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Which is the best popular science magazine and why?

  1. Sep 30, 2009 #1
    I enjoy science magazines, but some of them seem a little "iffy" sometimes! (New Scientist, I'm looking at you!)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2009 #2
    I got Popular Science just because my sister was doing a fundraiser thing. Its pretty cool but I havent read any other science magazines.
  4. Sep 30, 2009 #3
    Scientific American... because it partners with PF!
  5. Sep 30, 2009 #4


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    Scientific American is probably a good choice and New Scientist is not THAT bad, at least it seems they are trying to be as accurate as possible which is more than you can say for most magazines.

    However, popular magazines are -almost by definition- flawed to some degree simply because they aim to popularize extremely complicated subjects (without using any of the "tools" normally used by scientists, most notably math) which almost inevitably leads to errors or over-simplifications.
    They are still worth reading, but don't make the mistake of believing that they can give you more than a very superficial overview of a subject.

    There are a few online resources that are pretty good. Both Nature and Science have news sections and also include "simplified" summaries of important articles.

    Physics is a new free publication from APS which is also quite good (http://physics.aps.org), although some articles can probably only be considered "popular" if you are a physicist.
  6. Sep 30, 2009 #5


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    The best "popularized" explanation of time dilation I've ever read was in The Rationalist (I'm not a subscriber or even read it regularly).

    Among "soft" sciences Psychology Today has come to strike an impression on me.
  7. Oct 1, 2009 #6
    physics-world because they are a magazine geared towards a general audience and they talk exclusively about physics rather than all other genres of science
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  8. Oct 1, 2009 #7
    I happened upon a copy of the latest edition in the lobby of my doctor's office, and the dark star article contains the most concise, easily understandable, non-techinical explanation of the background semi-classical gravity (as well as the general difficulties with relativity and quantum field theory and how that relates to black holes) I have read. I am thinking of getting a subscription.
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