I used to faithfully subscribe to Discover, but that pretty much stopped when Disney bought and took over Discover Magazine. I don't know exactly what it was, but the magazine just seemed different. The layout was suddenly "snappier" and "more hip". It just didn't feel right. It's not like they totally destroyed the magazine or anything, it's still got some great articles and content... it just felt different to me. Maybe I was just getting older too, because I began to subscribe to Scientific American instead.
Occasionally I still buy Discover... especially when I'm traveling. It makes great reading material when you're on a plane. Regardless of how I personally feel about the magazine, we need more scientific and science-minded magazines like Discover... especially with all of the religious kooks out in Kansas passing laws and claiming that the world is flat and that Darwin didn't know what he was talking about. When I finally have kids, I'm going to give them a subscription to Discover and National Geographic every year.
When you pick up a magazine like Discover, you don't come away with fleeting information like you would if reading Newsweek or People. Instead, you gain lifetime quality knowledge that describes the world we live in and adds value to your understanding.
This magazine is pretty useful but dosent go to much in dept about technology. Focusing on commercials more than actually finding ground breaking stories and discoveries. Unlike it's counter competitor, Popular science it lacks the juice. Also some times being too complex for those who aren't too deep but who start at the technology field and try to gain information about new technology. The latest issue talks about robotics and the latest advances in that field so it does go to an exciting subject that we all wonder about. But if it were possible maybe get a little deeper and surprise us.
Discover is a good general interest science magazine. It's not as deep as Scientific American, for example. Its articles are written for laymen. Personality profiles are common, and in the last year or so there have been occasional excerpts from books.
The graphics and layout are good, although they can sometimes be distracting. Regular features include a "what's new" type of column which has blurbs of new discoveries, findings, etc, a medical column, a light humor column, reviews books, tv shows, museum exhibits and so on, a puzzle page, and a listing of internet sites or books where you can find more information about the featured articles.
I think that the magazine is not always as critical as it could be when reporting on personalities or new theories, giving very little room to opposing views. Also, there has been a startling tendency more recently to give considerable coverage to fringe "science." Notions that are well outside accepted science are treated with very little skepticism.
However, the thrust of the articles is to provide information about a topic, and it is done well and in a very readable fashion.
I was one of the charter subscribers in the early 1980's, and have watched this magazine go through a number of incarnations. All that other reviewers here say about the "People" approach, and the lack of pure science, is true...but it has always been true to a greater or lesser degree. I find the insight into issues as well as science interesting and informative. What has changed is the decidedly political tone the magazine has acquired in the last three years or so. This is dangerous for this reason: by the nature of the editorial policy, there is rarely hard science to stand behind the 'commentary' inbedded in an article. Highly contraversial issues, not infrequently, are presented as statements of fact. The tilt is 'green' and is most visible on issues involving the environment. Scientifically unproven but politically popular (with the readers, one presumes) sentiments and ideas are presented with token or no rebuttal and at times as unchallenged premises for some conclusion. This is not bad or good, but it isn't science-based debate and discussion, either. One begins to feel one is being 'educated' rather than 'challenged'. Sum: This is a magazine that will present a theory clearly and in English and is enjoyable to read...I still subscribe and will continue to...but not one that will make much effort to dispute or refute a theory that is editorially favored and/or 'reader friendly'.
At first glance, Discover is a great magazine. Its articles are a quick read, relatively well written, and entertaining. However, I found that I quickly outgrew it as I was exposed to more substantive non-journal magazines, such as Scientific American or Nature. Its not that Discover is a bad magazine, its just not as in depth or broad in its coverage as others out there on the newstand.
I have read Discover in passing for years; now that my kids are older I thought it might be good for them. When I saw the promo offer I got a one-year subscription. I probably shouldn't have been, but I was shocked at how much popular pseudo-science and opinion are injected into otherwise sound articles. They are clearly intended to persuade and that is not the role of science. So, mostly what I have Discovered is another tool of the demagogues. The best way to hide a lie is to surround it with truths. There is so much of this in today's media that passes for science and journalism that few people even notice any more.
Still, I have used the magazine to help my kids become more critical thinkers and seperate fact from opinion, so I guess it's not a complete loss. Same old story, let the buyer beware.
This is a fun magazine. The material presented is interesting (depending on one's taste), clear, and varied. It is the science magazine I started reading as an elementary school student many years ago after being attracted by pretty pictures of dinosaurs. I recommend this magazine for people who are not professional scientists but are interested in either learning or being exposed to science-related information. This magazine is good, but not fantastic. Maybe I am hard to please.
The rating is 3 stars only because of the lack of depth of coverage and simplicity of explanations. This is science 'light'. If you have a science or engineering background, Discover is for you only if you are long removed or are seeking a 'TV version'. For those currently in the science and technology game or conversant, 2-3 stars is correct. If you have little familiarity with science or technology, this is a good publication to become informed: 4-5 stars.
This is not a publication where one rating serves. Please decide on the basis of your background. Those seeking more depth should look to Scientific American or American Scientist. For true technical articles Science or Nature are excellent publications with broad science coverage although typically lacking in 'technology' (as opposed to science).
Excellent magazine to update oneself on current scientific developments. Weird collection of ads though for a science oriented journal!
I'm a business and computer guy but I enjoy staying educated and so I tried Discover, Popular Science, and Scientific America. Frankly, Discover doesn't educate much. The articles are shallow and don't provide me with much more than I get from other sources that I already read. However, it does cover a wide variety of topics, warranting a subscription. Of the three mentioned, Discover is the easiest to read.