Nanoethics, neuroelectronics, biocapitalism, quantum mechanics: If you want something meater than MySpace or celebrity gossip, The New Atlantis is your magazine. Especially if you're concerned about social and moral effects of technology.
The New Atlantis is both readable and intellectual. In smoothly written pieces, it deals with questions like cloning, global warming, nuclear fusion, stem-cell research, space exploration, artificial intelligence, and how people are increasingly using machines to relieve loneliness.
The quarterly is published by the Ethics and Policy Center, a conservative Catholic think tank (as a visit to its Web site will show). But The New Atlantis goes way beyond church stereotypes.
A very generous archive makes the articles available for free, going back to its birth in spring 2003. You can search by issue, topic, author or your own terms. And even the oldest articles are worth reading. The first issue dealt with matters like DNA privacy, the quest for physical immortality, and the ways our military weapons reflect our culture.
One problem: The online text is tiny, and you can't resize it (at least not in Internet Explorer, which I use). Fortunately, each article is available as a pdf, which allows for scalable type.
The anxiety over new media takes up a sizable number of New Atlantis stories. James Bowman and Christine Rosen, in separate articles, worry that instant info has crippled attention spans and reflective thinking.
"Every technology is both an expression of a culture and a potential transformer of it," Rosen observes. That's also a good summary of The New Atlantis' message.