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3quarksdaily is an intellectual filter blog, also known as web portal, that curates news, essays, commentary, poetry, and multimedia from high quality periodicals, newspapers, journals, and blogs from across the web. Additionally, it publishes a weekly magazine on Mondays which features essays and other original content by editors and guest columnists. 3quarksdaily aims to offer “a one-stop intellectual surfing experience by culling good stuff from all over and putting it in one place.”[1]



Each day, from Tuesday to Sunday, the editors of 3quarksdaily post short extracts of written and multimedia content published around the web along with links to the original source. Items posted focus on a range of topics including, but not limited to the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and, in the words of editor Abbas Raza, “anything else we deem inherently fascinating.”[1] On Mondays, the blog posts features only original content by editors and regular contributors as well as guest columnists.[2]


3quarksdaily culls content from hundreds of sources, 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, to name a few.


S. Abbas Raza founded 3quarksdaily in 2004 to serve as a conduit for content across disciplines for the web-based intellectual everyman. [3] Unlike the main blog of this kind at the time, Arts & Letters Daily, this blog would explore topics beyond the humanities and feature science content along with commentary on current events. [3] The first post came on July 31, 2004.[4] In 2009, the blog instituted its annual prizes, called “quarks,” that award exceptional writing in the blogosphere in Science, Philosophy, Political Science, and Arts & Literature.[5] The prizes, named after subatomic particles have been judged by many prominent authors and personalities such as Steven Pinker, Lisa Randall, and Richard Dawkins.[1]


In 2009, 3quarksdaily announced that it would be awarding annual prizes, called ‘quarks,’ in the respective areas of Science, Arts & Literature, Politics, and Philosophy for the three best blog posts in those fields. The first prize is the Top Quark, followed by the Strange Quark and the Charm Quark. The selection process incorporates the readers of the blog, the team of editors, and the guest judges. During the nominating period, entries are solicited from readers; then commences a round of voting by readers which narrows down the entries to the top twenty semi-finalists. After this, the four main editors of 3 Quarks Daily (Abbas Raza, Robin Varghese, Morgan Meis, and Azra Raza) select six finalists from these, with the option of choosing three wild-card entries. The top three winners are chosen from this cohort by the guest judge.[5] The prizes are awarded on the two solstices and the two equinoxes every year.[1]

Critical Response[edit]

The blog has received awards, including the 2008 TMN editors’ award for online excellence, as well as considerable acclaim from media personalities and public intellectuals, prominent scientists, writers, and thinkers. Steven Pinker, who is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, Words and Rules, and The Blank Slate, has said:

"I couldn't tear myself away from 3 Quarks Daily, to the point of neglecting my work. Congratulations on this superb site."[1]

Pinker has also previously served as a judge of the 3QD science prize, along with Richard Dawkins, an influential evolutionary biologist and commentator on science and religion, who noted:

"I have placed 3 Quarks Daily at the head of my list of web bookmarks."[1]

The high quality of the site’s content has been validated by public commentators such as Christopher Lydon, prominent media personality and host of "Open Source" on National Public Radio. Lyndon commented:

"For sheer elegance, wit and worldly wisdom when it comes to reading, editing, presenting the real news of the world... for liveliness, cosmopolitanism, range of scientific, philosophical, and literary curiosity in harvesting big and provocative ideas... for consistency of character and manners, ever above the ordinary... 3 Quarks stands alone. If 3 Quarks Daily were a person, wouldn't it be Proust?"[1]

As one of the most prominent blogs of its type, 3quarksdaily also commands a significant readership. Readers follow the blog off-site in a variety of ways: through an email subscription and an RSS feed,[6] as well as through social media updates via Twitter and Facebook.[7][8]