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Thread: Science magazine

  1. #1 Science magazine 
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    Hello!

    We are two third year journalism students at Southampton Solent University who are making a science magazine. The goal is to take difficult and complex scientific material and transform it into being entertaining, educational and easy to read.

    We'd be really happy if you would take a couple of minutes to answer this survey about what YOU think should be in a science magazine. (10 questions)

    Survey: Survey provided by

    Kind regards
    Glen and Vegard


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  3. #2  
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    I did it. Not bad as these things go. Found your 10 topics a bit of an odd selection - I suppose you got there by a process of elimination.


    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    I agree about the topics. I gave a 10 for palaeontology but almost marked it down to a 7 because dinosaurs were placed in brackets. And if palaeontology and oceanography are in, what happened to the other Earth sciences.

    And the biological science represented by Biology, Genetics and Entomology. What about evolution? Ethology? Microbiology?

    And
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  5. #4  
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    Thank you guys for answering and looking on the survey with a critical eye. That's exactly what we need, as both of us have no scientific background. The target audience are people who have little or no knowledge about science. We want to show them a world unfamiliar to them. Thats why we used the process of elimination to pick the subjects we thought most people would find intriguing.

    Vegard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquillity View Post
    We are two third year journalism students at Southampton Solent University who are making a science magazine. The goal is to take difficult and complex scientific material and transform it into being entertaining, educational and easy to read.
    I've been following that goal for about six years! Interestingly, some people take a certain pride in a subject being complex and difficult, and don't always welcome efforts to make it entertaining/educational/easy to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquillity View Post
    We'd be really happy if you would take a couple of minutes to answer this survey about what YOU think should be in a science magazine. (10 questions)
    I did the survey. If I can add a few bits and pieces:

    Science is a broad subject, personally I'm interested in physics and cosmology, and whilst I like dinosaurs and animals too, things like biomedicine and climatology just don't float my boat.

    I used to read New Scientist, but gave it up because there wasn't enough physics and cosmology, too much of that was er, speculative, and IMHO they were propagandising too much.

    A good magazine is Physicsworld, which you can get from subscribing to the Institute of Physics. It's probably a bit serious for what you've got in mind, but do check it out.

    I used to have a subscription to the BBC's Focus magazine, which is good too. It's aimed at the younger age group, and is a bit lightweight and science-fictiony for me these days, but I'd say for the general public, it sets the bar.

    There are other "magazines" on the internet. Plus magazine is one example, concerning maths. The purist would say maths isn't science, but I think it ought to feature in a science magazine.
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    I also took the quiz. Was surprised not to see scientific journals listed as a source from which to get science info, so I checked "other". But maybe you were considering those as magazines? (we would consider those distinct from magazines)
    "The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is... doubt. Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh*t dead wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaL View Post
    I also took the quiz. Was surprised not to see scientific journals listed as a source from which to get science info, so I checked "other". But maybe you were considering those as magazines? (we would consider those distinct from magazines)
    The hanging "And" in my post was meant to be followed by exactly that point, but I got called away by an important phone call. Thank you for reminding me.
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    You're right. I think I clicked 'Other' but didn't remember that for my comment. And it's sort of subsumed under online/website anyway - because it's usually a click away from Science Daily or RealClimate or The Conversation.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  10. #9  
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    Good point, i'm usually reading it online as well.
    "The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is... doubt. Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh*t dead wrong."

    Take two of these and call me in the morning
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquillity View Post
    We are two third year journalism students at Southampton Solent University who are making a science magazine. The goal is to take difficult and complex scientific material and transform it into being entertaining, educational and easy to read.
    I've been following that goal for about six years! Interestingly, some people take a certain pride in a subject being complex and difficult, and don't always welcome efforts to make it entertaining/educational/easy to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquillity View Post
    We'd be really happy if you would take a couple of minutes to answer this survey about what YOU think should be in a science magazine. (10 questions)
    I did the survey. If I can add a few bits and pieces:

    Science is a broad subject, personally I'm interested in physics and cosmology, and whilst I like dinosaurs and animals too, things like biomedicine and climatology just don't float my boat.

    I used to read New Scientist, but gave it up because there wasn't enough physics and cosmology, too much of that was er, speculative, and IMHO they were propagandising too much.

    A good magazine is Physicsworld, which you can get from subscribing to the Institute of Physics. It's probably a bit serious for what you've got in mind, but do check it out.

    I used to have a subscription to the BBC's Focus magazine, which is good too. It's aimed at the younger age group, and is a bit lightweight and science-fictiony for me these days, but I'd say for the general public, it sets the bar.

    There are other "magazines" on the internet. Plus magazine is one example, concerning maths. The purist would say maths isn't science, but I think it ought to feature in a science magazine.
    Thanks for illuminating me with other science publications, I will look into them as a part of my market research. As you say, science is a broad subject. That will be one of our challenges, to figure what the general public wants to read. A big part of this project is to make a business plan with all the segments needed to create a successful magazine, thus scanning the market and hit the biggest audience is absolutely crucial.

    However, it is very interesting to see the what people in this forum requires regarding content in a science magazine, as people here already have a special interest for science.

    Vegard.
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  12. #11  
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    Vegard: the big issue with paper magazines is distribution. Walk into a newsagents and ask them about it. Do some research on start-ups, and some investigative journalism. Check out say Smiths and note the bit that says We serve all the major magazine and newspaper publishers and distributors. Some of those major publishers aren't too keen on competition. If you produce a paper magazine but can't get it out there, everything else is for naught. However nobody can strangle you at birth if you produce a webzine. Whilst your target market don't like paying to read things online, there have been some very successful examples, see for example The Huffington Post. There should be people around at Solent who know all about that kind of thing. Heck, you probably know a damn sight more than me.

    Science journals are magazines. They're specialist niche magazines, but they do have have editors. And they're "going digital". Every week I get an email saying

    Dear Nature Subscriber: Your digital replica of Nature is now available. You may access the digital edition of Nature by visiting: naturepublishing.newsstand.com

    Whilst you're at Solent, hopefully you should be able to contact people in various University of Southampton science departments and get them to show you some. PS: It might be an idea to use the word "journal" in your title. After all, journalism is what you're doing.
    Last edited by Farsight; October 19th, 2012 at 03:39 AM. Reason: Solent
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    Might I add to that one.

    I loathe, detest and deplore what I see as shallow, misleading game style stuff in paper 'science' magazines. In a web product, games and quizzes can be under a banner heading I would never, ever click on. It also means that you might run a parallel stream focused on say, years 6 to 10, without getting in the way of what the grownups want to talk about.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  14. #13  
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    To be fair, they are talking about very non-sciencey people. I don't know what that's like, but I imagine their tastes are going to be quite different from our own. Maybe quizzes and games are just the thing, for all we know. On the other hand, if it's not done well, that could come off as condescending. But I find trivia is always popular. Check out Mental Floss for examples. They are both online and paper.
    "The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is... doubt. Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh*t dead wrong."

    Take two of these and call me in the morning
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