The past year was a busy one for The Fountain. Having completed two decades in publishing, we tried to value 2013 not only as an anniversary to celebrate, but also as a time to reflect on how we are perceived. We started off by revising our motto in the masthead from "A magazine of scientific and spiritual thought" to "On life, knowledge, and belief." We believe the new motto is more extensive and encompassing in terms of the themes we cover and more comprehensively appealing to our increasingly diverse audience. Some of the feedback we had received before implied a false perception of The Fountain as if it was a science-only magazine, which obviously is not the most appealing thing to all readers. The Fountain has always strived to raise awareness on the priceless value of our life; we have always aimed to present reliable and awe-inspiring knowledge to appreciate that value; and we have always interpreted this knowledge from the perspective of belief, which we believe is the source of hope and truth.
This perspective was endorsed by many scholars and writers from around the world who kindly submitted their testimonials for The Fountain in 2013. Here is one by Rabbi Allen Maller from Los Angeles: "What I like most about The Fountain magazine is its wide perspective – not just about religion, science, the past or the present. It seeks to bring together in a special, respectful way different people's insights in the nature of both the material and spiritual world that we live in." Professor Wan Daud, from Malaysia, says, "All the articles and interviews show respect for knowledge, sciences, and hospitality, in a manner that is engaging and friendly to the mind." John Davis from Athens, Alabama, concurs when he says, "Through the articles in The Fountain we can see that the other person faces the same concerns about life, about family, and about love and friendship as we do." Professor David Perlmutter from Austin, Texas, explains our motto even better: "The Fountain is one of those few venues left where they step back and ask some big philosophical questions about society and faith." You can read more of these testimonials from our anniversary pamphlet, "A Panorama of 20 Years," which is available on our website, or watch these testimonial videos by clicking the Testimonial button.
The change of motto inspired us to conduct last year's essay contest to inspire writers to ponder over their life philosophies and to condense them into a few words, like a motto. The 400 essays we received from around the world is evidence that all of us are quite interested in investing in some intellectual engagement and voicing our worldviews with others.
In the interest of sharing such viewpoints, we also convened a small group of 12 scholars from the US and Europe to meet with their colleagues based in Turkey for a three-day workshop last November. The topic was again inspired by our motto: "Conversations on Life, Knowledge, and Belief." Unobstructed by formal structures of paper presentations that are usually required in other academic gatherings, partners enjoyed the freedom of lengthy periods of free discussions and defending their arguments. You can read a detailed report of the event on our website under blog: "An Overview of the Conference."
Borrowing from the Lead Article of this issue, "we reflect on the joyous past and the beautiful future yet to come."