Century of Science

The Context

In 2021, Science News turned 100 years old. The publication was looking to share its history on ScienceNews.org and give its readers the gift of a tour through the most important scientific events of the 20th century.

A view of the Themes area of the Century of Science website.

The Ask

Our challenge was to leverage the site’s existing design, content management, and taxonomy infrastructure to create this unique site, which would combine the most relevant pieces of Science News history into themes, timelines, and milestones. Science News envisioned readers diving back into history and learning both more about the discoveries themselves, as well as the history of the publication.

Mobile displays of the Themes, Connections, and Milestones sections of the Century of Science website.

The Solution

[Your] visioning and conceptual work helped us figure out how we wanted users to experience the site. I always knew that Alley was being honest with guidance–not just giving us what we asked for but thinking through the best possible product.

Elizabeth Quill, Director, Special Projects, Science News

Alley created a distinct section of the Science News site with its own styling and navigation system. This allows editors to easily weave together stories from the past 100 years with current posts. Editors are able to use themes and a new “Spotlight” feature to incorporate articles from the rest of the Science News site, even ones just published. Timeline visualizations highlight pivotal moments in the story of a theme and allow for a different way of navigating articles from the past—and conceptualizing how long Science News has been around. In 2021, new themes were released every month, bringing a fuller picture of the past—and the future—to visitors, without overwhelming them with too much information at any one time.

A mobile rendering of the Unsung Characters area of the site.

The Results

You turned a crazy and ambitious idea into something real.

Elizabeth Quill, Director, Special Projects, Science News

Since its launch, Century of Science content has garnered the attention of prominent publications, venerable science organizations, and scientists alike, including Axios, Science Friday, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Science News has partnered with the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago, which is sharing Century of Science content with their audiences, while Science News’ high schools program is developing a scavenger hunt around Century of Science, thus exposing the next generation to the remarkable scientific gains of the 20th century.

A tablet view of the Milestones timeline display.

Learn more about our work with Science News in our overall case study.