Should I get Scientific America?

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jewish_scientist
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Should I get Scientific America?

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:19 pm UTC

I used to get it, but stopped because someone here told me that it was biased. However, I could not find anything like it. Do you guys know any better things to subscribe to? If not, should I get Scientific America anyway?
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twelvefootboy
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Re: Should I get Scientific America?

Postby twelvefootboy » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:58 am UTC

If you used to get it, then you know the answer. I subscribed for 40 years but let it lapse finally because it was too much eyestrain for me. I just re-upped online last night and hope I can read the longer articles on screen. It was kind of cool to see the comprehensive articles before technologies hit the mainstream. The GPS system, Star Wars (yah, the fucking SDI), String Theory - you saw them there first. But that was pre-internet.

Yes, it is biased toward reason and truth. It's not hard to figure out which echo chamber told you it was biased. If you can afford the 40 bucks, help keep monthly print media alive.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: Should I get Scientific America?

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:31 am UTC

twelvefootboy wrote:It's not hard to figure out which echo chamber told you it was biased.

There are several possibilities though. Climate change is probably the scientific topic that people complain about the most, but it could just as easily be a group of Creationists complaining about the "bias" they see in Scientific American.

lightvector
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Re: Should I get Scientific America?

Postby lightvector » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:06 pm UTC

I used to get it. It was pretty good, with some flaws.

Sometimes I was less than impressed with the quality of some of the articles, particularly the ones regarding more speculative physics/astronomy or more speculative study results, or more speculative technology. In the typical way that scientific journalism about such things can be easily flawed - the idea would be a bit overhyped with online research easily turning up conflicting studies or bloggers I trusted displaying strong skepticism, or it would be an article that overexaggerated results that if you drilled down to the actual published paper you would find were a bit more run-of-the-mill than the impression you would get from the article, etc.

Of course in the editorial you'd sometimes see the editors express certain views, but I wouldn't say there was usually any significant "bias" in the articles themselves, just your normal scientific journalism. With all the expected flaws of such, but also to be fair, on average much higher quality than the typical scientific journalism out there, and unsurprisingly generally higher quality than the typical scientific journalism from most of the mainstream media that doesn't specifically focus on science.

That was my take, at least.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: Should I get Scientific America?

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:15 am UTC

I find fewer flaws with Nature News, but Scientific American's longer format can be an advantage. Most of their articles are good.

But I would agree about articles regarding speculative physics and technology.

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ThirdParty
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Re: Should I get Scientific America?

Postby ThirdParty » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:50 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
twelvefootboy wrote:It's not hard to figure out which echo chamber told you it was biased.
There are several possibilities though. Climate change is probably the scientific topic that people complain about the most, but it could just as easily be a group of Creationists complaining about the "bias" they see in Scientific American.
Are those really separate possibilities? I thought climate denialism and creationism usually went hand-in-hand. (See, for example, the graph here.)

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Eebster the Great
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Re: Should I get Scientific America?

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:13 pm UTC

I would expect the latter to be a proper subset of the former.


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