about how we actually produce knowledge and how we understand our understanding of the world around us. Meta, man. Really meta.
50 years ago today, astronaut Ed White floated out of the Gemini IV spacecraft to become the first American to walk in space during the first Mission Controlled from Houston’s manned spacecraft center. In this image, White floats in the microgravity of space outside the Gemini IV spacecraft. Behind him is the brilliant blue Earth and its white cloud cover. White is wearing a specially-designed space suit. The visor of the helmet is gold plated to protect him against the unfiltered rays of the sun. In his left hand is a Hand-Held Self-Maneuvering Unit with which he controls his movements in space. Credits: NASA/Jim McDivitt #nasa #space #gemini #otd #spacewalk #eva #spacewalk50 #suitup #missioncontrol #houston
NASA | Instagram The universe is 14 billion years old yet still very, very photogenic. From the birthing crèches of stars to the icy wilderness of Pluto to the populated coastlines of Earth artificially lit against the night, NASA brings home the best images captured by its robots and people.
60-Second Science | Podcast These one-minute windows into the latest discoveries range from dark matter to the downside of high-intensity exercise (it can poison your blood).
Raychelle Burks | Blog On her blog Thirty-Seven, Burks dispenses equal helpings of crime, hardcore chemistry, and pop culture. She also knows what plants might provide the Purple Wedding poison in Game of Thrones.
Chris Hadfield | Twitter He’s back on Earth now, but the former space shuttle commander still has plenty of fascinating space facts to tweet.
Symmetry | Magazine You know the Large Hadron Collider is a big deal, but you’re not quite sure why. Symmetry will get you fluent in the language of particle physics in no time.
Charlie Loyd | Twitter Spacey riffs on everything from shuttle tiles to satellites to NASA’s budget.
Deep Sea News | Twitter The ocean is vast and often unknowable. Luckily, the scientists at Deep Sea News can guide us.
PLOS | Blog The Public Library of Science would like to explain things to you. Important things, like the science behind Dad Bod or the current research on salamanders in southwestern New Hampshire. OK, and really important things like potential problems with meta-analysis.
Elizabeth Kolbert | Twitter The world is full of so many doomsday-heralding stories of climate change that they don’t even freak us out anymore. But Elizabeth Kolbert’s writing in The New Yorker—and the frank infographics she often tweets—still make us go gulp. Did you not know that the world is undergoing a coal renaissance? Now you do.
Biodiversity Heritage Library | Flickr This compendium of more than 100,000 old (like, way-back-to-the-15th-century old) science books is a delight. If you don’t feel like deploying your French to read a 1764 history of insects written for young people, then just browse the photos on Flickr for a visual feast of olde-tyme drawings of bugs, birds, bees, and beasts.
The Disease Experts
Helen Branswell | Twitter Laurie Garrett | Twitter Maryn McKenna | Blog Tara Smith | Twitter The tale of how new diseases emerge and old ones come back could very well be the last science story anyone ever reads—and these four writers cover its finest details and scariest moments. They don’t work together—McKenna blogs at National Geographic, and Smith is a professional epidemiologist. Branswell works at the Canadian Press, and Garrett (below) is at the Council on Foreign Relations. But each deftly lays out the latest research and discoveries.
Frank Ocean | Tumblr Take a spin inside the headspace of the reclusive R&B artist on his Tumblr, which features everything from early samples off his album Boys Don’t Cry to video of a NASA rocket launch.
Paul Feig | Twitter #Whoyougonnacall for on-set photos of the Ecto-1, explanations of what’s inside ghost-fighting proton packs, and stills from the next generation of Ghostbusters? Director Paul Feig’s Twitter, that’s who.
Offworld | Website Spearheaded by veteran game journalists Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson (a WIRED contributor), Boing Boing’s big-tent games site covers diverse titles and developers too often ignored by other sites.
The Mary Sue | Website The Mary Sue dishes news and analysis of comics and movies from a feminist perspective—the site is named after a type of improbably flawless character prevalent in fan fiction—but it’s made for everyone.
The Canon | Podcast There’s no shortage of podcasts where you can listen to people argue about movies—but there’s only one you need. Longtime critics Devin Faraci (Birth.Movies.Death.) and Amy Nicholson (LA Weekly) debate a different title each week, with the only question being: Is this movie good enough to be added to the pantheon of essential films? It’s tight, smart, and interesting—which is more than we can say for some of the movies they discuss on the show.
The Pitch | Blog Yeah, you’ve been reading about new music on Pitchfork for years—but which songs are its critics playing on repeat? This staff blog is the closest thing to hanging out at the office, and you don’t need to worry about how skinny your jeans are.
