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3 Quarks Daily

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3 Quarks Daily
Type of site
Literature, the arts, politics, current affairs, science, philosophy
Available inEnglish
  • S. Abbas Raza
     Founding Editor
  • Morgan Meis
  • Robin Varghese
  • Azra Raza
  • Sughra Raza
  • Jim Culleny
     Poetry Editor
  • Zujaja Tauqeer
      Associate Editor
Users400,000 per month
Launched2004; 20 years ago (2004)
Current statusOnline

3 Quarks Daily is an online news aggregator and blog that curates commentary, essays, and multimedia from selected periodicals, newspapers, journals, and blogs.[1] The focus is on literature, the arts, politics, current affairs, science, philosophy, gossip–and, as stated on their web site–"anything else we deem inherently fascinating." Each day of the week from Tuesday through Sunday features about a dozen items culled from the World Wide Web. Each Monday is devoted to an online magazine which has essays and other previously unpublished content by editors and guest columnists.[2] The stated aim of 3QD is to offer "a one-stop intellectual surfing experience by culling good stuff from all over and putting it in one place."[3][4]

3 Quarks Daily also awards annual prizes, called "quarks," for exceptional writing in the blogosphere, as well as organizing quarterly online symposia on international issues. The blog commands a significant readership and readers follow it in a variety of ways: through an email subscription and an RSS feed, as well as through social media updates via Twitter[5] and Facebook.[6][7][2]


Author, engineer, and philosopher S. Abbas Raza founded 3 Quarks Daily in 2004 to serve as a conduit for content across disciplines for the web-based intellectual everyman.[8][unreliable source?] Unlike similar blogs of the time, such as Arts & Letters Daily and Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish, 3QD would explore topics beyond the humanities and feature science content as well as commentary on current events. In fact, Abbas Raza says that Arts & Letters Daily, "was one of the main inspirations for my starting 3 Quarks Daily."[9] The first post was on Saturday, July 31, 2004, and featured the 1904 Constantine Cavafy poem Waiting for the Barbarians.[10]

The new aggregator site grew rapidly, reaching a thousand posts within seven months; by 2014 that number had reached thirty-five thousand.[4] Since then, 3 Quarks Daily has culled content from hundreds of sources, from blogs such as Salon, Science Daily, and The Huffington Post, from major publications such as The New York Times, Nature, and The Guardian, to smaller outlets such as Guernica Magazine, The Awl, and The American Scholar.[11]

The name 3 Quarks Daily comes from the elementary nuclear particles of physics which in turn were named after the word quark which James Joyce had used in Finnegans Wake. The confluence of references to both science and literature in a single word suited the intent of the blog perfectly and the founders also thought that the name would be short and memorable. They named their top three annual prizes the Top Quark (1st), the Strange Quark (2nd), and the Charm Quark (3rd).

The DAG-3QD Peace And Justice Symposia[edit]

Since 2012 3 Quarks Daily has teamed up with the Amsterdam-based Dialogue Advisory Group (DAG) to present online dialogues on topics of international peace and justice.[12][irrelevant citation] Occasionally, as in the 2013 symposium on drones, a book is published.[13] As of October 2015 there have been six such symposia as shown below.

The Quark Prizes[edit]

In 2009, in the interest of encouraging and rewarding good writing in the blogosphere, 3QD announced that it would be awarding annual cash prizes, in Science, Arts & Literature, Politics, and Philosophy for the three best blog posts in each of these four fields. The selection process is as follows: After several weeks during which nominees are submitted by 3QD readers and editors, the four principal editors of 3QD (Abbas Raza, Robin Varghese, Morgan Meis, and Azra Raza) narrow the list down to six articles in each category. A prominent intellectual such as Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins,[14] or Lewis Lapham[15] is chosen in each of the four areas to select the final winners. The prizes are whimsically named the Top Quark (first prize of $500), the Strange Quark (second prize of $200), and the Charm Quark (third prize of $100). Originally the prize amounts were twice as big. Not every prize is awarded every year, and no prizes at all were awarded in 2013.

Due to logistical and financial reasons, the Quark Prizes were discontinued after 2015. A complete list of prizes awarded between 2009 and 2015 is shown below.[16]


The 3 Quarks Daily blog has been praised by prominent authors and scientists including Richard Dawkins,[17] Christopher Lydon,[18] Steven Pinker,[19] Daniel Dennett,[20] Andrew Sullivan,[21] Ken Roth,[21] Laura Claridge,[20] John Allen Paulos,[20] and Thomas Manuel.[4]

Guest columnists[edit]

The Monday magazine is not completely the creation of the 3QD editors; guest columnists are frequently invited.[22] Prominent guest contributors have included:[23][21]


  1. ^ "Dr. Eric Weiner Publishes 'Representations of Dissent' for 3 Quarks Daily" Montclair State University, 11 October 2021
  2. ^ a b An Audio Interview with Abbas Raza of 3 Quarks Daily, By Adam Kampe, National Endowment for the Arts Magazine
  3. ^ "About 3 Quarks Daily". Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  4. ^ a b c Manuel, Thomas (2016). Why the Web Needs the Little Miracle of 3QuarksDaily The Wire, October 07, 2016
  5. ^ 3 Quarks Daily on Twitter
  6. ^ Mohsin Hamid Interview By Kate Murphy, The New York Times: Opinion, March 23, 2013
  7. ^ 3 Quarks Daily on Facebook
  8. ^ Boston Review: S. Abbas Raza
  9. ^ What will be the fate of Arts & Letters Daily? by Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2010
  10. ^ 3QD posting for Saturday, July 31, 2004
  11. ^ 18 Popular Sites Like Quarksdaily moreofit.com
  12. ^ "Dialogue Advisory Group: Online Symposia On Peace And Justice". Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  13. ^ Strawser, Bradley Jay (2014). Opposing Perspectives on the Drone Debate Palgrave Macmillan [2014],
  14. ^ 3QD Science Blogging Prize By Sean Carroll, Discover Magazine, May 27, 2010
  15. ^ "Lapham's Quarterly: Lewis Lapham Judges the 3 Quarks Daily Politics Prize". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  16. ^ 3QD Philosophy Prize 2009 Finalists
  17. ^ 3 Quarks Daily announces awards for science blogging ScienceBlogs: May 27, 2009
  18. ^ Christopher Lydon on Facebook December 6, 2009
  19. ^ Club Troppo: review of 3 Quarks Daily by Ingolf May 14, 2008
  20. ^ a b c "ValuesAustralia: 3 Quarks and the Higgs Boson". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  21. ^ a b c "3 Quarks Daily: About Us". Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  22. ^ 3 Quarks Daily Essays Blogs at U Mass Amherst: Hari Balasubramanian
  23. ^ List of Monday Magazine Contributors
  24. ^ Arjun Appadurai
  25. ^ Hartosh Singh Bal
  26. ^ John Allen Paulos

External links[edit]