It’s the end of an era as Popular Science Magazine ends publication after 151 years.
· Dec 9, 2023 ·

151 years ago Popular Science Magazine burst onto the scene sparking imaginations across the nation.

But the very science that was the heart and soul of the magazine has now become its death knell. With declining paper sales, Popular Science tried to go all digital in 2021, but it was too late in the game to pivot.

In the end, the magazine was sold to its current owner, Recurrent Ventures, who thinks magazines are too old.

They're taking the recognizable name they bought and are going to make it something different: online videos.

Then in a move right out of Walter Mitty, the new management canned all the talent.

The former Popular Science editor released this statement on LinkedIn:

Now that I've had some time to take in the mass layoffs at Popular Science and clear my head ... my feelings are the same. I'm frustrated, incensed, and appalled that the owners shut down a pioneering publication that's adapted to 151 years worth of changes in the space of a five-minute Zoom call. I have some talented colleagues who are still producing news, reviews, and podcasts for, but PopSci the magazine will cease to exist. No more features, original photography, columns, best innovations and innovators lists, or freelancer contributions. The company will invest in video content instead. A lot of ace editors are now out at sea. Our specialties span engagement, gear, DIY, AI, space, physics, aviation, quantum computing, design, photography, green tech, justice, copy editing, and SEO. If you're looking for a contributor or staffer in any science communication field, please reach out and I'll connect you with the best person.To all the journalists who came before me and left with me at PopSci, thank you. We'll keep going. ✊

The magazine's final issue was somewhat ironically titled "Fake," and featured an article about the advancement and limitations of artificial intelligence, and the effects it will have on things like writing feature articles or creating images.

If we've learned anything from the massive scrubbing Big Tech is performing on the internet, and the rise of government-backed censorship, it seems to me that ending print and paper for the allure of the digital world is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

And I am completely aware of the metaphysical disconnect involved in writing that in a 100% digital publication.

Still, I can't count the times I sat waiting for a haircut or at a doctor's office and read through a copy of Popular Science.

It's truly a sad day.

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