Science News is available in audio exclusively at Audible.
Delivery: Weekly, Fridays
(P) and ©2008 Society for Science & the Public
I've listened to articles on the same subject from both Science News (SN) and Scientific American (SA)from Audio Books. My experience is that articles come out a month or two earlier on SA, and in greater depth than SN articles. On the other hand SN covers a greater breadth of subjects. If you've ever read a paper SA magazine you know how integral the pictures, illustrations and graphs are for conveying the full content of an article. A picture is worth a thousand words, and the audio version of SA doesn't acknowledge they even exist. The SN articles are at the right level of detail for the audio format.
I first started reading Science News in 1966, and it has never disappointed me. The articles cover every scientific discipline and are presented in an easy to understand vocabulary and format for the lay person, yet there is enough detail, including identification of the source material, to locate the original article or study. Highly recommended if you have a broad interest in science.
This weekly is the most up to date material I've seen in a long time.
Very educational and interesting new projects that are being done.
I give this one 5 stars.
For science lovers, this can be a good subscription. I'm interested by discoveries in science, which is exactly what this periodical is about--imparting the latest in scientific discoveries from the world of computers, astronomy, medicine, biology, and more. It's thorough and educational, but not captivating.
The main problem is that there's only one narrator, and though he seems knowledgable, he speaks with little excitement. This leads to a science recording with more than one slow spot. I think it would be better if they had more than one narrator (like a newscast) or at least something to break up the monologue. It just keeps going from one story to the next like a ticker tape.
If you like science, however, I think you can overlook this problem. It's just something to be aware of.
Perfectly edited, compiled, and nicely read, Science News provides excellent journalist summaries of major and sometimes minor breakthroughs in the sciences. Appropriately, the editors of this series do not editorialize nor do they pass judgment on the stories themselves. Therefore, the hard facts of geology and mathematics are presented right alongside the latest speculations of evolutionary psychology. As a college professor with degrees in both social and natural sciences, teaching in a natural science department, I appreciate and heartily recommend this to anybody with a more than casual interest in research and technology.
I started with this after looking at reviews for Sci Amer and MIT Tech Review (I record Sci Fri off the radio). Listened to 4 editions for l month. It's ok for what's there, but I expected more quantity. Have tried one issue of MIT Tech and while it covers fewer topics, say 4 or 5 versus 10 or 12, the variety is good and I prefer the greater depth. Sci Amer probably has the depth and variety, too, but I agree with one reviewer who said that SA relies a lot on graphic aids which you won't see. I'm going to put a copy of these comments in the Tech Review section, too.
I am a scientist myself and I like the content of SN, so tried one month of the audio version. I found the poor reading so distracting that I did not renew. Surely audible.com/SN can find someone who is familiar enough with science to be comfortable with the vocabulary, but who also either has acting experience or natural talent for public reading. The current reader does well enough with pronunciation (usually), but is constantly getting the "music" of sentences wrong. (I would have guessed English was his second language, but he has no accent.)
I'm a neuroscientist and regularly listen to Science Friday and other science programs, so I thought this would be a good listen. It could be, but the reader is so abysmal that it ruins the presentation. He mispronounces words to the point of distraction, often speaks too quickly, and has very little enthusiasm in his voice. The result is dull and trite, which is a shame because the information in the articles is often interesting and timely. Regrettably, until a better reader is hired, I?m canceling my subscription.
I felt like I was back in junior high listening to a badly narrated science film from the 50s. -- With all of the comments about the BORING narration in these reviews, it makes me wonder if anyone at SN or Audible is reading our feedback at all. The content and subject matter should be a 5 for any die-hard science enthusiasts. However, we must keep in mind that editors, who are dedicated and passionate about creating this content are often blind to other flaws like marketing, presentation and customer feedback. For the rest of us who want some variety in their Audible content, my vote goes for SN to hire Raymond Todd, the talented narrator who was used in "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman" to replace the existing SN narrator. If this happens, I might even re-subscribe?
I'm director for the 501c3 non-profit Earth Intelligence Network. I deal with a great deal of information. Science News' audio version is great way to hear briefs around the science world. Science News knew/knows what it was/is doing with the reader. He doesn't add voice tones and emphasis that gets in the way of the content. If you're not interested in the content, it will be boring regardless of the reader unless you're listening to hear a sexy & provocative voice which isn't the point of listening to science news as far as I'm concerned :)
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