Several people I know have previously expressed the opinion, which I share, that science journalism in this country has really gone downhill over the past decade-and-a-half or so. I once maintained a subscription to both Discover and Scientific American, and possessed a modest archive of their back editions, so I have a reasonable understanding of what they were like. By and large, they were informative and intelligent, taking developments in various fields and expressing them in articles that a layperson could readily understand. If you then wanted to know more, you could go and find a copy of Nature or a similar journal that contained more formal and within-the-discipline articles.
But slowly, they became vapid and foolish, the equivalent of supermarket tabloids; fewer articles and larger photos, less comprehensive information and more flash.
How far have they actually fallen?
The long trend of decline is something best seen by taking a look at the magazines, but you can get an idea of what their standards are like by examining this blog post by John Horgan, author of The End of Science. (I’ve read it, didn’t think much of it.)
The standard disclaimer, that the opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent those of the organization publishing them, isn’t going to cut it. Not when the opinions involve the suppression of scientific research on politically controversial issues.