Ignore reviews from past years. Discover is a different magazine now.
For years Discover was the best magazine for the lay person or even scientists who wanted to keep track of the trends in other fields of science. Now with a new publisher it has become almost worthless. Very superficial articles are mixed with over blown headlines and poor science. After buying Discover since it's very inception I find it sad what has happened to this magazine. Check the dates and notice the glowing reviews for the old magazine but pay attention to the negative ones from the last 6 months.
Recently very bad
I had a subscription to this magazine for almost 10 years, and I always read every article with interest. In the past 6 months, nearly every article has been a disappointment, either filled with fluffy, quasi-science or written by an author with an obvious bias. The latest issue came with a promotional CD from an oil company, and had an article about how fossil fuel emissions were not responsible for global warming. If that isn't a sign of what's gone wrong with Discover, I don't know what is.
If there is a dramatic improvement in the next few months, I might consider resubscribing, but likely not.
On the brink of ceasing publication?
I've witnessed many of my favorite magazines cease publication over the years, so based on those experiences, it looks like Discover will go kaput sometime in the next 1 to 3 years. It's unfortunate, but right now this publication's continued existence is solely based on inertia.
Discover used to be somewhere between Omni and Scientific American, but recently they've been adding an odd mixture of content that you would normally find in Popular Science, Wired, and Time magazine - all in a flimsy 80 pages. It has turned into a brochure with 2-page ads disguised as articles for computer equipment (external hard drives). See pages 26-27 of the February 2009 issue.
I'll stick around until the end, but for those just subscribing I would recommend doing so in 1-year increments.
Sent me an old issue I received from my expired subscription
Magazine subscriptions always seem to want to send you last month's issue when you start up. This magazine is not cheap and I feel ripped-off.