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Encyclopedia > Scientific American
Scientific American
March 2005 cover of Scientific American
Abbreviated title Sci Am
Discipline Interdisciplinary
Language English
Publication details
Publisher Scientific American, Inc. (USA)
Publication history 1845 to present
Indexing
ISSN 0036-8733
Links

Scientific American is a popular-science magazine, published (first weekly and later monthly) since August 28, 1845, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States. It brings articles about new and innovative research to the amateur and lay audience. Description: This is a flatbed scan of the cover for the Scientific American issue dated March 2005. ... Contents   Overviews   Academia   Topics   Basic topics   Glossaries   Portals   Categories // This is a list of academic disciplines. ... Interdisciplinary work is that which integrates concepts across different disciplines. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, is the unique eight-digit number applied to a periodical publication including electronic serials. ... Popular science is interpretation of science intended for a general audience, rather than for other scientists or students. ... A science magazine is a periodical publication with news, opinions and reports about science for a non-expert audience. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


Scientific American (informally abbreviated to "SciAm") had a monthly circulation of roughly 555,000 US and 90,000 international as of December 2005.[1] It is a well-respected publication despite not being a peer-reviewed scientific journal, such as Nature; rather, it is a forum where scientific theories and discoveries are explained to a wider audience. In the past scientists interested in fields outside their own areas of expertise made up the magazine's target audience. Now, however, the publication is aimed at educated general readers who are interested in scientific issues. The magazine American Scientist covers similar ground but at a level more suitable for the professional science audience, similar to the older style of Scientific American. Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is a scholarly process used in the publication of manuscripts and in the awarding of funding for research. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Nature is a prominent scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. ... American Scientist (ISSN 0003-0996) is an illustrated bimonthly magazine about science and technology. ...

Contents

History

The magazine was founded by Rufus Porter as a single-page newsletter, and throughout its early years Scientific American put much emphasis on reports of what was going on at the US patent office. It reported on a broad range of inventions that includes perpetual motion machines, an 1849 device for buoying vessels by Abraham Lincoln, and the universal joint which now finds place in nearly every automobile manufactured. Current issues feature a "this date in history" section, featuring an article originally published 50, 100, and 150 years ago — where often-humorous, un-scientific, or otherwise noteworthy gems of science history are featured. Rufus Porter (1792-1884) Rufus Porter oil painting Rufus Porter advertisement for his 1849 New York to California transport Rufus Porter mural in the Kent House, Lyme, New Hampshire Rufus Porter (1792-1884) pamphlet of 1849 Rufus Porter (May 1, 1792 - August 13, 1884) was an American painter, inventor, and... The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. ... This article or section should include material from Parallel Path See also Perpetuum mobile as a musical term Perpetual motion machines (the Latin term perpetuum mobile is not uncommon) are a class of hypothetical machines which would produce useful energy in a way science cannot explain (yet). ... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ... A universal joint A universal joint, U joint, Cardan joint or Hardy-Spicer joint is a joint in a rigid rod that allows the rod to bend in any direction. ... “Car” and “Cars” redirect here. ...


Porter sold the newsletter in 1846 to Alfred Ely Beach and Orson Desaix Munn, and until 1948 it remained owned by Munn & Company. Under the second Orson D. Munn, grandson of the first, it had evolved into something of a "workbench" publication, similar to the 20th century incarnation of Popular Science. In the years after World War II, the magazine was dying. Three partners who were planning on starting a new popular science magazine, to be called The Sciences, instead purchased the assets of the old Scientific American and put its name on the designs they had created for their new magazine. Thus the partners -- publisher Gerard Piel, editor Dennis Flanagan, and general manager Donald H. Miller, Jr. -- created essentially a new magazine, the Scientific American magazine of the second half of the twentieth century. Miller retired in 1979, Flanagan and Piel in 1984, when Gerard Piel's son Jonathan became president and editor; circulation had grown fifteenfold since 1948. In 1986 it was sold to the Holtzbrinck group of Germany, who have owned it since. Donald Miller died in December, 1998,[2] Gerard Piel in September 2004 and Dennis Flanagan in January 2005. John Rennie is the current editor-in-chief. Alfred Ely Beach (September 1, 1826 – January 1, 1896) was an inventor, publisher and patent lawyer. ... Issue of Popular Science Popular Science is an American monthly magazine founded in 1872 carrying articles for the general reader on science and technology subjects. ... Dr. Gerard Piel (1 March 1915-September 7, 2004) was a pioneer in science journalism. ... Dennis Flanagan (July 22, 1919 – January 14, 2005) was an editor of Scientific American starting in 1947. ... John Rennie (b. ...


