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5.18.2010

Science Diet

In high school I had the self esteem of a Twizzler. When my 8th grade algebra teacher called me stupid my response was getting my first (ever) 'F' in his class, flunking out, then having to be in remedial math the next two years. I guess I showed him.

That experience helped put me on the path towards becoming a mass comm major (where at least I was resourceful enough to get a scholarship to a college with no math requirement), but I was permanently damaged. Not only did I never pass math beyond the 10th grade level but my love of science was tarnished forever.

Or so I thought. My interest in reading food labels in junior high grew into a hunger to learn all I could about about nutrition and the body, aging, mental health, addictions, and more. I love how science explains so-called mysteries and overturns conventional wisdoms. Working as a health care journalist has become one of my pipe dreams and has brought me back to my love of science.

Which leads me to The Scientist, one my favorite online magazines. I just got an email from them saying they're opening up their archives:

For a limited time, The Scientist has opened its premium content to all of our readers. Dating back to 1986, our archives contain over 15,000 articles from 23+ years of issues.

While the site is open, you do not need to log in to view our award-winning content*, but we strongly encourage readers to register to receive our eNews, monthly Table of Contents e-mails, and other announcements.

Although I barely got through college astronomy because of my math handicap, I flourished in biology which had less math. Post-college, though, I thought I would never be bothered by math again, until it became clear to me that my easy boredom demanded usage of a part of my brain that I had always previously ignored.

It never occurred to this occasional literacy tutor how important math is. I see the obvious tragedy in a high school grad who can't read, but being math illiterate has always been more acceptable.

Other science-y sites I like are Physicians News, Explorations with Michio Kaku, NPR's Science Friday, and anything by Atul Gawande. Lemme know if you know of any other science sites I should be checking out.

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