Attn Prof, Discover Magazine

Prof, what's your opinion of this magazine? I picked up the April issue and didnt know if you had seen it.

Any of my agnostic or atheistic scientist buddies, please chime in...:-)

link or summary?

I think that as a magazine it is crap. it's always behind the actual scientific journals...and I mean like a YEAR behind. And it usually glosses over too much and doesn't give much detail to grab on to.

discover channel, though....that's pretty fun.

No link, it wasn't online. they tackled the T Rex blood controversy. I was going to post some interesting highlights by the author but I have a raging headache and left the magazine in my car...

Tulka, scientific journals are more technical...isnt' this supposed to be the layman's version?

tisk tisk.... rooster, laymen are not to understand science...they need scientists to explain it to them


rooster, I totally missed the point of your thread, sorry. i thought you were asking people for a review of the magazine....not for a reaction to a particular article.

The goal of Discover is definately to present interesting stuff in layman's terms.....but there are other magazines that do a WAY better Scientific American. Much better magazine and still readable for pretty much anyone.

I still appreciate Discover, too. I wasn't really trying to knock it so much as to give it a critique.


I've read Discover off and on for many years. Admittedly
I haven't read it much lately, as my head is buried in lots of other reading. Sometimes I enjoy going right to the sources, rather than those magazines, which I can do sometimes on data banks like PubMed etc.

Discovery is "science-lite" for the layman. (And I'm a layman...just one with a stronger interest than many).
I still dig the occasional feature in that mag and don't see anything inherently wrong with it.

By the way: totally off-topic but is anyone here using the newest Google Tool Bar spell checker? This thing rocks! I tend to like my posts spell-checked, and some forums offer a spell-checking feature on posts. But lots of forums, like this one, do not.

But if you download the Google Toolbar it has a spell checker sitting near the top of your browser, which will spell check anything you type into a web-site. It's a beautiful, super-fast interface too. This thing alone probably raises anyone's IQ ;-)



Tulka, I was asking for a review of the magazine before I ripped into an article :-)

Rooster it is possibly the most science-lite of all the available mags. You would do better with scientific american or new scientist. Or even nature if you can be bothered.

PS are there any other scientists here on the HG?

Kind of like this place..

I prefer SciAm too. But like Prof I prefer to go to the source.

rooster, one of the big problems is that a magazine like discover (or even is WAAAAAAY more likely to present data as factual proof of a conclusion instead of describing why they merely support a conclusion. I think that the science-lite magazines really create a false image of science as a dogmatic, authoritarian entity instead of as a process that people diligently follow. When you get it right from the source, authors seem substantially more open about the tentativeness of their conclusions and the limitations of their studies.

In other words, I really thing that Discover and other such magazines make themselves (and the whole scientific community) a big target for anti-science rhetoric from hyperfundamentalist christians. It's really quite easy to object to "science" as presented by those magazines because it shows very little of the process and often overstates the conclusions.

That's why I don't care for them much.