Lithub Daily | Newsletter Equal parts Vice and The Paris Review, LitHub Daily delivers daily digests of the weird and literary—in the voice of your college roommate who double-majored in philosophy and bong studies.
Tim Schafer | Twitter This is what happens when a hilarious OG game developer (Grim Fandango) and founder of Double Fine Games (Broken Age) finds Twitter. Games and goofy sarcasm (and Periscoping Double Fine bowling night) in equal measure.
Yours Truly | Blog Intimate profiles and video portraits of musicians on their home turf—from WET’s isolated, snow-covered backwoods to Toro y Moi’s screen-printing studio. (Don’t miss the Yours Truly Soundcloud, either.)
Girl on Guy | Podcast Aisha Tyler is one of the busiest women in show business (her gigs include hosting on The Talk and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, writing books, voicing Lana on Archer, and touring as a standup comic), but she might be at her best when she sits down with guests for long-form interviews. Despite the name, there are lots of female guests as well—Amber Tamblyn and Kristen Schaal are featured in standout episodes. Kelly Sue DeConnick | Tumblr DeConnick, writer of Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly, and Bitch Planet, gives you a warm introduction to Carol Danvers, #carolcorps, and the new world of comics. The feed’s official name is Digital Baubles, but it should probably be Priceless Gems. (Bonus: plenty of reblogs of her husband, Matt Fraction, and recommendations on comics you might have missed.)
Amazon Movie Reviews | Twitter Terrible movie reviews from people who can’t be bothered to get anything right. No, it’s not really an Amazon account. Yes, it’s hilarious.
Lefsetz Letter | Blog For almost 30 years, Bob Lefsetz’s broadsides have served as music-biz gospel. They’ve also earned him as many enemies as devotees—a sure sign you should be reading them.
Saga | Comics Despite being dwarfed by the ever-expanding empire that is the comic-book movie industry, the humble comic book is having a good decade. That’s thanks in large part to Image, a publisher of creator-owned books and home to some of today’s best titles. And the best of them all might be this bizarre, touching adventure of a literally star-crossed (and totally hot) couple racing through space with their baby daughter, trying to keep their respective species from destroying the galaxy. Fiona Staples’ artwork is a dream (you can also find her in the newly rebooted Archie), and Brian K. Vaughn’s writing is as hilarious and heartfelt as it was in his long-running Y: The Last Man.
Getting coffee on raiders for #spielberg #lucas #empiremag A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on
Neill Blomkamp | Instagram
It’s simple: When the director who made District 9 revives the Alien franchise and starts sharing concept art, just follow.
Saladin Ahmed | Twitter
Fantasy novelist by trade, comics fan and cultural critic by passion, Ahmed brings the same gimlet eye to current events that he does to reading recommendations. Bonus: He frequently signs off with a super-creepy photo.
/r/oculus | Subreddit
For deep cuts about VR, go beyond Oculus’ official blog and learn from the early adopters who tirelessly speculate and dissect the latest news and tech developments.
Rian Johnson | Twitter
Want teasers for Star Wars Episode VIII? The man behind Brick and Looper weighs in on the Empire, movies, and his dream movie sequences. (Hint: They involve Jedi on canoes.)
Samantha Power | Twitter
The US ambassador to the United Nations is someone who actually knows what’s going on instead of just, you know, talking about it. Plus, is there a better handle than @ambassadorpower?
Risky Business | Podcast
The security industry’s most informative podcast, hosted weekly by Australian Patrick Gray, offers a news roundup with the right blend of snark and insight from top infosec pros.
Swift on Security | Twitter
Taylor Swift may not know anything about computer security, but an anonymous systems administrator tweets about it with sly humor through this parody account, always with an extensive supply of bizarrely spot-on Taylor Swift pics to match every security topic.
Deeplinks | Blog
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s blog dives into all the latest surveillance and privacy issues, providing accessible summaries of the legal and, in some cases, technical issues.
/r/netsec | Subreddit
This network security forum surfaces the hacking research and technically oriented news that its 135,000-plus subscribers can’t do without.
Samy Kamkar | YouTube
Hacker Kamkar features a series of brilliant projects on his entertaining channel, like how to 3-D-print a robot that can crack combination locks.
Normative | Twitter
Policy analysts can be boring and wonkish, but Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, has a lively passion for politics, privacy, and security that makes his informed feed a must-read.
The Grugq | Twitter
The pseudonymous Grugq’s tweets offer an insightful look into the mind of a mischievous, funny hacker.
Krebs on Security | Blog
Former WaPo reporter Brian Krebs has made a name for himself by breaking news on big and small breaches—sometimes before victims know they’ve been hacked.
