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What are the best magazines to keep up?


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I'm not sure I am posting this in the right area, so feel free to tell me where else to post it, or perhaps a mod can move it.


Lately, I have felt slightly overwhelmed by the number of publications I have been reading, when I really would like to spend more of my reading time on books. So, I would like to ask some of the readers out there what your opinion is on several publications, with comparisons between them. I DO NOT subscribe to all of these (just a few), but may change some of the ones I do subscribe to, and eliminate others. I like to stay up on Science and Skeptical issues, as well as other things, and I would like opinions on which are the best overall publications. If you really think one is not worth reading, I'd like to know your thoughts.


Science oriented:


Scientific American

New Scientist

Science News

American Scientist



Skeptical mags:


Skeptical Inquirer




World, culture, science, miscellaneous:


National Geographic




I may edit this opening post in the future, but these are the ones of major concern. Feel free to bring up others.

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Depends on what your interests are.



I subscribe to Physics Today only because of my membership in the APS; I've let all other print subscriptions lapse (at one time or another I subscribed to Scientific American, Smithsonian and Discover, but stopped reading them). I have the luxury of letting RSS feeds point me toward interesting articles and reading what I want through my employer's library's subscriptions, which give me electronic access. This is true of both journal articles and pop-sci magazines.

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Those are great for just general science, but what about your particular interests and specialty? Like how, as a kid, I subscribed to a lot of reptile magazines, even those directed at captive care, and this continues to benefit me throughout my career in science.

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I see what you mean about interests. I have so many interests, though. As far as my specialty, I'm a pharmacist, and I read enough of that (and I honestly cannot stand being a pharmacist).


I'm wondering things like:


Is Scientific American better than New Scientist or Science News? I like the fact that SciAm has articles written by scientists, but Science News doesn't, though it covers a wide range of issues. I honestly have no idea about New Scientist. I actually am interested in learning about many areas of science and keeping up with knowledge in various areas.


Is Skeptical Inquirer better than Skeptic, or vice versa? Does anyone here read anything like that?

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On the area of general science news, why pay anything? There are a number of ejournals that are free. I receive Science Daily, and New Scientist. The latter requires a financial subscription to see the full text of some articles, but many of the articles are free.


Google for sciencedaily. It is an excellent source of general information, with numerous short articles covering a wide range of scientific topics. You receive an issue every day.


In a similar way, Skeptic has an ejournal, which is free. Not as good as the written issue, but comes out much more frequently. I am often a bit disappointed with the paper journal, since it is often quite philosophical, rather than dealing with hard science.


But don't restrict yourself to American sceptical publications. Skeptics groups exist all round the world, and most of them have excellent web sites. When you have time, visit the web sites.







Some of these may lead you on to access to sceptical ejournals.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 9 months later...

I ordered Seed Magazine lo those many months ago and have received exactly one issue...in June of last year.


Supposedly, they are working on a 'redesign'...no word on whether I'll be reimbursed on the missing 8 months. They aren't returning my e-mails.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scientific American is probably the best popular science magazine out there. It's got the most respected history of solid science.


For skeptical news (and science) I highly recommend the podcast, "The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe". They frequently have guests like Shermer, Randi, and others affiliated with those skeptic magazines.

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