Collage of Nature covers — a geoscientist’s take

Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

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A colourful collage of the Nature logos arranged in concentric circles around photos of a baby squid, human and hurricane.

Credit: Marcia Bjornerud

As a long-time subscriber to Nature, with full access to the journal online as well as in print, I resolved to renounce my lingering allegiance to printed editions. While I was tipping old issues into the recycling bin, scores of vivid covers spanning decades of scientific advances caught my imagination. I decided to repurpose them into a striking collage (pictured).

As a geoscientist, I instinctively put the Earth at the centre, with the word ‘nature’ spiralling out of it in a potent incantation. Three eyes — of a baby squid, a human and a hurricane — indicate sentient life. Zooming in on the globe’s surface reveals words that mark Earth’s kaleidoscope of attributes (ice, clouds, bacteria, evolution and so on). The halo of radial and concentric colour gradients represents the interacting environmental gradients — rarely sharp boundaries — that define regions and ecosystems around the planet. Macroscopic and microscopic images are juxtaposed in the mosaic to reflect the complexity of natural systems at every scale.

And Charles Darwin floats, god-like, in the upper right, in an image that is itself a mosaic. It is taken from the cover of Nature’s 19 November 2009 issue (see, which marked the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species.

Nature 583, 30 (2020)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-01960-y

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