I want to subscribe to a science magazine

  • Thread starter Peter Tran
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  • #1
Yet the problem is, I don't know which to subscribe to! I'm currently looking at "Scientific American", "New Scientist", and "Science (AAAS)". I'm currently studying physics, but I just want a broad magazine to read about subjects in other fields as well.

"Scientific American" looks really good and solid, but I prefer weekly magazines. "New Scientist" I hear is extremely "dumbed down". "Science" looks solid as well, with the weekly magazines too.

I'm not too worried about price, since it's only going to be one subscription. As long as it isn't outrageous. So are there any other science magazines anyone reccommends?

EDIT: Aside from Physics; Philosophy is my deepest, most favourite subject. I was wondering if there are any good magazines for that as well?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
I got an online subscription for NS recently, used to read the magazine years ago, but now it's terrible.
Scientific American has a reasonably cheap online subscription
 
  • #3
Well, that's one off my list.
 
  • #4
berkeman
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Yet the problem is, I don't know which to subscribe to! I'm currently looking at "Scientific American", "New Scientist", and "Science (AAAS)". I'm currently studying physics, but I just want a broad magazine to read about subjects in other fields as well.

"Scientific American" looks really good and solid, but I prefer weekly magazines. "New Scientist" I hear is extremely "dumbed down". "Science" looks solid as well, with the weekly magazines too.

I'm not too worried about price, since it's only going to be one subscription. As long as it isn't outrageous. So are there any other science magazines anyone reccommends?

EDIT: Aside from Physics; Philosophy is my deepest, most favourite subject. I was wondering if there are any good magazines for that as well?
I used to subscribe to the print edition of Science News:

http://www.sciencenews.org/

It's a weekly newsletter-type publication with a good survey of what is going on in many areas of science. It's small enough that you can read it cover-to-cover each week, and they have a nice year-end survey of the news items from that year.

I'd think that subscriptions to Scientific American and Science News would give you plenty of good reading...
 
  • #6
Now that's cheap, I might as well get that with another magazine too.
 
  • #7
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Sciam and New Scientist are comparable. I'd call them "intermediate level". Not totaly dumbed down like, say, Popular Mechanics, but not academic either. Of the two, New Scientist would be my preference, but not by a wide margin.

Science/AAAS, on the other hand, is an academic journal, and much more hardcore than the other two. It's also considerably more expensive. It's commonly thought to be the ugly stepsister of Nature (www.nature.com), which is not to say that it is a bad journal.

edit: we can look at impact factors to get some idea of 'academicness'. As of 2008:

Nature: 31.4
Science: 28.1
SciAm: 2.3
American Scientist: 1.2
New Scientist: 0.2 (strange, thought it would be higher)

No other 'popular' magazines, including Discover, Science News, and Wired, make it on the list.
 
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  • #8
"Nature" falls in the line of "ridiculous pricing" I'm simply a first year college student. I couldn't afford that. Do you think I would be able to comprehend "Science" though?
 
  • #9
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i can't stand New Scientist. too much liberal hippy political crap. American Scientist is good, despite impact (popularity) factors.
 
  • #10
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I used to subscribe to the print edition of Science News:

http://www.sciencenews.org/

It's a weekly newsletter-type publication with a good survey of what is going on in many areas of science. It's small enough that you can read it cover-to-cover each week, and they have a nice year-end survey of the news items from that year.
They changed to biweekly a year or so ago. Excellent bathroom reading.
 
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  • #11
Gokul43201
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Peter, are you in the US?
 
  • #12
Yes Gokul, I live in the US.
 
  • #13
Gokul43201
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In that case, if you've decided on SciAm (which is definitely good value for money), and are looking for something extra, I recommend you apply for a student membership with APS. Not only is this essentially necessary if you intend to stick with Physics and present research at, or just attend the APS conferences (which is a valuable experience for anyone in Physics to have), but for the $30-odd per year you also get your monthly copy of Physics Today. Better still, you can get a 1-year free trial membership as a student - there's no good reason not to do it!
 
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  • #14
Ygggdrasil
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"Nature" falls in the line of "ridiculous pricing" I'm simply a first year college student. I couldn't afford that. Do you think I would be able to comprehend "Science" though?
I would say that a first year college student would not be able to comprehend most of the research articles in Science. Heck, I'm a PhD student and I can't really comprehend articles in Science that are outside of my general area of study (one problem is that Science and Nature articles tend to be very short and condensed; therefore, authors cannot include much of an introduction and background of their topic and methods before delving into the meat of the paper. The papers are written primarily for those knowledgeable in the field).

That said, if you are at a university, it is highly likely that you can access Science, Nature, and other academic journals online through your university's library. These journals do have some interesting news articles in the "front end" of the journal as well as some good summaries of some of the papers (called "Perspectives" in Science and "News and Views" in Nature) that are written for nonspecialists.
 
  • #15
That's why I didn't ask for a physics based magazine, as I knew I will be getting one for free. :) I have intrests in other fields as well, which is why I also want another magazine to supplement.

Right I figured "Science" would be way over my head. (That T-shirt looks neat though)
I suppose I'll have to settle on the monthly "Scientific American" then, *sigh* I was really looking forward to a weekly dose of science.
 
  • #16
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Get Wired. It'll help to keep you in touch with the real world and potentially with things that you'll end up doing after the PhD if you fail to score a tenure (since odds are against that).
 
  • #17
Get Wired. It'll help to keep you in touch with the real world and potentially with things that you'll end up doing after the PhD if you fail to score a tenure (since odds are against that).
Do you mean research? I was planning on doing research regardless.
 
  • #18
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Do you mean research? I was planning on doing research regardless.
You can't do research for a living unless someone pays you to. Research of the kind discussed in Science and Nature is unprofitable, financed with government money, and there's limited amount of that. Most of that research is conducted by tenured professors and their peons (postdocs and grad students). People who fail to become tenured professors usually end up in the industry, where knowledge of things that could be sold to consumers (Wired) is more important than knowledge of things that can be published in textbooks (Nature).
 
  • #19
You can't do research for a living unless someone pays you to. Research of the kind discussed in Science and Nature is unprofitable, financed with government money, and there's limited amount of that. Most of that research is conducted by tenured professors and their peons (postdocs and grad students). People who fail to become tenured professors usually end up in the industry, where knowledge of things that could be sold to consumers (Wired) is more important than knowledge of things that can be published in textbooks (Nature).
I'm not to fond of the idea of working for an industry. You see, no one has ever explained to me how the system works. So your saying the only way I'd be doing that research is to become a tenured professor? Do you mind if I just PM you some questions then? I'm highly curious right now.
 
  • #21
I've briefly looked over that once before, but now I auctualy read it. It's really daunting, all that work I must go through. At least I know it can be done, thanks.
 

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