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Where do I get my science? Answered

Since joining Instructables at the end of September, I've jumped into several discussions of scientific topics, not all of which are directly related to my specialty (experimental high energy physics). Why should I pose as any more of an "expert" in these different areas than anyone else?

Well, I shouldn't (pose, that is). In the interests of disclosure, I thought I'd post some of my general sources for scientific information. I'm also hoping these might turn out to be of interest to other I'bles community members.


  • For current research, I skim the arXiv preprint archives every day or two and see what's out there. These are technical papers intended for peer-reviewed journals, so they are generally not accessible to the lay public.
  • Physics Today This is a "general interest" publication of the American Physical Society, intended for physicists but not for subfield specialists.
  • PhysicsWorld from the IOP, similar to Physics Today.

Non-physics Research

Both are peer-reviewed journals, but cover a full range of fields, including physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and more.

Popular Science News

I also highly recommend the Science & Technology articles in The Economist. As I've commented elsewhere, they have some of the best (both in language and in technical detail) journalistic coverage of science that I have found anywhere.

Update 15 Nov 2008: With thanks to GorillazMiko,

Books, Books, Books

I read. A lot. Stephen Jay Gould, John McPhee, Oliver Sacks, a wide variety of "popular" science books.

7 Replies

Hedgerow (author)2008-11-14

Thanks for all the great links. I am sure you have just sent many people on a three hour journey into articles and links which we may have never seen.

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kelseymh (author)Hedgerow2008-11-14

You're welcome! A three-hour tour? I'm not sure that's a good thing...

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Lithium Rain (author)2008-11-04

It's the Pixellated Man! :D Haha, in all seriousness, thanks for the full disclosure.

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Chicken2209 (author)2008-11-04

As long as the only source isn't wikipedia, I'm okay with it

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kelseymh (author)Chicken22092008-11-04

Indeed! I use Wikipedia for citations within my postings because (a) they're convenient, (b) their physics articles are generally okay, and (c) the good articles include links to external sources and references. They are a much better place to start searching for accurate information than Google is.

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Plus, it's easy to understand for a wide variety of audiences.

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