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Scientific American

3.9 out of 5 stars 207 customer reviews

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Product Description

Subscription Length: 1 year

Since 1845, Scientific American has been educating and delighting readers with in-depth coverage on a broad range of scientific topics. Every month government leaders, c-suite executives, investors, students and informed citizens from all professions depend on Scientific American for reporting on advances that impact the economy and careers, financial markets, global health, and the environment. Scientific American subscriptions include 12 print and 12 digital issues (Tablet Edition for iPad, downloadable PDFs, and browser based access to gated content on ScientificAmerican.com).

Product Details

Subscription Length: 1 year
  • Format: Magazine
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • Publisher: Scientific American
  • ASIN: B00008DP07
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • This magazine subscription is provided by Synapse

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
351 of 380 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Less depth, but still good February 18, 2008
Subscription Term Name:1 year
Scientific American was once a great magazine, but now it is just a good magazine. I read Scientific American as a teenager in the 80's, I read it as a student and as an engineer in the 90's and I am still reading Scientific American and subscribing to it. Even today I enjoy reading Scientific American very much, but I am not pleased with the fact that the depth of the articles has decreased.

In the olden days the writers for Scientific American were not afraid of putting mathematical formulas, algorithms, in depth analysis, and statistics as well as references to research articles in their articles. Today's Scientific American is not written by scientists, but by journalists and free lancers.

It used to be that scientists and engineers interested in fields outside their own areas of expertise were the magazine's target audience. Now, however, Scientific American is aimed at general readers who are interested in science. Scientific American is now looking more like Discover magazine. In my opinion Discover magazine and Scientific American should complement each other (in depth reading vs. light reading) and not be so similar. I understand that these changes were made for business reasons.

For a while I also thought that Scientific American had taken on a political slant. However, I’ve come to realize that my misconceptions and biases caused me to jump to conclusions regarding accurately written articles on topics that had become politically controversial. Today I trust Scientific American to be mostly apolitical and to be mostly about the science. However, I still think the attack on Björn Lomborg a few years ago was unbecoming of Scientific American even though I know Björn Lomborg has an agenda.
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304 of 338 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The sad, sad demise of a once-great magazine... January 4, 2011
Subscription Term Name:6 months
UPDATE - an hour after I wrote the following review I checked out American Scientist magazine - I am now a proud subscriber. AmSci is everything that SciAm used to be! I'll keep my SciAm subscription for another year, and then will probably drop SciAm.

I'm so frustrated with Sci Am I could scream. I've been a subscriber since 1975; I have all the back issues lovingly stored in expensive magazine cases. I used to look forward to each new issue with excited, joyful anticipation. Now I dread the arrival of each pitiful rag. The only reason I have not dropped my subscription is the fading hope that they will fire most of the editorial board, starting with DiChristina, who is doing her best to morph SciAm into a Frankenstein's Monster of Popular Science (she used to be the editor of PopSci).

The "new" format is just another step down the long road to failure. The glued-binding keeps the magazine from sitting flat on a table, and if a page is torn there is no easy way to repair it.

It is distressingly skinny, a mere 82-96 pages per issue. When I complain about this, the response is that paper and ink are so, so terribly expensive - but if that is the problem, why do they squander page after page with either full-color pictures and graphics that add nothing to the content, or even worse, waste almost all of a page with nothing at all - no text, no images? Can't they afford to pay for a few thousand more words to fill the empty space? Here's a list of the wasted pages in the January 2011 issue: 34,35,40,41,46,47,half of 52, 53,58,65,half of 69,72,78, half of 79 and half of 88! This represents nearly 20% of the pages available for non-advertising content!
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150 of 176 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time for an update - Welcome back! May 8, 2008
Subscription Term Name:1 year
Yes, I'm one of those who sadly dropped my subscription over a decade ago, when the magazine abandoned content written by scientists in favour of populist journalism written by staff.

Before that, I had been a faithful subscriber and enthusiastic reader since the early 1970s.

I now subscribe to American Scientist. I'm not a scientist, but I like my updates on science to be dinkum, as we say in Australia.

**********
That's what I wrote back in 2007, and I still think it was true then.

But emboldened by comments on my review, I bought the December 2012 edition to see if I still think it's true now. I don't. While I wasn't watching, someone has picked up my one-time favourite magazine out of the gutter of glib populism, and given it status again.

Welcome back, Sci Am!

The letters pages once again debate and enlarge topics from past articles. The prose has stopped trying to be cute and undemanding, and is again written to inform and lead the mind. The tone has returned to literate adult discourse. Content is written by real scientists, and by journalists who know science and like it. The investigative piece on pharmacology research and big pharma pulls no punches.

Boy, what a relief!

One small point: my airport copy cost AUD$15.95, stickered over a cover price of USD$5.99. With the two currencies hovering within a bull's roar of parity, that looks like an opportunity for a parallel importer.
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115 of 139 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars From science to cupcakes; sad decline of an institution November 22, 2009
Subscription Term Name:1 year
Witnessing the editorial deterioration of Scientific American over the years has been a sad disappointment. I began to read SA in my high school library nearly fifty years ago. From the 60's through the 80s' it was a serious and dignified journal with explanations by major scientists of their own work. The Amateur Scientist and Mathematical Recreations columns had many devotees. In these years many who chose careers in science credited SA as an inspiration. Apparently it was not considered cool or profitable enough by its publishers however; sometime in the 90's SA was taken over by a new crowd, the articles now written by journalists, and it became strongly politicized, with a shrill liberal agenda. They turned away from hard science and devoted more pages to psychology and social issues, often with a clear bias attached. Many of the columnists were no longer significant thinkers but just some cronies of the editor - borderline cranks whose monthly "thoughts" are not worth the paper. Steve Mirsky, the "humorist," is simply a waste of a page and Michael Shermer has nothing new to say. (Jeff Sachs however is an exception - he is a genuine leader in international development.)

There has also been an ongoing obsession with the evolution / creationist debate, not bringing any new scientific insights as a leading science magazine could and should have done, just elitist religion-bashing and constant ridicule of the "stupid" creationists. Embarrassing even to non-religious readers. Even the art direction is wacky, highly impressionistic (people with blue heads and swoopy arcs in outer space seem to be used for ALL subjects) and of no value for illustrating the content.
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