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Popular Science, not Populist Science

Why Popular Science is shutting off comments.
A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

posted by SansPoint on Sep 24, 2013 - 128 comments

I've got it

Gus Wilson, master mechanic, pipe smoker, cap wearer, crime fighter, sage, is a part owner of the Model Garage. These are his stories. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Nov 24, 2012 - 7 comments

"I have an exceedingly large collection of Historically-minded Radioactive Items..."

The Boy who Played with Fusion. At age four, [Taylor Wilson] donned a fluorescent orange vest and hard hat and stood in front of the house, directing traffic. For his fifth birthday, he said, he wanted a crane. But when his parents brought him to a toy store, the boy saw it as an act of provocation. “No,” he yelled, stomping his foot. “I want a real one.” [more inside]
posted by obscurator on Feb 21, 2012 - 18 comments

“Easy read” should not mean “easy write.”

One of the delights of the books and the blog is the authors’ willingness to play with ideas and consider alternative explanations. But unquestioning trust in friends and colleagues combined with the desire to be counterintuitive appear in several cases to have undermined their work. They—and anyone who wishes to convey economics and statistics to a popular audience—just need to take the next step and avoid, in any given example, privileging one story over all other possibilities.
Freakonomics: What Went Wrong?
posted by RogerB on Dec 13, 2011 - 52 comments

Meme Weaver

Meme Weaver In which "the author tries—and fails—to cash in on a big idea". Warning: skippable full-screen ad alert. Behind it is an article in the Atlantic (the magazine, not the ocean). Of possible interest to fans and critics of the popular science genre of books, Wikipedians, and underdog/failure sympathisers.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 18, 2011 - 7 comments

Consider the following...

Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Science rules)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Inertia is a property of matter)
Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill-Bill-Bill-
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
(T-minus seven seconds)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy

[more inside]
posted by troll on Aug 4, 2011 - 101 comments

So you want to write a pop-sci book

Brian Switek, David Williams and Michael Welland have started a series of blog posts about writing popular science books. (Switek's overview.) [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Mar 15, 2010 - 4 comments

137 Years of Popular Science, Online, Free.

Need some light reading? Popular Science has put its entire 137-year catalog online for free.
posted by backseatpilot on Mar 4, 2010 - 36 comments

"You named your collaboration QAP? Really?"

The DiVincenzo Code [youtube trailer, geekery]. Faced with a strict demand from a funding agency to allocate research funds towards the dissemination of research ideas to the public, an experimental physics group at the University of Oxford produced a feature-length (55 min) action thriller about murder, ancient prophecy, tea breaks, and quantum computation. [more inside]
posted by fatllama on Nov 5, 2008 - 6 comments

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Theodore Gray's interactive periodic table isn't the only periodic table online -- another one was posted to MeFi last month -- but I think it's the most gorgeous, informative, and ambitious periodic table I've ever seen, featuring actual samples of most of the elements and their practical uses, a fascinating display of uranium isotopes, and explosive "sodium party" videos and more from Gray's many years of obsession with the elements.
posted by digaman on Nov 1, 2007 - 14 comments

Big Science, Cold Science, Blog Science

Welcome to the South Pole Telescope blog.
posted by geos on Mar 8, 2007 - 7 comments

Theory of science communication

Belief and knowledge - a primer on science communication
posted by Gyan on Feb 26, 2007 - 43 comments

Superglue and You, Be Careful Now

How To Save a Snowflake Forever
Theodore Gray, of the too-cool for words Periodic Table Table (discussed a long, long time ago here) gives step-by-step instructions on how to preserve a snowflake in superglue forever.

And much more coolness to explore. Smelting in a Microwave, anyone? Shrinking coins with magnets and electricity?
posted by fenriq on Mar 30, 2006 - 17 comments

The Future of the Car

Obsession: Mr. Singh’s Search for the Holy Grail American visionaries, cranks and con men have long sought the simple key to boosting the efficiency of the gasoline engine. Now a barefoot tinkerer in India believes he has unlocked the door. Is he for real?
posted by Shanachie on Jan 2, 2005 - 14 comments

A real life professor frink

Maybe the age of the individual inventor isn't over. Woody Norris is the inventor of the personal helicopter, precise Hypersonic sound emitter, and the first palm-size digital voice recorder... And never graduated from college.
posted by drezdn on May 20, 2004 - 3 comments

Worst Jobs in Science

The worst jobs in Science. Brought to you by Popular Science. Everything from Flatus Odor Judge to Metric System Advocate.
posted by Ufez Jones on Sep 25, 2003 - 18 comments

Little robots in your pants

Little robots in your pants -- Popular Science calls Dockers to investigate their claim that the stain-repellent "Go Khakis" use nanotechnology. Certainly my favorite headline of the day thus far.
posted by logovisual on Jul 18, 2003 - 16 comments

"Bird of Prey"

"Bird of Prey" unveiled. Boeing revealed the formerly supersecret stealth prototype last Friday in St. Louis. More information at: a New Scientist story, a Popular Science report, Jane's Defense Weekly (subscription required), Boeing's press release and a couple of movies (13 Mb mov or 50 Mb mpg). More...
posted by Irontom on Oct 23, 2002 - 22 comments

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