Customer Reviews: Popular Science
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on February 11, 2012
I am currently a junior in college studying biology. I was looking for a magazine that would showcase new technology and have insightful articles. I was very disappointed with this magazine and I cancelled it after I received the first issue. It was short--less than 100 pages. Most of the articles featured scientific "toys", in which the price was included. I felt like I bought a lengthy advertisement instead of a magazine. The articles that weren't selling goods were not much better. One article blamed the Joplin tornado on global warming, and then backed it up with laughable evidence.
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on May 13, 2010
I think the magazine title is mileading. There's not much science in this magazine. I got two issues so far and there isn't a single article that I found worth reading. The culture is quite evident in the advertisments that are featured which if I my add are quite age inappropriate. They feature advertisments for male organ enlargements, stimulants, aphrodisiacs and include lots of testimonials. I am very uncomfortable letting this sit around as I have an 8 year old. I have to throw this mag away the same day I get it. Stay away if you are really interested in science.
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on November 18, 2014
Magazine is good, but I plan on canceling my subscription after finding cigarette ads inside. I have no intention of exposing my kids to cool-looking fools wasting their lives and their health on tobacco. I seriously can't believe PopSci would stoop so low for funding. I expected more from a scientific magazine that often covers health topics. If you've found yourself similarly dissatisfied with the ads, I would suggest emailing their editorial board and letting them know. Their emails are all available on the PopSci site.
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I guess we live in the "sound bite" generation. It seems like we expect every form of media to present everything in three to five minute sound predigested form. That is exactly what you get with "Popular Science." Perhaps in our busy world we can only take things in such short bites. If so, this magazine is perfect for the person who only has fifteen minutes to catch up on the state of science.

I looked through various issues of "Popular Science" and began with the table of contents. I see an article about weapons in space, and the table of contents shows that the article is eight pages long. That sounds interesting. I flip over to the article and find that the total amount of print fills just about two pages, and the rest is pictures. I think I have read longer articles about space weapons in the non-science magazine "Time." Perhaps this article was a fluke, so I flip to "The Worst Jobs in Science."

This seven page article has more print. This article has nearly four pages of actual writing. Wow. I am impressed. Of course, this in depth article contains tidbits about what it is like to be an orangutan pee collector. I will admit that this article did use some scientific words like "ketone" and "reproductive-hormone levels." I was feeling more scientific at this point. I decide to see what else the magazine has to offer.

I start flipping pages and see all sorts of product advertisements. There must be more articles. Wait. Those are not advertisements; they are descriptions of high tech toys. I only thought they were advertisements because they looked like advertisements.

In fairness to "Popular Science," I am guessing that their target audience wants stuff munched into digestible little articles so that they can grasp just a teeny bit about a subject in about two minutes. Obviously you are not going to become an expert in a few minutes. The article above did not explain what "ketone" was (this is where you go hit the internet and find out what ketone is, assuming you really want to know), and what ketone tells scientists. However, if you want to be informed about something, but you only want to know it exists without knowing the how or why, then this magazine is probably perfect for you. Perhaps you can even impress your guests by leaving this magazine on the coffee table. Unless they are scientists or engineers, of course, then you may want to move your copy to another place until they are gone.
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on January 4, 2014
Subscribed for a year and didn't renew my subscription.

First, as other reviewers have already noticed, sexual performance advertisements are hardly appropriate in a magazine targeted, among other groups, to children.

Also, and even more importantly, a magazine pretending to be scientific should not pitch witch doctor's potions using pseudo-scientific gibberish like "Today people drink water that has a hydrogen bond angle of 104 degrees. They need to be drinking water with a bond angle of 114 degrees."

Such advertisements put the veracity of the articles into question, too. I found this particularly amusing after the "thank you" note from the magazine's departing editor, John Ward, who claimed that all stories published are "scientifically proven". Both the advertisement above and the note appeared in the January 2014 issue.
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on June 1, 2013
This magazine is ad-heavy. In the issue I received, 50 out of 108 pages were ads.

The paper is really flimsy. None of the other magazines I subscribe to have paper this thin.

Worst of fall, the "science" is very soft. I realize the name of the magazine is "Popular Science," but they might as well call it "Pop Science." It's about as heady as an in-flight magazine. Future issues will go straight into the recycling bin.
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on May 26, 2015
Ordered as gift. Imagine my surprise when I got a charge to my credit card for an 'automatic' renewal. I had no idea when ordered it would be charged without my being notified or asking if I wanted another year or not!!! Lots of aggravation to stop the subscription. Sneaky tactic! Be careful..
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on December 28, 2014
I got this for my 12 year old grandson and I got a copy also for me so I could keep up with him. We both were disappointed in it. Not near the quality of depth it used to have when I subscribed to years ago.
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on August 3, 2015
This magazine was very thin and contained 4 full page ads for tobacco and 6 or so pages at the back for products. I've cancelled my subscription. You might want to buy a copy locally to make sure you're happy with it before subscribing.
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on August 5, 2013
I'm an engineering student and generally like to read about news in science; ground breaking discoveries and important developments in our world. This magazine offers very little of either. The "popular" portion of the magazine's name should have cued me to expect something non-scientific. It's really a non-sciency science magazine for people who have no real science education. Not that there's anything wrong with not having an education in science; I have no education in literature, but I still like to read books that are not dumbed down for readability sake. It bothers me that the reading level for a science magazine has been lowered to the state of Popular Science. The articles in this magazine remind me of what you'd see on the front page of Yahoo.

American Scientist is a great magazine I found that offers every bit of what I was looking for in a science magazine. Nothing is dumbed down, ads are few and far between (and also science related), and the articles are of real substance and require thinking on the reader's part.
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