Friday, July 29, 2005

Letters to Discover Magazine: Author Information

Other than what I find on the internet, my second main source of popular scientific information comes from Discover Magazine. Since I have been a subscriber, I have not always had time to read every single article before the next issue arrives, but I have always read the letters from readers. I sometimes wonder about the people who write these letters. Do they have qualifications to support their comments on their chosen subjects? What are their motives for writing the letters? Why do their letters get chosen for print?

Recently I started doing Google and Yahoo searches on the names and locations of the authors of these letters, starting with the June issue. Their are a few who don't have much internet exposure other than maybe a physical or e-mail address with a phone number, but many others turn out to be very interesting, and have a good deal of credentials and background relating to their chosen topics. Initially, I expected to find an abundance of blogs and individuals' websites more than anything, but that has not been the case. So far the individuals who are most reliably pinpointed are the university professors. There are others, however who have been involved in some newsworthy event(s) that has made their name easily recognizable by these search engines. Do the recognizable and noteworthy people make up the majority of the people writing letters worth printing? Or are these letters chosen because of their authors' status? Maybe I'll find out. This is certainly not an attempted exposé. It is just a matter of personal interest. If you find this helpful or interesting, then I am glad to be of service.

Starting with with the June issue, I will post the available information about the letter writers, probably weekly until I am current then will stay current. Everything will be archived at my main Webiocosm domain. If I can't find any information that identifies the letter writer beyond reasonable doubt, then I won't provide information or links. If you find yourself mentioned here, and feel that you are being misrepresented or underrepresented, just leave a comment here or at the correlating post and I will revise as deemed appropriate.



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