An Open Letter to Scientific American @sciam

The Czar has read and consumed your publication since the April 1979 issue. He has subscribed without fail since 2000, but is compelled to conclude he will not be renewing his subscription.

In that time, he has seen the publication descend from a half-inch-thick journal of research and discovery into an eighth-inch thick slick publication filled with infographics and summaries of other research. Advertisers have gone from Lockheed and Monsanto to cell phone alternatives and foreign government investments. But these are understandable and even necessary changes with a less focused world.

No, the Czar is about done with your editorial policies. Sure, the main articles are still rather good—you focus a lot on space and physics and are increasingly including neuroscience and technology engineering.

But your editorial board is spending too much time with liberal bromides—sustainability! Climate change! Alternative energy!—to the point that you probably don’t even recognize it. And publication of the occasional complaint letter hardly balances this out. You don’t even see the echo chamber you have become.

If you were really committed to the values of science for the betterment of America, you would have more pieces explaining nuclear energy—the biggest alternative energy embarrassment there is to liberal causes. Yeah, it works and is safe and (at least for us) very low cost. But liberals spent decades demonizing it and still cannot manage to admit they were wrong on that one. And that, of course, is because conservatives have backed nuclear energy as sensible and solution-worthy. And for that reason alone you hate it.

How about pieces on whether government spending is sustainable? You talk and talk and talk in your editorial pieces about every other piece of sustainability—how about economic sustainability? You don’t because you know where the math winds up—with your ideas at the bottom. America is rapidly going broke, and all your whining and cringing about Republicans cutting your funding will wind up another point of perpetual embarrassment for you.

But the final straw for the Czar, and really do pack your things, is your current issue. On page 10 of your March 2013 issue, you take the NRA to task for blocking research into gun safety. Guns are about the safest consumer devices they are—which you know—and your analogies to car safety are completely fallacious. Which you also know. For you to reprint such long-disproved arguments with the authority of someone simply yelling Science! goes beyond reasonable and skeptical exploration and descends into blatant partisan positioning. Now, liberal cut-and-pasters will be quick to use this as a source that this already debunked position has gravitas. This is the problem with citology—you yourselves can no longer bother to research your opinions, but have instead factualized them into a source in some reverse argumentum ad verecundiam.

The reality is that you have not presented the argument fairly, nor have you provided clear investigation. You want something to be so, and thereby declare it such. This is precisely the classic counter-proof that liberals have little actual grasp of science, but imagine themselves the sole masters of it.

No, this is not about firearms. This is about presenting facts clearly and objectively; instead of thinking like scientists (and it has been a long time since April 1979, has it not?) you are behaving exactly as J-school graduates. And yes, you will post one or two complaint letters next month about it and do precisely nothing about. Cherry picking facts, failing to check sources, and glossing over counterarguments is something best left to the MSM; when you do it, you become just another liberal echo chamber.

So in a couple of months, you will notice your subscription notices will go unanswered. You will of course be able to reference this open letter as to why. The Czar will continue to look through the back issues, when Scientific American was a science publication, and not the print version of CNN.

About The Czar of Muscovy

Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia by upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.