October 11, 2010
Popular Science: An Analysis
Popular Science is a magazine that has been in monthly distribution since 1872 (Wikipedia). The purpose of Popular Science magazine is to entertain and inform a general audience with articles (related or pertaining) to scientific and technological discoveries and advancements: especially in green technology. Middle aged men are portrayed to be the main audience of Popular Science due to the the male-targeted advertisements such as automobiles and erectile dysfunction. I enjoy reading this magazine and have been a subscriber for the past five years.
Since Readers turn to Popular Science for entertainment and general knowledge, the magazine is limited on how in depth it can go into scientific and technological background information without confusing the reader. This magazine is intended for enjoyment to the general reader, and it shows as the articles are written in an informal tone. The headings are usually short and to the point; for example, headings like "What's New," "The Goods," "FYI (For Your Information)," and "Other Stuff," all of which are found in the table of contents in the October 2010 issue (6). Other article titles such as "Electro-Moto" on page 28 in the September 2010 issue immediately give the reader a vivid idea of what the article is about, in this case, an electric motorcycle. This allows for the reader to quickly and easily understand the context of the articles. This keeps the general reader interested and allows for informative articles without too much technical detail.
Many of the articles in Popular Science cover new discoveries in science and technology. One such article is "Life on Mars, Reborn" found on in the September 2010 issue (31). This article describes the possible discovery of life on a meteorite from the planet Mars. A team of researchers had studied the meteorite and found traces of microscopic bacteria in it (31). This topic would interest anyone who enjoys astronomy or is interested in other worldly life forms. However, new discoveries are only one aspect of this magazine.
New advancements in varied areas make up a large portion of Popular Science. In the October issue of 2010 there is a photo in the "Megapixels" portion of the magazine of an artificial lung the size of a multivitamin (13). This miniature lung is a big step in producing a fully artificial functioning lung that could be used to test drugs on. This would help save lives and is just one more example of the advancements covered in this magazine. As for consumer products the August issue of the same year has an article titled "Clean the Slate," which features a printer utilizing newly developed dye that is heat sensitive and can be erased and reprinted on the same paper up to one 1,000 timed (28). This allows for recycling of paper in the...