Discover Magazine?

I was reading an article on-line in discover magazine and really enjoyed it. I thought they presented the information well. I was thinking of subscribing, but really wanted your opinions of the magazine.

Are the articles factual enough to be trusted? Are the articles varied enough? I don’t have any single passion, just a general curiosity.

If not Discover, is there a better science magazine written for the non-professional that covers multiple disciplines?

I really appreciate your thoughts on this matter.


We get New Scientist. They’re online as well, at, so you can try them out. Some of the articles you need to be signed up for to read, but I don’t know if that requires a magazine subscription, or just a free registration.

I haven’t read Discover in years, so I can’t compare them.

The only magazines I subscribe to are Readers Digest, National Geographic, and Discover. I can’t speak to the scientific authenticity of the magazine (it seems legit to me). I like that it’s not dumbed down to much, but still readable to someone without a graduate degree in science.

If you like variety, I’d say its the magazine for you. They cover everything from astronomy to medical science to neuroscience to geology to paleontology to anthropology… personally I’m not all that into the astronomy and space stuff, but it seems there’s always plenty of articles to peruse, even if the cover story isn’t exactly my cup of tea.

In short, I would highly recommend it. (I could say similar things about National Geographic except that they are a little less varied, but of course they have the gorgeous photography to make up for that)

Thank you :slight_smile: I’ll give them a year to impress me.

They’re about equal to Pop Sci and just below Scientific American or New Scientist. Very good for keeping up with the latest, and letting you know what you want to look into deeper. Very accurate but not a lot of depth. I read online all the time. And pick up the magazine at the news stand on occasion.

I find NG (the show) a little more scholarly than Discovery. For printed media, stick to Scientific American or, as my late geology professor said, Playboy, which used to feature very good articles on geology.

I have had a subscription to Discover for at least 25 years. It’s reliable and accurate, although not free from criticism. However, they often publish letters to the editor criticizing their material, and usually publish responses by the editor or author. The criticisms occasionally accuse them of liberal political bias. Accusations from the right of liberal bias in the media–imagine that.

The depth is a very good level for the layperson who wants to keep up with new developments. I read every page when time permits. They continually evolve their editorial style, format, and features to try to keep it fresh but I have never noticed a drop in quality, or added sensationalism to sell more magazines, etc. (I enjoy Scientific American but it tends to be more technical and scholarly; I rarely get through an entire issue.)

I subscribed probably 10 years ago, but I found so much of the content was extrapolation and speculation, not a whole lot of here and now hard science. Is it still that way?

Discover is not bad at all, if a bit on the “pop” side. Scientific American is my go-to mag on Science related stuff. I think Scientific American has tried to make itself more approachable for the non-scientific community in the last decade or so. But I do enjoy reading Discover whenever I have the opportunity.

I used to subscribe to it (stopped because I moved). I really like it, and still buy copies on occasion. I think it’s a bit more serious and less sensationalistic than Pop Sci.

And the women were often a stone fox.

None of these mass-market pop science magazines are any substitute for real scientific journals, of course, although Scientific American, at least in the old days, would sometimes come close (it is my impression that both Scientific American and New Scientist have dumbed down a bit,and become a bit more sensationalist, in recent years).

There is, however, a stratum of science journalism between the pop-sci mags and the usually highy technical research reports and reviews of scholarly journals. There is American Scientist, which is science journalism aimed at actual scientists, and tries to present the material in such a way that a non-specialist can understand it. The target is the scientist from a different field, but a truly scientifically literate lay person ought to be able to handle it. The first ‘half’ of any issue of Science or Nature also consists of “science journalism for scientists” which should mostly be accessible to a scientifically literate layperson. Some of it may be comprehensible summaries and discussions of some of the more interesting new technical research reports that appear in the back ‘half’. (The actual research reports in the backs of Science and Nature tend to be considerably harder to understand - even, I suspect, sometimes for specialists - than even regular science journal articles, because they are required to be so compressed in order to fit lots of them in.)

The blogs at the National Geographic website have impressed me. Some of the site is subscription or registration only, but the blogs are open.