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National Geographic Examines High-Profile Risk Takers


WASHINGTON — National Geographic takes an in-depth look at the science behind risk taking with a special June 2013 National Geographic magazine issue, a tablet edition and website featuring interviews with prominent risk takers, an event in New York City with four renowned risk takers, and a Google+ Hangout tackling the topic of risk.

What makes an explorer face danger and yet press on, when others would turn back? To answer the question, National Geographic magazine interviews such notable risk takers as James Cameron, who in 2012 made the first-ever solo dive to the Mariana Trench, Earth’s deepest point, and is featured on the cover of the June issue; Buzz Aldrin, astronaut, moon walker and author of the new National Geographic book “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration”; Felix Baumgartner, first skydiver to break the sound barrier; and Conrad Anker, adventure mountaineer.

“I have loved exploration since I was a kid. To me, the world had infinite possibility, and we were figuring it out. Exploration involves risks, and I will take risks, but only for something important,” said Cameron, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. “Exploration combined with scientific purpose is key. We need to make science interesting; we have to make it fun. Kids in grade school and high school have to look at scientists and say, ‘Wow, I could be doing what that person is doing.’ We must keep that passion for exploration alive.”

The magazine’s feature on risk takers is part of its “New Age of Exploration” series, marking the National Geographic Society’s 125th anniversary this year.

“Risk taking is part of the DNA of the National Geographic Society,” said Chris Johns, National Geographic magazine editor in chief. “We’ve been pushing the boundaries of discovery for 125 years, exploring the world and sharing incredible stories — hopefully inspiring our readers to expand their view and understanding of the world. The stories also remind us that risk takes many forms, from the quiet courage of a war zone doctor to the physical and mental stamina of a high-altitude jumper.”

The June issue of the magazine will be on digital newsstands (iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire and Nook) Wednesday, May 15, and will feature video interviews with seven risk takers. The print edition will be on newsstands Tuesday, May 28. Profiles, interviews and videos with risk-taking explorers and photojournalists will be featured on National Geographic’s 125th anniversary hub at from May 15.

On Tuesday, May 14, National Geographic will host a discussion with four risk takers, moderated by Ann Curry, at the New York Public Library. Curry will be talking to photographers James Nachtwey and Lynsey Addario, marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala, and herpetologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Zoltan Takacs.

In addition, National Geographic will host a Google+ Hangout at 2 p.m. (ET) on Monday, May 20, with Aldrin and Anker tackling the subject of risk. Questions can be posted on Google+, Twitter and YouTube using the hashtag #LetsExplore. To watch, visit or the day of the event.

Rolex and RBC are partnering with National Geographic on the Society’s 125th anniversary initiative.


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