Rarely does one find a magazine online or off which provides the intellectual banquet which can be found in Discover Magazine. Oh, you can find a magazine written specifically for foodies, techies, fashionistas and nerds. You can locate magazines on the health and welfare of the planet Earth and her critters or you can find a publication dedicated to hunting those same critters down and serving them up on your dinner table. No matter what your particular interest, in the world of periodic magazine publications, there is something for everybody. But, it seems that Discover Magazine has it all.
The science-minded individual has a never-ending thirst for facts and there is no shortage of publications to feed that need. Avid science readers may pick up publications like Scientific American Magazine, Wired Magazine, Science Magazine and Smithsonian Magazine to quell their appetite for information on Mother Earth and the Space beyond. These fine publications are available in hard copy or, as many prefer, online. Technology has made the content of these online magazines even richer with streaming video and interactive games and apps. There is simply no shortage of scientific thought, opinion and theory for those of us who hunger and thirst for it.
Like all thinkers, those with a scientific bend also like to speculate on other topics as well. Interestingly, a short review of the science publications mentioned above reveals that these magazines are expanding to include articles about politics, travel, and other tidbits not strictly related to accepted scientific thought. Still, these offerings are generally entertaining. Additionally, the content leans decidedly toward popular theories including global warming, climate change and even conjecture about the much heralded 2012 apocalypse. (Of course, it should be said that people who pooh-pooh these theories may find fodder for disagreement, discussion – perhaps even outrage – among the pages. Nevertheless, we remain hopeful that readers of science theory allow others whose opinions differ from their own to voice their opinions as well.)
If publications such as Discover Magazine seem to have an agenda, may be simply because there is a solid market segment which clings to the Malthusian theory that man is bad for the planet. These folks seek validation for their particular mind-set and are richly rewarded within the pages of magazines like those mentioned above. A growing sector of the world’s population worries over deeply-held concerns about man’s reckless use and abuse of our resources and the planet as a whole. These are fine and noble worries worthy of continued attention. When fed and nourished, such concerns may yield workable solutions for real problems such as our society’s woeful dependence upon fossil fuel, and the growing number of animal species which seem to be dwindling. We cannot solve problems unless we address them, after all.
In the meanwhile, the exchange of ideas and theories must be allowed to flow freely among stakeholders – and since humans have much at stake in these debates, the need for magazines, books and television programming which explores man’s problems from new and innovative angles is critical. When ideas ignite sparks which kindle imaginative new solutions to old problems, the synergy is to be celebrated. Sadly, it is human nature to be skeptical of ideas and methods not our own. In a perfect world, we would all take time each and every day to examine new and different approaches to the challenges we face. There would, no doubt, be surprising results.
By way of temptation to those of us who are relatively unconcerned with scientific hurtles to be overcome, there are stunning images within the pages of these magazines to lure us. Aesthetically, these publications are feasts for the eyes. Many of us have stood in awe for generations over the photographic excellence evident in National Geographic Magazine. The images served up for readers of this magazine (and now visitors to their equally elegant website) are captivating in all senses of the word. If a picture is worth a thousand words, Nat Geo has cornered the market on language for decades. However, the other magazines mentioned above are hot on the heels of National Geographic in obtaining and publishing compelling images which depict places most of us rarely see. Best of all, with the advent of the internet and video capability, we can now see entire television specials using our favorite tech-toys and are no longer limited to still photos. From deep space to microscopic wonders, we are given glimpses of worlds we’ve not yet explored and are tantalized by the promises which exist there.
Discover Magazine is published by Kalmbach Publishing Company, a Wisconsin company which publishes a number of magazines both in print and online which are specific interest to hobbyists including model train enthusiasts, snowmobilers, beaders, astronomers and, of course those interested in the wider world of science and technology. Both the print and the digital versions of these magazines are available by subscription and can be purchased by visiting the Kalmbach Publishing Company home site http://www.kalmbach.com. Free newsletters are also available to obtain the latest in sci-tech news weekly in your email inbox. Should one wish to have access to both the print and the digital versions of Discover Magazine, bundled subscriptions are also very popular and are an ideal gift for the Scientist on your list.