Science has heard from many readers expressing their opinions and concerns with the recent [11 July 2014] cover choice.
The cover showing transgender sex workers in Jakarta was selected after much discussion by a large group and was not intended to offend anyone, but rather to highlight the fact that there are solutions for the AIDS crisis for this forgotten but at-risk group. A few have indicated to me that the cover did exactly that, but more have indicated the opposite reaction: that the cover was offensive because they did not have the context of the story prior to viewing it, an important piece of information that was available to those choosing the cover.
I am truly sorry for any discomfort that this cover may have caused anyone, and promise that we will strive to do much better in the future to be sensitive to all groups and not assume that context and intent will speak for themselves.
-- Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief, the Science family of journals
16 July 2014
Context: Science cover caption -- http://bit.ly/1ytCpYW