In the annals of science journalism, the New Scientist magazine has a coveted slot. Considered one of the best science news magazines in the world, it is a must read for anyone with a passion for discovery and exploration. Although not all content is online and free to access, the website www.newscientist.com is highly recommended for students with similar interests.
The site covers the latest news and developments in the sphere of space, environment, health, maths, physics and technology. It also brings forth views of the scientific community through the articles. There are videos, pictures and a blog to make science stories interesting to budding science enthusiasts.
The site boasts of a neat design with several sub-sections represented clearly. Readers can either surf for a news item or an in-depth report from the icons on the home page. Or else, they can choose a specific topic and read related news and blog posts from that section.
The quality and variety of content is impressive. From global warming and climate change to space travel there are a range of articles to keep readers hooked. On a random read, I enjoyed reading about a new software that can help cars go softly on bumpy roads, a report on how to keep India’s lights on and sad news about the diminishing numbers of bumblebees. With such varied content there is something to interest everyone, even those who don’t consider themselves science buffs.
News is the mainstay of the site with sections titled “in-depth articles”, “blog posts”, “TV”, “opinion”, “topic guides” and “galleries”, showcasing latest happenings and research in the realm of science. Each topic has a separate page with related articles and images. For instance, under “space” read news about black holes, cosmic climate change or the solar system. The page also has links to most commented articles, videos and a topic guide that explains theories associated with the subject. Besides latest news, you can read a weekly column on cosmic objects, watch a video on Mars rover Curiosity’s descent into the planet and know more about comets and asteroids. For youngsters, the website offers a peep into career options in the sphere of science and environment. There are profiles of professionals, interviews and articles on careers in this sector.
Updated regularly, New Scientist is a great online resource for both scientists and lay persons. It maintains the style of a magazine without turning into a science journal. The site also explains why a development is significant and its impact in a social and cultural context. It is easy to navigate through the site, which also has enhanced search functions.
The minimalistic design ensures that the focus is not taken away from the content, which is the heart of the site. The wide range of articles covering an array of topics interspersed with images and cartoons will make you come back to new scientist online often. Launched in 1996, the site has an archive of over 76,000 articles. However, there is limited access to some of the articles as they are available only to subscribers. Free registration on the site will give better access and subscription to the newsletter. The other annoying aspect is the advertisements on the website that seemingly merge with the real text duping the reader to believe that they are in fact a part of the content until one clicks and discovers otherwise.