Reviews For Scientific American Magazine

Great for geeks of all kinds!

Are you a geek? I am. That's probably the only reason Scientific American appealed to me. I have read this magazine since I was about 12 years old in the early 90's. (yea, I'm a young one) The wonderful thing about this magazine is that it doesn't matter what kind of geek you are, this magazine has something for you. I am more of a biology geek and so I enjoy the articles that deal with biology/health.

In the Nov. 2000 issue of Scientific American a biology geek, like myself, may be interested in reading in an article entitled: "Cloning Noah's Ark". This article discusses how the new cloning technology might offer a way to keep some of the endangered species from actually disappearing off the earth. What I found particularly interesting about this article was that it discussed the actual cloning process. It showed drawings of the procedure as well as actual pictures. This article not only discusses the scientific reasons for cloning endangered animals, but also the moral reasons.

Another article I found of interest was no more than 3 paragraphs long. It was all about how a home pregnancy test actually detected pregnancy. Complete with drawings and factoids I found this interesting because I am one of the millions of American women who have taken at home pregnancy tests.

How about you engineering geeks? Those of you who were always building model rockets as kids? This magazine has something for you. The Nov. 2000 issue discussed The "Vasmir Rocket". The Vasmir Rocket is supposed to be a more energy efficient, powerful rocket. Much different than rockets of the past. I'll be honest with you, I didn't make it through this entire article. I tried, but my mind kept wandering because I have no interest in rockets.

This magazine doesn't only have things for biology or engineering geeks. No, it has things for the ever so prevalent group of computer geeks as well. This specific issue discusses computer animation and how it is that computers are generating such realistic images. I found this article interesting, because it talked about how things were done in movies that I had seen, movies such as Titanic and The Perfect Storm.

It doesn't matter your passion or what kind of geek you are. This magazine has something in it for every kind of geek from environmental geeks to math geeks to statistical analysis geeks and of course to me and my fellow biology/medical geeks.



Excellent magazine. The changes over the years has made this the best science magazine in the US. The articles are great, the illustrations superb, the writing style/editing is excellent, web sites and references are included, and the format appealing. The August 2003 issue illustrates the range of material in SciAm. The main articles include molecular biology (gene regulation), social implications of "have nots" in the digital world, the role of the cerebellum, cosmology, archeology, and anthropology. There were seven short "news scan" articles on equally diverse topics. There are two-page articles on "optical tweezers," diverse strange patents, an astronomer looking for asteroids heading for earth, and an article called the "skeptic" about a common misconception in our outlook on primitive people. All of the articles can be understood by most educated people but all are above the level you would find in "Discover" magazine. For example, the article on gene regulation would be better understood if you understood DNA, its role in producing proteins, as well as the role of enzymes. The excellent illustrations clarified all the major points in the article. Your background would tell you that the article is a summary about cutting edge research in one area of gene regulation. I was intrigued because I had no idea that RNA could regulate genes. There are several other elements to the magazine including a monthly puzzle, a "how it works" page, and reviews of a few good books. SciAm is an enjoyable way to continue your science education.


Balanced science reporting for intelligent readers

I've been reading Scientific American since I was a tiny child. My dad used to subscribe to it, and even before I could read I loved to pick it up and look at the strange, beautiful pictures. When I learned to read, Scientific American was one of my favorite targets, even though I could not understand many of those big giant words. But dad was glad to explain some of it, and the rest I was told I would understand in time.

Those years did pass, and I still read each issue with great attention. As an avid fan of science, nature, and technology, I find that Scientific American presents recent developments in a style suited for intelligent, savvy readers.

If you didn't like science in high school (and you still have not discovered how beautiful it is) you may be turned away by this magazine. Although every article contains introductory material that concisely reviews important background information, the articles can get into daunting levels of technical detail. For me, and I suspect for anyone who has a good grounding in science, the articles are absolutely fascinating, and those amazing graphics add immeasurably to the information content (and beauty) of each article.

This magazine has gone through some significant evolution in the last ten years. It has become less stuffy and more aesthetically pleasing, and the range of articles has expanded considerably. A recent issue contained an article on the physics of the peculiar throat singers of Tuva, an article on science and religion, one on new developments in surgical repair of spinal chord injuries, an analysis of the usefulness of simulated tests for nuclear weapons, and an article on how planets may have changed their orbits in the solar system's early history.

Regular sections include "News and Analysis," "Science and the Citizen," a personal profile, various reviews and a couple of regular columns. Also in each issue are the ever-popular "Amateur Scientist" and "Mathematical Recreations" columns, which have been published in various forms for many decades.

Scientific American is a unique magazine because it fills a niche between highly technical science magazines like Nature and "popular" magazines like Popular Science and Discover. If you want real science, and you are interested enough to really read deeply, you may find Scientific American is at just the right level.


