Dear Reader,

Seven years ago today, a small band of editors launched an experiment in U.S. journalism: a site dedicated to bringing the knowledge of academics to the general public.

The results of that experiment are in, and I think show significant success. Our articles were read over 240 million times in the past year, two-and-a-half times our readership before the pandemic. We no longer have to explain to many academics and funders who we are – they know us and respect us already. To find out more about our achievements, you can download our recently published FY 2021 Annual Report.

We could not have done this without the willingness of 10,879 scholars to share their knowledge; the hard work of our team of editors; the financial support of universities, foundations and individual donors; and the enthusiasm of readers, who have been informed, educated and sometimes even amused by our journalism.

Our first day’s headlines seven years ago included articles on the legacy of slavery, social media misinformation about an epidemic and the effects of climate change on fall foliage. I hope we’ll look back in the future and find these stories today hold up just as well:

Beth Daley

Editor and General Manager

A protein-rich shake is often the way many people try to get more of this nutrient into their diets. andresr E+ via Getty Images

Decades of hype turned protein into a superfood – and spawned a multibillion-dollar industry

Hannah Cutting-Jones, University of Oregon

A food historian spent a month at the Library of Congress trying to answer the question of why we have historically been, and remain, so focused on dietary protein. Here is what she found.

Environment + Energy

Politics + Society


  • Deportation threats for some students come from within schools

    Patricia Maloney, Texas Tech University; Duke W. Austin, California State University, East Bay; SaunJuhi Verma, Texas Tech University

    Researchers say educators told them that immigrant students are sometimes made to believe they will be deported. Why? One reason is educators didn’t want them to drag down their school’s test scores.

Ethics + Religion


Trending on Site

The Conversation Quiz 🧠 – anniversary edition

  • What is the most-read article in the history of The Conversation U.S.?

    1. A) Should I kill spiders in my home? An entomologist explains why not to
    2. B) How effective is the first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine?
    3. C) American slavery: Separating fact from myth
    4. D) Explainer: is it really OK to eat food that's fallen on the floor?

    Click here for the answer.