Sunday, May 12, 2013

Scientific American on the "science of guns"

Scientific American recently published an article on guns.  Naturally, it spins an anti-gun line.  The best reading is in the many comments that lambaste the article.  Readers were not impressed.

Years ago I subscribed to SA before becoming disillusioned with its leftist political orientation which crops up in many areas including "climate change" where articles have featured Michael Mann attempting to defend himself in the "hockey stick" wars.  It took years before cancelling my subscription because back then I leaned left/liberal (I was going say "brain-dead left/liberal" but that would have been redundant.)  Now, thankfully, following a successful 12-step program, I'm a happy recovering liberal.


Carlos Perera said...

Thank you for sharing your impressions with your readers. I, too, became disillusioned with what had been one of the best general science journals published in English, though my disillusionment probably happened quite a bit before yours, as you seem to be quite a bit younger than I am.

I'm old enough to remember when _Scientific American_ was an apolitical general science journal aimed at the intelligent, scientifically literate layman who wished to keep abreast of advances in various scientific fields in which he had no professional-level expertise. Typical readers were physicians, dentists, architects, science teachers, and engineers. (One would often encounter older issues, which had obviously been recycled to the waiting room from a personal subscription, in doctors' and dentists' offices.)

That was then. Sometime in the 1970s, it turned into an opinion journal masquerading as a science journal. Quite apart from the politicization of the publication, the intellectual quality of the articles declined after the early 1970s; whereas before the presumption about the reader had been that he had a good general grounding in science and a high level of literacy, the "new" _Scientific American_ was pitched at the middlebrow reader, becoming something like _National Geographic_. The transformation was sad to see, for those of us who had known the magazine at its best.

Best regards,
Carlos Perera

JR said...


Your comments are much appreciated. Thanks.

I started reading SA regularly in the late sixties and subscribed through the seventies, reading it mostly for the math, physics and astronomy though I did enjoy reading the softer sciences like anthropology and sociology as well. I probably didn't notice the emergence of political bias at first because of my own left/lib tilt. That came later, after losing some of my naïveté and gaining an appreciation of conservatism.


Anonymous said...

As soon as I saw the author of the article was Shermer I mentally placed it in the garbage pile.

The last article I read by this guy was one where he said that it was "certain" that intelligent extraterrestrial life would be discovered withing 20 years because of Moore's law of computational power increase.

As soon as I read that paragraph he lost me. This guy is no demander of the truth. He's just another damned journalist.

Anonymous said...

And the recent shooting in New Orleans proved that police are not enough. With police IN the crowd being shot at, the shooters were not stopped, and in fact are still at large.

karadimos said...


The Scientific American articles are flatly wrong. I did a little research on this left-leaning story and found the authors are all wet. Take a look for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I have sadly decided to stop my subscription to Sciam. I have been a subscriber for more than 30 years. I just can't take the liberal bias anymore.