Scientific American published its first foreign edition in 1890, the Spanish-language "La America Cientifica." Publication was suspended in 1905, and another 63 years would pass before another foreign-language edition appeared: In 1968, an Italian edition, Le Scienze, was launched, and a Japanese edition, Nikkei Science(日経サイエンス), followed three years later. Today, Scientific American publishes 18 foreign-language editions around the globe. Kexue, a simplified Chinese edition launched in 1979, was the first Western magazine published in the People's Republic of China.


From 1902 to 1911, Scientific American supervised the publication of the Encyclopedia Americana, which during some of that period was known as The Americana. // The Encyclopedia Americana is the second largest printed general encyclopedia in the English language (after the Encyclopædia Britannica). ...


{{}}==First issue==

Cover of Scientific American September 1848 issue.

It originally styled itself "The Advocate of Industry and Enterprise" and "Journal of Mechanical and other Improvements". On the front page of the first issue was the engraving of "Improved Rail-Road Cars". The masthead had a commentary as follows: Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1101x1490, 248 KB) Summary Cover of Scientific American, the September 1848 issue. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1101x1490, 248 KB) Summary Cover of Scientific American, the September 1848 issue. ...

Scientific American published every Thursday morning at No. 11 Spruce Street, New York, No. 16 State Street, Boston, and No. 2l Arcade Philadelphia, (The principal office being in New York) bt Rufus Porter. Each number will be furnished with from two to five original Engravings, many of them elegant, and illustrative of New Inventions, Scientific Principles, and Curious Works; and will contain, in high addition to the most interesting news of passing events, general notices of progress of Mechanical and other Scientific Improvements; American and Foreign. Improvements and Inventions; Catalogues of American Patents; Scientific Essays, illustrative of the principles of the sciences of Mechanics, Chemistry, and Architecture: useful information and instruction in various Arts and Trades; Curious Philosophical Experiments; Miscellaneous Intelligence, Music and Poetry. This paper is especially entitled to the patronage of Mechanics and Manufactures, being the only paper in America, devoted to the interest of those classes; but is particularly useful to farmers, as it will not only appraise them of improvements in agriculture implements, But instruct them in various mechanical trades, and guard them against impositions As a family newspaper, it will convey more useful intelligence to children and young people, than five times its cost in school instruction. Another important argument in favor of this paper, is that it will be worth two (dollars at the end of the year when the volume is complete, (Old volumes of the New York Mechanic, being now worth double the original cost, in cash.) Terms: The "Scientific American" will be furnished to subscribers at $2.00 per annum, - one dollar in advance, and the balance in six months. Five copies will be sent to one address six months for four dollars in advance. Any person procuring two or more subscribers, will be entitled to a commission of 25 cents each.

The commentary under the illustration gives the flavor of its style at the time:

There is, perhaps no mechanical subject, in which improvement has advanced so rapidly, within the last ten years, as that of railroad passenger cars. Let any person contrast the awkward and uncouth cars of '35 with the superbly splendid long cars now running on several of the eastern roads, and he will find it difficult to convey to a third party, a correct idea of the vast extent of improvement. Some of the most elegant cars of this class, and which are of a capacity to accommodate from sixty to eighty passengers, and run with a steadiness hardly equalled by a steamboat in still water, are manufactured by Davenport & Bridges, at their establishment in Cambridgeport, Mass. The manufacturers have recently introduced a variety of excellent improvements in the construction of trucks, springs, and connections, which are calculated to avoid atmospheric resistance, secure safety and convenience, and contribute ease and comfort to passengers, while flying at the rate of 30 or 40 miles per hour."