Errata Security | Blog
Whenever big security news breaks, you can count on Robert Graham, CEO of Errata, to write a cogent take that cuts through the media hype and the morass of technical details.
Mr. Robot | TV
Hollywood has disappointed us before with hacking shows that lack plausibility, but USA’s Mr. Robot understands coders and code, particularly the powerful allure of hacking as a vehicle for righting social wrongs.
WikiLeaks.org | Website
Julian Assange may still be trapped in London’s Ecuadorian embassy, but his secret-spilling group is rising again as a source of fresh, unfiltered secrets.
Dave Pell | Newsletter
Pell makes his living as an investor—he bet early on the company that became Twitter—but he’s making his name as a funny and incisive writer who aggregates the day’s most interesting journalism into NextDraft. His best line: “Showing up at a gold rush with a shovel and a pan doesn’t make you a genius.”
Hacker News | Website
The geeks inherited the earth, and this is what they’re reading. Run by the Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator, this no-frills site aggregates stories (and wickedly incisive comments) by the best and the brightest engineers in Silicon Valley.
Marc Andreessen | Twitter
This is the guy who invented the modern web browser. It was called Netscape. But he also invented the tweetstorm. What’s a tweetstorm? Check out Andreessen’s feed, a never-ending rush of ideas, jokes, videos, retweets, replies, rants, emojis, charts, promotions, and stories. Officially, Andreessen is now a venture capitalist. But he’s also a fire hose of thoughts both big and small.
Model View Culture | Magazine
We all know tech has a diversity problem, but no publication does more to examine the industry’s biases and give voice to the marginalized than this one.
Real Future | Newsletter
Alexis Madrigal was deputy editor at The Atlantic. Now he’s the Silicon Valley bureau chief at Fusion, a TV station/online news and pop culture outlet. But he’s also the author of a newsletter called Real Future. Think of each edition as a brief introduction to five things you’re going to see in the years to come.
CoinDesk | Website
Bitcoin is the future. It may not be the future of money, but it’s the future of a lot of other things—including the stock market—thanks to a public ledger called the blockchain. CoinDesk will convince you why that’s important.
Benedict Evans | Blog
Few human beings understand the mobile revolution as completely as Evans, who’s part of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz’s big-idea blog factory. And no one explains it quite so well. At the very least, check out his “Mobile Is Eating the World” post. You’ll understand.
Startup | Podcast
This series will make you want to start a company … or it will make you absolutely not want to start a company. The latest season follows two women launching an online-dating service.
Internet Trends | Presentation
As a Morgan Stanley analyst, Mary Meeker issued her first report on the Internet in 1995, when it had just 35 million users. This year’s edition, “condensed” into a 196-slide PowerPoint deck, declared the number of Internet users to be 2.8 billion. With data to back up every point, Meeker predicts what will define the near future of digital investment and innovation.
Metafoundry | Newsletter
She criticizes maker culture’s myopic view of labor; she connects the dots between the 1989 École Polytechnique shooting and today’s dearth of women in science and engineering. Materials science professor Deb Chachra is always a shrewd voice from outside the Silicon Valley echo chamber.
Theorizing the Web | Conference
This gathering brings together artists, writers, and hackers for an academic yet hip take on web culture and the role of technology in our lives.
The Message | Blog
This group blog features smart commentary on, well, everything. Samples: “The Tyranny of the Telephone,” “Why the Great Glitch of July 8th Should Scare You,” and “God Tier: Facebook Moms Run the Meme Game.”
Susie Cagle | Twitter
An Oakland, California, journalist whose Twitter feed is peppered with her lovely drawings, Cagle focuses on San Francisco Bay Area issues like, say, the sharing economy as a form of “disaster capitalism.”
The Daily Dot | Online Newspaper
It’s got sections dedicated to neighborhoods like Reddit, Pinterest, and Tumblr, which may sound gimmicky, but the Daily Dot surfaces stories that no one else is talking about.
Social Media Collective | Blog
This blog for social scientists, hosted by Microsoft Research New England, uses ethnography and content-analysis techniques to write about social media and online culture. Expect lots of word clouds and graphs.
Exponent.fm | Podcast
From unicorns (aka billion-dollar startups) to the tech bubble to what Twitter should do to fix its problems, this weekly conversation between Ben Thompson and James Allworth brings a revealing economic lens to the technology industry, the relentless forces it has unleashed, and how those forces impact society.
Christopher Mims | Twitter
If you want to know what’s what in tech and what to think about it all, follow this WSJ columnist. You’ll be up on everything from smartphones to Uber to bitcoin.
Megan Quinn | Twitter
Previously a partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins and a product manager at Square and Google, Quinn is spot-on when it comes to tech trends, finding that needle-in-the-haystack fact to highlight almost every day.
