Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Comment of the Day

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJanuary 7, 2011 3:00 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Goes to this cautionary flashback:

I love the New Yorker and over the years they have published many fine articles on science by bright and knowledgeable writers including Lehrer (e.g., John McPhee, Jonathon Schell, John Hersey, Rachel Carson, Jeremy Bernstein, Atul Gawande, Malcom Gladwell). Despite this excellent record of science translation, it is useful to remember that the New Yorker published another fine scientific writer (Paul Brodeur) about 20 years ago who claimed that power lines were leading to brain cancer. It was compelling writing and it had a big effect on public opinion and science, but ultimately none of the breathless claims panned out despite the fears struck in the community. Decline effects, though rarely referred to that way, are widely recognized in science (often meta-analyses will divide up the sample of studies depending on when they were conducted--early vs. late).

This historical perspective is worth keeping in mind (here's the article by Brodeur) though I still think people are overly wrought over Lehrer's piece.

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In