Re: Credibility of SciAm

Wed, 25 Feb 1998 17:31:27 -0500

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Are there any others who are disturbed by the trend in Scientific
> American? Are we loosing one of the in the past best popular
> scientific journals to a mere journal of opinion?

I feel the same in the sense that I do not think these opinion-type articles
have any place in a journal that touts itself as a scientific resource for
sophisticated layman. Many SciAm readers lack of the scientific proficiency to
separate author opinion from scientific consensus or fact. SciAm should be
especially vigilant in reviewing the content of its articles. Several articles
(including the nanotechnology article and the value of animals in medical
research) reminded me more of the dogmatic presentation of facts you see from
politicians, not scientists.

SciAm was definitely called out on the carpet regarding the nanotechnology
ordeal. What the editors were thinking when they allowed that article through
is anyone's guess. However, I think that as long as readers continue to hold
SciAm accountable for what it prints, we can keep SciAm from becoming a journal
of opinion.

Doug Bailey