Today in Tabs | Newsletter
You wouldn’t think Rusty Foster, a programmer who lives in Maine and owns chickens, was the author of this smart cheat sheet on millennial obsessions. His newsletter (published by Fast Company) is heavy on links and snark, and the result is a deliciously addictive sort of Slashdot for hate-reads.
The Information | Newsletter
WSJ alum Jessica Lessin offers analysis for a price ($400 a year). Highlights include mogul pairings to watch for at Sun Valley and why YouTube’s reported subscription service is hitting roadblocks.
Kara Swisher | Website
The indefatigable tech journalist has a steady stream of scoops for Re/code that have made her one of the Valley’s most knowledgeable insiders.
John Maeda | Twitter
The design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Maeda has a unique vantage point on the intersection of tech and design, and as the former president of RISD he’s got a good eye for up-and-coming talent too.
The Dieline | Website
The reason you’ll spend $11 on a chocolate bar isn’t the cocoa, it’s the packaging. The Dieline charts all that tempts your wallet, from soapboxes to wine labels to restaurant takeout.
Planet Money | Podcast
Economics is more than supply-and-demand charts; as Planet Money shows, it explains how the ubiquitous sticker price tag came to exist and the complexities involved in making a plain old T-shirt.
It’s Nice That | Website
A blend of creative inspirations, this site is at its best when highlighting illustration and graphic design work.
Purple Diary | Blog
Purple is a French fashion magazine, and this is the visual diary of its editor, Olivier Zahm, covering fashion, fine art, architecture, nightlife, television, travel, sex, photography, and, well, the French.
NewHive | Platform
The multimedia self-publishing platform, which allows creators to build their own mini websites, is a strange—but inspiring—visual rabbit hole.
Designer News | RSS
Most RSS feeds don’t have much in the way of news sensibility. But this digest is curated by real people in design and technology—and it shows.
Cooper Hewitt | YouTube
The national design museum’s channel is an extension of the museum itself: a great mix of lectures, curator talks, and multimedia projects.
Christoph Niemann | Instagram The New York Times and WIRED contributor’s feed features found-object illustrations that will boggle your mind, making you reconsider your perspective on mundane things all around you.
Creative Applications | Blog On Filip Visnjic’s blog dedicated to projects that straddle the ever-blurring line between art and technology, he muses, in equal parts, on code base and artistic aesthetics.
Alice Rawsthorn | Instagram The breadth and depth of Rawsthorn’s design knowledge is astounding. Each week she offers a new series of images around a single theme, each a capsule design-history lesson.
House Industries | Instagram A must-follow account for a daily dose of all things retro typography.
Throw back Sat A photo posted by George Byrne (@george_byrne) on
George Byrne | Instagram
Byrne is an LA-based photographer who posts amazing, evocative images of urban Los Angeles.
Daily Heller | Newsletter
Renowned art director and prolific publisher Steven Heller’s newsletter is your CliffsNotes to the history of graphic design.
Louise Fili | Instagram
Fili designed book jackets for more than a decade. Now her design company specializes in food packaging and restaurant branding. She’s a phenomenal type designer who catalogs beautiful typography and signs everywhere she goes.
Elastic.tv | Website
Need a visual escape? Visit this site to check out the work of Patrick Clair, the visionary, Emmy Award-winning director behind True Detective’s opening credits.
Paola Antonelli | Twitter
As MoMA’s senior curator of architecture and design and its director of R&D, Antonelli is an arbiter of taste who effortlessly discovers and digests gems in all disciplines of design.
Song Exploder | Podcast
Every episode offers an anatomy of the sonic design of a single song, as told by the artist to host Hrishikesh Hirway.
Prosthetic Knowledge | Tumblr
An enriching and scrollable journey through the most intriguing art and technology projects on the web, shown mostly as hypnotic GIFs. Be warned, this feed is highly addictive.
MagCulture | Website
Believe it or not, there’s a thriving independent magazine scene, particularly in Europe. Don’t believe us? Check out UK-based journalist and tastemaker Jeremy Leslie’s love letter to beautiful little magazines.
Kalen Hollomon | Instagram
Extremely weird and off-putting mixed-media art that will make you stare into your phone, unable to look away.
Future Perfect | Blog
Jan Chipcase runs a research, design, and innovation consultancy. The global trend hunter faithfully documents his cultural explorations on this cinematic design-blog-cum-travelogue.
Flowing Data | Blog
Design for the mathematically minded: Nathan Yau takes complex data sets—on policy, sandwich shops, and everything in between—and expertly paints them into stunning graphics.
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