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Earth to Scientific American....I noticed something weird about the Philip Yam post on the Harvest moon. The term, as Paul Raeburn pointed out earlier in the...

Earth to Scientific American....I noticed something weird about the Philip Yam post on the Harvest moon. The term, as Paul Raeburn pointed out earlier in the week, refers to the full moon closet to the fall equinox. That's all fine but does this paragraph make sense?  

One enduring belief is that the harvest moon is bigger and brighter than any other full moon. That myth is probably the result of the well-known illusion in which the moon looks bigger on the horizon than it does overhead.

Why oh why would the myth about the harvest moon have anything to do with an illusion that pertains to the moon when it’s close to the horizon? Don’t full moons always appear to rise up from the horizon?

If the moon is indeed somehow coming up at a shallower angle and...

**Correction: A previous black hole firewall story by Jennifer Ouelette was published in Simons Science News and reprinted in Scientific American. I had originally said it was published in Scientific American.

Some readers may have loved Dennis Overbye’s...

**Correction: A previous black hole firewall story by Jennifer Ouelette was published in Simons Science News and reprinted in Scientific American. I had originally said it was published in Scientific American.

Some readers may have loved Dennis Overbye’s cover story on black holes in yesterday’s Science Times. If you get a buzz off cool terminology and superficial brushes with awesomely geeky science, well, great. But the story was less rewarding for those who expected their reading efforts to pay off with some genuine comprehension of the subject matter.

The subject of the story is, roughly, what happens to someone falling into a black hole. On the positive side, the question is not just a curiosity. It’s a huge deal in the theoretical physics community, since the outcome of this thought...

Scientific American has taken over YouTube's Space Lab channel, relaunching it today as Scientific American Space Lab.

Scientific American and its editor, Mariette DiChristina...

Scientific American has taken over YouTube's Space Lab channel, relaunching it today as Scientific American Space Lab.

Scientific American and its editor, Mariette DiChristina, partnered with Space Lab in 2012, when Space Lab asked SciAm to contribute to the channel. (DiChristina had been a judge for Space Lab video competition and had appeared on the channel.)

SciAm launched a bi-weekly show called The Countdown--a round-up of the top five space stories in the news, with host Sophie Bushwick. Rachel Scheer, a SciAm spokesperson, said that "as the show flourished, the YouTube Space Lab team handed over the reins of the channel to Scientific American."

The new SciAm-branded channel features two other shows--Ask the Experts, and It happened in Space,...

[Updates with addition of some authors' names, links, and mention of article in Outside magazine.]

National Geographic led the list of National...

[Updates with addition of some authors' names, links, and mention of article in Outside magazine.]

National Geographic led the list of National Magazine Award finalists with seven nominations, the American Society of Magazine Editors announced today. Wired received three nominations and Scientific American was awarded two. 

That put science journalism in a leading position among the 62 finalists in 23 categories. (The language is a bit confusing. "Finalists" are the nominees among which a winner will be chosen in each category at a dinner in New York on May 2.)

National Geographic received its honors in the categories of general excellence in print and digital media, and...

Some years ago, Bora Zivkovic and Anton Zuiker, of Science Online fame, decided to create a place where the best science blogging could be featured. That project, called the Open Laboratory, became so successful that it eventually grew into an admired annual anthology. ...

Some years ago, Bora Zivkovic and Anton Zuiker, of Science Online fame, decided to create a place where the best science blogging could be featured. That project, called the Open Laboratory, became so successful that it eventually grew into an admired annual anthology.  The Best Science Writing Online 2012 was published last year by Scientific America/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

But as Zivkovic thought about it, he realized that many excellent online science stories are also told not by written words but in sound, image, video and other multimedia formats. And it was this idea that led to a collaboration with other like-minded creative science communicators and the announcement yesterday of a new project, Science Studio. As one of the Science Studio founders, Rose Eveleth...

At least they didn't call it the God particle. But that's about the only redeeming feature of Time's recent blurb on the Higgs. I don’t know whether Jeffrey Kluger at Time nominated the Higgs Boson as candidate for “person of the year” or someone assigned him...

At least they didn't call it the God particle. But that's about the only redeeming feature of Time's recent blurb on the Higgs. I don’t know whether Jeffrey Kluger at Time nominated the Higgs Boson as candidate for “person of the year” or someone assigned him the task of explaining why someone else thought it was a worthy, if weird choice. Here’s the result:

Take a moment to thank this little particle for all the work it does, because without it, you'd be just inchoate energy without so much as a bit of mass. What's more, the same would be true for the entire universe. It was in the 1960s that Scottish physicist Peter Higgs first posited the existence of a particle that causes energy to make the jump to matter. But it was not until last summer that a team of researchers at Europe's Large...

Though plenty has been written about science and politics, there’s lots of fresh food for thought and discussion in the October 17 Scientific American piece: Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy...

Though plenty has been written about science and politics, there’s lots of fresh food for thought and discussion in the October 17 Scientific American piece: Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy. The author, Shawn Lawrence Otto, is author of the book Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America and a co-founder of ScienceDebate.org, an organization aimed at encouraging candidates to debate scientific issues.

According to his bio, he’s also a filmmaker best known for writing and co-producing the Oscar-Nominated film House of Sand and Fog.

(In the same Scientific American issue is the result of ScienceDebate.org’s efforts to clarify science issues in the current election. While the group hasn’t succeeded yet in staging a live debate, they have been able to...

In December 2006, the pioneering science blogger, Bora Zivkovic, met with his colleague, Anton Zuiker, to work on plans for the first Triangle Science Blogging Conference. They decided to try putting together an anthology of the year's...

In December 2006, the pioneering science blogger, Bora Zivkovic, met with his colleague, Anton Zuiker, to work on plans for the first Triangle Science Blogging Conference. They decided to try putting together an anthology of the year's best science blog posts and ask their conference sponsor, Lulu.com., to publish it as a handout for conference attendees.

Fast forward to this year:  Zivkovic is the science blog editor for Scientific American and the conference has become one of the hottest tickets in science communication (Science OnLine 2013 begins January 30 in Raleigh, N.C.). And what began as The Open Laboratory 2006 has evolved into the first of a series of high-caliber trade books titled The Best Science Writing Online 2012, ...

The authors of an article on the website of Scientific American Mind are entitled to their opinion on whether or not children can get bipolar disorder. They are not entitled to dress up their...

The authors of an article on the website of Scientific American Mind are entitled to their opinion on whether or not children can get bipolar disorder. They are not entitled to dress up their opinion as reporting.

The article, by  Scott O. Lilienfeld and Hal Arkowitz, is headlined "Do Kids Get Bipolar Disorder?" That promises a broad examination of the topic. But that's not what we get.

The authors begin their story with a boy with behavior problems. But he's a fabrication. The story begins: "Imagine an eight-year old boy whom we will call Eric..." Imagination is a beautiful thing, but we should be wary of imagining characters in nonfiction. (Although it's a lot easier than finding real kids.)

They then recite statistics showing that the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children has risen sharply in...