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James McKeen Cattell became the editor in and the publisher in Cattell had a background in academics and continued publishing articles for educated readers. By the readership was declining and publishing a science journal was a financial challenge. In a September editorial, Cattell related these difficulties to his readers and announced that the Popular Science Monthly name had been "transferred" to a group that wanted the name for a general audience magazine, a publication which fit the name better.

The existing journal would continue the academic tradition as Scientific Monthly. Existing subscribers would remain subscribed under the new name. This company had purchased Electrician and Mechanic magazine in and over the next two years merged several magazines together into a science magazine for a general audience.

The volume number Vol. The new editor was Waldemar Kaempffert , a former editor of Scientific American. The change in Popular Science Monthly was dramatic. The old version was a scholarly journal that had eight to ten articles in a page issue. There would be ten to twenty photographs or illustrations. The new version had hundreds of short, easy to read articles with hundreds of illustrations.

Editor Kaempffert was writing for "the home craftsman and hobbyist who wanted to know something about the world of science. From the mids to the s, the magazine featured fictional stories of Gus Wilson's Model Garage, centered on car problems. An annual review of changes to the new model year cars ran in and '41, but did not return after the war until It continued until the mids when the magazine reverted to publishing the new models over multiple issues as information became available. From to , the magazine sponsored a series of short films , produced by Jerry Fairbanks and released by Paramount Pictures.

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In , the magazine introduced a new logo using the ITC Avant Garde font, which it used until late Within the next 11 years, its font changed 4 times in , , , and , respectively. In , the magazine used a new font for its logo, which was used until the January issue. In , Popular Science sported a new look and introduced a new logo for the first time in 8 years, complete with a major overhaul of its articles. On January 25, , Time Warner sold this magazine, along with 17 other special interest magazines, to Bonnier Magazine Group. It is a monthly magazine, like its American counterpart, and uses content from the American version of the magazine as well as local material.

In January , Popular Science switched to bi-monthly publication after years of monthly publication. In April it was announced that editor-in-chief Cliff Ransom would step down. It was also announced that he would remain on staff as an editor-at-large. In September , Popular Science switched to quarterly publication, also indicating future subscription prices will be increased. On March 27, , Popular Science magazine sold the 10,th subscription to its iPad edition, nearly six weeks after accepting Apple's terms for selling subs on its tablet.

The app got a redesign and major update in November Since January , Popular Science is also available on Android phones and tablets. People were able to place virtual bets on what the next innovations in technology , the environment, and science would be. Bets have included whether Facebook would have an initial public offering by , when a touchscreen iPod would be launched, and whether Dongtan , China's eco-city , would be inhabited by The PPX shut down in Popular Science's Future Of The show is concerned with the future of technology and science in a particular topic area that varies from week to week.

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As of December , a new episode is premiered every Monday. Directed by Francesco Maria Avitto is available in print and digital version. The magazine is available in print bimonthly, and through a daily updated portal. Works related to Popular Science Monthly at Wikisource. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the magazine. For the general concept of interpreting science for a broad audience, see popular science. For the — film series, see Popular Science film. For similar magazines, see List of science magazines.

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Popular Science Writing For Scientists

December 31, Retrieved June 21, Lewenstein Retrieved June 24, Magazines by Circulation" PDF. Behind all such behavior, De Waal proposes, are layers of neural and psychological mechanisms that enable and promote empathy.

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Cognitive evolution has built on top of this foundation to produce the more sophisticated forms of morality found in humans, which require ever greater expansions of the circle of empathy. What makes De Waal interesting from our current perspective is that his tone is far less strident than that of writers like Harris or Rosenberg.

Apparently, then, he believes science can provide answers to the questions that moral philosophers ask. He details the origins of pro-social behavior in non-human and human animals: how it arose, its exact forms and scope, its possible evolutionary benefits, what neural and psychological mechanisms are responsible for it, etc. He also makes the plausible point that such pro-social tendencies are necessary for understanding human moral behavior and gestures at the idea that these tendencies partly explain the full spectrum of human morality.

All of this is rightly fascinating and one can only marvel at the sophisticated social lives of animals. But my concern is whether anything De Waal says supports the idea that science can take over moral philosophy. Here are two recent descriptions of the subject matter of ethics from representative introductory textbooks:. At the heart of ethics are two questions: 1 What should I do? Shafer-Landau xi. Normative ethics is the area of philosophy that, broadly speaking, is concerned with standards for right conduct and moral evaluation. Generally, such a theory will give an account of right action and try to give some idea of what makes it right.

Driver 2. Ethics, then, is concerned with a particular sort of normative evaluation of human behavior and human beings. De Waal does not address these issues directly in any way.

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Evolutionary and neuroscientific explanations of pro-social behavior do not tell us what we ought to do or what sort of persons we ought to be. I should say that De Waal never commits the naturalistic fallacy in explicit form. Nonetheless, by advertising his work as having profound implications for our understanding of human morality, the suggestion looms large that we can easily get from how things are with pro-social behavior to how they morally ought to be. This conflates prudential oughts with moral ones.

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He declares that science now has the means to answer traditional ethical questions, but instead changes the subject and elaborates on answers to a different set of questions. One never actually learns what he thinks about answers to the original questions or whether he perhaps thinks that those questions are irrelevant or unanswerable.

In the previous sections, we have witnessed a number of scientistic lapses: adopting a philosophical position but forgoing the intellectual duty to argue for it, claiming that it just follows from science; ignoring relevant philosophical concepts and discussions and making up definitions of concepts or arguing against straw-men; and announcing that a perennial question will be answered but instead discussing work that is of limited relevance to this. Several best-selling popular science writers implicitly rely on a scientistic epistemology, taking something like ES for granted.

Why should we care about this? Is there more to it than a petty complaint by philosophers who feel threatened because scientists invade their turf? I believe the influence of scientism on popular science writing is very important, for at least two reasons.

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First, scientific literacy among the general public is a great good. If you think that knowledge is valuable in itself, then learning about issues such as our origins, our place in the universe, and our powers and limitations is valuable for its own sake. The well-functioning of liberal democracy depends on its citizenry being autonomous and knowledgeable to a certain extent.

This is why popular science writing has a potentially valuable role to play: It helps people acquire knowledge.


If popular science writing is heavily influenced by a scientistic epistemology, this basically means that people receive one-sided, misleading, or flat-out false information about the state of contemporary science and its broader implications. Obviously, this detracts from, rather than contributes to scientific literacy. Second, rampant scientism ultimately undermines the authority of science as our best source of information about those issues that do belong to its domain. This might happen in a number of ways.

Even if such seemingly bleak world-views should turn out to be ultimately correct, it surely is too early now to proclaim that we know so for sure. Since many people rightly find these world-views unattractive, they will become mistrustful of the science from which it allegedly follows.

This, too, undermines science. It is an important question, then, is how popular science writing can do better. I will offer some general advice here that would already make a substantial difference. Admittedly, these points may seem somewhat trivial. By way of apology, I can only say that, as we saw, popular science writers frequently ignore them.