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"Nature" for humanities?
September 17, 2012 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Is there an equivalent of "Nature" for the humanities and social sciences? I'm looking for a magazine or blog that curates notable scholarly papers from non-STEM disciplines (philosophy/sociology/psychology/cultural studies/etc) for a wider audience.

It would probably include an intro or summary to give some context to the paper for those outside the discipline.

If not, any suggestions for blogs within individual disciplines that do the same?
posted by dontjumplarry to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Psychology is present in Nature. Sociology also gets into Nature from time to time. Social Sciences are STEM by definition and usually considered as such at most schools. The humanities tend to publish in such a wide variety of ways it would be pretty tough to aggregate but aldaily.com is one source I can think of that gives little summaries of interesting humanities stuff.
posted by srboisvert at 5:13 PM on September 17, 2012


In my experience (and at least at my university), social sciences are not considered a part of the STEM fields.
posted by kylej at 5:37 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


In my experience (and at least at my university), social sciences are not considered a part of the STEM fields.

As a social scientist, this corresponds to my experience as well. I'm not in a STEM field by pretty much any stretch--at least, I don't consider myself to be, and I'm pretty sure any physicist or mathematician would agree.

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any kind of aggregating, popularizing publication of the kind the OP is asking about. I wish there were!
posted by Superplin at 5:41 PM on September 17, 2012


I don't think I have the perfect answer for you, but I can think of a couple of resources that you might like to check out.

One is Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Another place to check out is the "omnivore" from bookforum. Most of the links are to articles written for a general audience, but still seem very academic-ish in terms of subject matter, presentation, and authorship.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 5:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there an equivalent of "Nature" for the humanities and social sciences? I'm looking for a magazine or blog that curates notable scholarly papers from non-STEM disciplines (philosophy/sociology/psychology/cultural studies/etc) for a wider audience.

Well, just to be clear, Nature (and its American counterpart, Science) doesn't curate a selection of papers published in other journals: it publishes the articles itself.

Also, Nature and Science are still mostly read by academics and researchers, not the broader public. I don't know of any journal with the same prestige and visibility that's addressed to humanities academics in general.

The broader public reads stuff in Scientific American or Popular Science or Discover rather than Nature or Science.

Similarly, for the humanities, publications that are truly addressed to the (somewhat) broader public but cover some of the academic scene might various reviews of books (New York, London, Boston, Montreal, Los Angeles, Jewish), The New Republic, The Guardian, The New Criterion, and somewhat more specific publications like Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy.
posted by shivohum at 6:17 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, just to be clear, Nature (and its American counterpart, Science) doesn't curate a selection of papers published in other journals: it publishes the articles itself.

To a small extent, Nature and Science also select articles from other journals, which are often summarized in the front half of the magazine. But yes, the top research in Nature is published in Nature itself.
posted by grouse at 6:40 PM on September 17, 2012


Came in to suggest Daedalus as well.
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2012


Thanks for the suggestions.

I guess I don't mean an exact analogue to Nature. I had in mind the way that a generalist journal like Nature can provide, say, an entomologist a taster of what's happening in conservation biology or population biology or diabetes research or whatever.
posted by dontjumplarry at 7:04 PM on September 17, 2012


Arts and Letters Daily is a blog that pretty much does exactly what you are looking for. Here is a pretty good 2005 article by the Guardian (UK) about the website. AL Daily has been around for a long time-- it was the 1999 "best website in the world" recognized the Observer (UK). The founder died a couple of years ago, but his partners have carried on keeping it updated, mostly without any loss of quality or coverage. It is the first place I found Malcolm Gladwell, before he was famous. Same with Theodore Dalrymple. That right there probably gives you an idea of the depth of coverage and the attention given to finding quality articles without regard for political partisanship. I check it at least once per week, and it the articles AL Daily links to have a real high percentage (for me) of being really interesting, and usually among the most significant things I've read all week. It is even laid out in the format you asked for.
posted by seasparrow at 7:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I forgot to add that AL Daily is a mix of scholarly and more popular non-academic articles, so it may not actually be exactly what you are looking for.
posted by seasparrow at 7:23 PM on September 17, 2012


I had in mind the way that a generalist journal like Nature can provide, say, an entomologist a taster of what's happening in conservation biology or population biology or diabetes research or whatever.

Hrmm.... some other possibilities:

The Chronicle of Higher Education's Percolator blog ("Research that matters")

For that matter, the Chronicle's blogs generally.

Also, the top SSRN papers
posted by shivohum at 7:33 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Within economics there the Journal of Economic Perspectives, which should be readable by a motivated layman. It is specifically designed to give non-specialist scholars a view on what is happening in sub-fields. Many of the most interesting things are put out as an NBER working paper and the NBER Digest translates 4-6 a month from Economics into English.
posted by shothotbot at 7:37 PM on September 17, 2012


I believe it's written by staff instead of featuring peer-reviewed articles, but National Geographic is a bit along these lines.
posted by threeants at 7:32 PM on September 18, 2012


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