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recommend me some sci/tech websites please
January 3, 2010 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Which science and technology websites do you (the scientists and technologists) visit regularly, to keep up to date on your subjects? I am, preferably, looking for generalist sites which are either global or UK-centric, such as the New Scientist website. Websites which focus on (or have sections on) applied science (especially those with any connection to "appropriate technology") would be particularly relevant.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar to Technology (13 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
to clarify(!) when I say technologists I am not talking about computer technologists but engineering - sorry!
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 1:16 PM on January 3, 2010

Nature and Science, but I suppose those are obvious. There are also subject journals by Nature that are generally good (neurology, chemistry, nanotechnology, materials science, etc.).

While all of those are, of course, filled mostly with research papers, they always have a weekly (or monthly, in the case of the subject journals) news and features section. I love reading the topics outside of my field, even if I wouldn't be able to understand the original publications they're reporting on.
posted by you're a kitty! at 1:20 PM on January 3, 2010

I am biased because of the number of crap science posts made to Metafilter from there, but please don't get your information from New Scientist. Try to avoid sites with breathy, excited headlines such as "Quantum Gravity Proves Universe is Like The Matrix!". My other beef is science articles which don't actually cite the publication they discuss, since it should be one-click to get to the actual article. Many other sites seem to be forwarders of scientific press releases with no editorial oversight.

Places I like;
MIT Technology Review
The Economist - Science and Technology

It's difficult to recommend others without knowing what exact field you are looking to stay up on - mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, etc. There are a lot of good blogs and review sites for any discipline.
posted by benzenedream at 1:42 PM on January 3, 2010 :)
posted by jeffburdges at 1:52 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Since I get the sense that you're not a professional, I'm going to share some not-quite graduate level resources that I feel are incredibly valuable to the average citizen with an interest in science. and the discover magazine blog collective are both pretty fantastic. I mostly read scienceblogs, but the basic idea is that people with (generally) doctorate-level degrees in science write blogs focused on their area of expertise, the culture of science, culture in general, and their own lives. You get a few that are more science vs religion or almost all culture and very little science, but the vast majority have a huge amount of fascinating material and update very frequently, so you should have plenty to read. Scienceblogs also just finished a cross-promotion deal with national geographic, which means all sorts of good things for the anthropology and evolutionary blogs. is also fantastic if you'd like to read some hardcore medical literature summaries and get some real perspective on debates like alternative medicine, medical screening overdiagnosis, and other extremely confusing topics like that.
posted by sandswipe at 2:31 PM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

It may not be quite what you are looking for but
badscience is worth looking at. It's a doctor's (ben goldacre) take on the medias reporting of science. Writen for the educated generalist. Though he does include references to papers.
posted by 92_elements at 2:35 PM on January 3, 2010

I have a couple feeds from Science Daily and the main feed for Futurity. Science Daily is mid-level summaries of journal articles (mostly) and Futurity is gleaned from press releases of mostly American research universities. My beef with Science Daily is that it provides citation information if you're citing their own web page, but rarely give you enough helpful information (e.g. DOI or specific journal data) about the article in question, so you have to hunt a bit on your own.
posted by knile at 2:47 PM on January 3, 2010

I'm mainly familiar with American professional-science sites. Look at

There may be a problem with getting full access to these sites because of membership requirements, but they offer free newsletter subscriptions. I think the best overall site is Sigma Xi 's the American Scientist. Their newsletter is exceptionally good.
posted by Hilbert at 3:21 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would recommend using Nature blogs, Science Blogs, and Research Blogging as the best ways to find blogs about science.

If you're interested in Electrical Engineering, read IEEE Spectrum.

And the big general interest science journals - Science, Nature, PNAS - are always interesting, but perhaps a little heavy for most people's taste. However, the first two have accessible news sections, which can be read without a subscription, on their websites.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 3:22 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Since both arXiv and the MIT Technology Review have been mentioned, I must mention that arXiv Blog is now at MIT TR.

Maybe not exactly what you're looking for, but it seems to me that the popular science reporting at The Register is surprisingly good, especially for a magazine that's nominally IT-focused. (Maybe I just like their brand of snark.)

Seconding the recommendation of IEEE Spectrum.
posted by hattifattener at 4:43 PM on January 3, 2010 is one of the best.
posted by Rad_Boy at 6:08 PM on January 3, 2010

I read Nature to get my science news, even the journal articles are relatively accesible because they're written for a non-specialist audience.
posted by atrazine at 7:47 PM on January 3, 2010

Life sciences: The Scientist

Popsci : Seed Magazine and The Edge, while a tad breathless are pretty good (better than New Scientist, which has degenerated into awfulness IMO).

Strongly recommend both Science and Nature if you can get institutional access or a cheap subsription thru an org.
posted by lalochezia at 10:26 AM on January 4, 2010

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