Also in the first issue is commentary on Signor Muzio Muzzi's proposed device for aerial navigation.


Editors

  • Dennis Flanagan (1919 – 2005) was an editor of Scientific American starting in 1947. [3]
Scientific American Special Navy Supplement (1898)
Scientific American Special Navy Supplement (1898)

Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ...

Special issues

  • Communications, Computers, and Networks - September 1991

The Scientific American special Issue on Communications, Computers, and Network, is a special issue of Scientific American dedicated to articles concerning impending changes to the internet in the period prior to the expansion and mainstreaming of the world wide web via Mosaic (web browser) and Netscape (web browser). ...

Scientific American 50 award

The Scientific American 50 award was started in 2002 to recognise contributions to science and technology during the magazine's previous year. The magazine's 50 awards cover many categories including agriculture, communications, defence, environment, and medical diagnostics. The complete list of each year's winners appear in the December issue of the magazine, as well as on the magazine's web site.


Website

In March 1996 Scientific American launched its own website at SciAm.com.


The site has grown into a resource that includes articles from current and past issues, online-only features, daily news, weird science, special reports, trivia, "Scidoku" and more.


At SciAm.com visitors can subscribe to the Scientific American magazine, Scientific American Mind Magazine,and Scientific American Digital which houses downloadable PDF issues of the magazines from 1992 to the present.

Scientific American logo, 1870
Scientific American, 1920
Scientific American, 1920

Scientific American 1870 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Scientific American 1870 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Scientific American 1920 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Scientific American 1920 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ...

Columns

Notable features have included:

Martin Gardner (b. ... Scientific Americans, The Amateur Scientist column was the definitive how-to resource for citizen-scientists for over 72 years [1928 - 2001]. The column was highly regarded for revealing the brass-tacks secrets of research and showing home-based experimenters how to make original discoveries using only inexpensive materials. ...

Television

Scientific American also produces a TV program on the PBS channel called Scientific American Frontiers. Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ... Scientific American Frontiers is an American television program primarily focused on informing the public about new technologies and discoveries in science and medicine. ...


Criticism

In May of 1988 science writer Forrest Mims was a candidate to take over The Amateur Scientist column, which needed a new editor. He was asked to write some sample columns, which he did in 1990. Mims was not offered the position, due, he alleged, to his creationist views. Various newspapers, starting with the Houston Chronicle which broke the story and later The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times, published articles critical of the magazine for rejecting the author, not on science but on his personal religious views. The underlying theme of the criticism was that Scientific American toed the line of scientific orthodoxy. According to Mims, former managing editor Armand Schwab Jr. said "Scientific American is a science magazine; it's largely written by scientists. We're completely dependent on the good will of working scientists for those articles, so there's a question of whether or not this could conceivably threaten the credibility of the magazine. You have to understand that creationism is sort of a shibboleth for scientists."[4] Forrest M. Mims III is the author of the Engineers Mini-Notebook–series of instructional books sold in Radio Shack and Tandy electronics stores. ... Creationism is generally the belief that the universe was created by a deity, or alternatively by one or more powerful and intelligent beings. ... The Houston Chronicle is a daily newspaper in Houston, Texas, United States. ... The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is an international daily newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company in New York City, New York, USA, with Asian and European editions, and a worldwide daily circulation of more than 2 million as of 2006, with 931,000 paying online subscribers. ... ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


In its January 2002 issue, Scientific American published a series of criticisms of the Bjorn Lomborg book "The Skeptical Environmentalist". Cato Institute fellow Patrick J. Michaels said the attacks came because the book "threatens billions of taxpayer dollars that go into the global change kitty every year."[5] Journalist Ronald Bailey called the criticism "disturbing" and "dishonest", writing, "The subhead of the review section, 'Science defends itself against The Skeptical Environmentalist,' gives the show away: Religious and political views need to defend themselves against criticism, but science is supposed to be a process for determining the facts,"[6] although criticisms of scientific papers are not uncommon in academic science. Bjørn Lomborg Bjørn Lomborg (born January 6, 1965) is a political scientist and former director of the Institute for Environmental Assessment in Copenhagen, Denmark. ... The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Danish: Verdens Sande Tilstand, literal translation: The Real State of the World) is a controversial book by political scientist Bjørn Lomborg, which argues that claims made about global warming, overpopulation, declining energy resources, deforestation, species loss, water shortages, and... The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Institutes stated mission is to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace by striving to achieve greater involvement... Patrick J. Michaels (born c. ... Ronald Bailey is the Science Editor for Reason magazine. ...