Time well spent for those with an interest in science

I have not read every science-related magazine out there, but this is the one I enjoy most of the one I have seen. This magazine's best feature is that it contains content from most every area of science. You can get articles on astronomy, biology, health, chemistry, physics, engineering, etc. all in the same issue. It does not go into as depth about any one field as the magazines devoted to a single field, but it is very good at presenting articles from a wide variety of fields that are of today's interest. If you want the in depth on physics in general, go elsewhere. If you have a general interest in science as a whole, then I would strongly consider reading this magazine. If you wind you want more in depth articles on a particular field, then go to a mag in the subject of your choice.
The content of the magazine may be a bit over the head of some. The articles do use all the technical terms, so if you hate that sort of thing, be ready. But if you into the learning, this will tell what you need to know on a topic.


Scientific American requires concentration, but well worth the read

I guess you could say this magazine is the bridge between serious intellectuals and laymen who happen to be interested in the world around them. While i rarely find any articles that directly pertain to my life there are some damned interesting articles that explain new findings in different fields.

Any topic that has an academic field behind it is fair game (how to build better buildings against earthquakes, the evolution of man are some examples). The best thing about the articles is that they aren't dumbed down, the writers write as if they are writing to intelligent readers (much like the Economist) but they also provide useful background information just in case you arent familiar with the subject matter that is being written about.

Another cool thing about them, is their intro is much like Time's or The Economist where they summarize important news in the Sciences. It's great for finding facts and stuff.

I wish they had weekly issues of this magazine. :) It's just chock full of information that will expand your horizon (granted it's trivia, but still, it's important and impressive trivia).




Keep abreast of the latest in science

Although I graduated with a degree in one of the sciences, I still have an inquisitive mind that is interested in all of the sciences. As my reading time is VERY limited due to my career I only have time to REALLY read one scientific magazine. I make that one SCI AM. While not a groundbreaking journal, it does have some of the best scientists in their fields giving out the latest findings and their potential impacts. From biochemistry and cell structures to astrophysics to geology to math to the computer sciences, SCI AM covers them all in a year or so. While I have difficulty reading some of the articles because they are too far out of my main areas of interest, I at least get a basic understanding of where the article is in the field and what it means for current thought in that field.

For the serious scientist this is a must read, because you cannot keep up with all fields of science all the time. And for those of us who have migrated elsewhere, this at least keeps us informed of where current scientific thought is and where it is headed.


As a student it serves me well

I am a college student and I read Scientific American every month. I am currently taking Biology II and many times I find that my textbook is incorrect. I know that it's not the fault of the college or authors of the books, it's just that they are always finding new things. They disprove old theories and take hold of new ones. To me this is very interesting. I feel like it puts me ahead of the average student just by reading Scientific American. Several times I have shared the information with my Bio class and they too are amazed at the new technology and the fact that our books become quickly outdated. Several students in this class have also taken out subscriptions to the magazine to further their knowledge. Scientific American is not just for science "geeks" or rocket scientists. Of course these people do the research and write the articles, but they write in such a way that the average person can read and understand it. I think the more people who are interested in Science and Technology the better off we will be as a nation.


Science for the Masses...

I find that Scientific American gives me news about developing technologies and groundbreaking discoveries that will shape our lives in the future. Scientific American goes deeper into the source of their stories and provides educational analysis about each topic they cover. I especially like the articles about NASA, continuing missions and the future of the space program and about new research into medicine and vaccines for interesting topics such as Cancer, AIDS and Parkinson's Disease. The magazine is a long read and provides hours of insight into new discoveries and technologies and provides for an intellectual understanding of science in the 21st century.


A Magazine for Inquiring Minds

I did not "discover" the "SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN" until I retired from my
39 years of complete involvement in medicine as a practicing pediatrician.
Beside a trove of medicine related journals,plus Newsweek,National Geographic,almost all the women's journals,People,Harper's,Smithsonian and many many others,I purchased a trial subscription of S.A. and I have not been able to discard(to my son and grandchildren)a single issue incompletely read.
The Scientific American is extremely well written so that each article
whether excerpts from the archives of "50yrs ago, 100yrs ago etc. science developments" or the discussions of the latest modification of the "big bang theories", to the math puzzle "corner" are informative ,easy to read,and of subjects covering the entire spectrum of science.
The December issue of this magazine was dedicated to the end-of-the
millenium and discussed "Can aging be postponed?,What secrets do genes hold? How was the universe born? and numerous others.The interesting and widely diversified departments include "News and Analysis in Focus",
Science and the Citizen",Profile(Botanist M.D. Lowman's rain forest
studies"and many more fascinating articles ;all in excellent format
of both writing and a plethora of photos in an ideal layout. I intend to try another science-related journal called "NATURE".


The BEST Scientific Magazine published

Scientific American is truly the best, most informative scientific magazine published. The articles are always exciting and on topics on the very leading edge of technology. If you want to know what direction our society is moving, this is the magazine to read. The articles on gene technology and research, lasers, new technology in transportation, communication, computers, etc. are much more far reaching than any of the other magazines. Discover and National Geographic are absolutely left in the dust of Scientific American. I learn more from reading one issue of Scientific American than I do from watching a month of the Discovery or History channels. If you are interested in electronics, biology, chemistry, genetic research, astronomy, medical breakthroughs, and a very wide range of other topics, Scientific American is the magazine for you!!