The May 2007 issue featured a column by Michael Shermer calling for a United States pullout from the Iraq War.[7] In response, Wall Street Journal online columnist James Taranto jokingly called Scientific American "a liberal political magazine".[8] Michael Shermer Michael Shermer (born September 8, 1954 in Glendale, California) is a science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating and debunking pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ... The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with an average daily circulation of 1,800,607 (2002). ... James Taranto (born 1966) is a Manhattan-based columnist for The Wall Street Journal and editor of its online editorial page, OpinionJournal. ...


In the 1990s the target audience changed, from other scientists in unrelated fields, to educated general readers interested in science issues. This change is lamented in an article The Demise of Scientific American by Professor Larry Moran [9].


See also

Albert Graham Ingalls (January 16, 1888–August 13, 1958) was an American astronomer and editor. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Skygazing. ... Amos Ives Root (1839–1923) founder of the A. I. Root Company and developed innovative beekeeping techniques in the United States during the mid 1800s; at the time, these played an important role in the local economies of many communities. ... This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... New Scientist is a weekly international science magazine covering recent developments in science and technology for a general English-speaking audience. ... Scientific American Mind is a bimonthly American popular science magazine concentrated on brain and cognitive sciences. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Print Media Kit circulation statistics. ScientificAmerican.com. Retrieved on 2006-04-29.
  2. ^ (December 27 1998) "Paid Notice: Deaths - MILLER, DONALD H.". New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Dennis Flanagan, 85, Editor of Scientific American for 37 Years", New York Times, January 17, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-07-21. “Dennis Flanagan, who as editor of Scientific American magazine helped foster science writing for the general reader, died at his home in Manhattan on Friday. He was 85. The cause of death was prostate cancer, according to his wife, Barbara Williams Flanagan. Mr. Flanagan, who worked at Scientific American for more than three decades beginning in 1947, teamed editors directly with working scientists, publishing pieces by leading figures like Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling and J. Robert Oppenheimer.” 
  4. ^ http://www.forrestmims.org/scientificamerican.html
  5. ^ Who Let the Dogs Out at Scientific American?, Patrick J. Michaels, January 17, 2002
  6. ^ Green with Ideology, Ronald Bailey, Reason, May 2002
  7. ^ Bush's Mistake and Kennedy's Error, Michael Shermer, Scientific American, May 2007
  8. ^ Sunk or Bunk?, James Taranto, Best of the Web Today, May 18, 2007
  9. ^ The Demise of Scientific American, Larry Moran,

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 202nd day of the year (203rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The libertarian Reason Magazine dedicated an issue to Ayn Rands influence one hundred years after her birth. ...

References

  • Lewenstein, Bruce V. 1989. Magazine Publishing and Popular Science After World War II. American Journalism 6 (4):218-234.

External links

  • Online edition of Scientific American with partially free access to the current issue.
  • Online archive (not free) of the issues from 1993 to the present.
    • Information about the archive
  • Online archive of Scientific American between 1846 and 1869.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Scientific American - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (832 words)
Scientific American is a popular-science magazine, published monthly since August 28, 1845, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States.
Scientific American (informally abbreviated to "SciAm") roughly has a monthly circulation of 555,000 US and 90,000 international as of December 2005.
Though a well-respected magazine, it is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal in the sense of Nature or Communications of the ACM; rather, it is a forum where scientific theories and discoveries are explained to a wider audience.
Scientific American - Free Encyclopedia (439 words)
Scientific American is one of the oldest and most serious popular-science magazines.
Scientific American has been published continuously since August 28, 1845 when it was founded by Rufus Porter.
Whilst a well-respected magazine, it is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal in the sense of Nature or Communications of the ACM; rather, it is a forum where scientific discoveries are explained to a wider audience (which often includes scientists working in other fields).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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