CAREERS BLOG: Resource Review – New Scientist

UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark green Careers blog by Hilary Neary, Information Assistant, Careers

Most people have heard of New Scientist magazine. It has a global readership and is a common sight on newsagent’s shelves. We also subscribe to New Scientist at Careers and have the weekly edition available for students to browse as well as a back catalogue of previous copies that students are welcome to come in and read.

What is New Scientist?

New Scientist magazine is a weekly publication covering most areas of science including biology, chemistry, physics, technology, health and public policy. It is not a scientific journal but a magazine that could be read by scientists or non-scientists alike. In fact, New Scientist’s mission statement is to “report, explore and interpret the results of human endeavour set in the context of society and culture” thus making it an excellent and comprehensible source of information on what has been happening in the science community as a whole.

The format of the magazine is engaging, with plenty of artwork and photos to accompany the written pieces. The first part of the magazine looks at the latest science news in brief.  Commentary is provided on the latest stories in the Opinion section and this is followed by features and the cover story. There are also book reviews and reader letters.

Why should I read it?

  • It is weekly which means it is serving up the latest, breaking news stories.
  • It has a broad scope so even if your specialism is in one particular branch of science, by reading New Scientist, you can keep an overview of what is happening in other areas.
  • It has a good jobs and careers section
  • Readable, interesting, easy to understand. One of their aims is to “put discoveries and advances in the context of everyday life”.

How is reading it going to help me get a job?

Firstly, the obvious! New Scientist has a jobs section in the magazine and a specialist jobs website: www.newscientistjobs.com. At the time of writing this review, they were advertising 2,184 science and technology jobs online in the fields of Chemistry, Clinical, Environment, Life Sciences, Maths & IT, Physics and Support & Business Functions. They also have a website dedicated to advertising further study courses and studentships at www.newscientiststudy.com.

Apart from looking at the jobs and careers advice section, New Scientist can help provide an overview of what is happening across many scientific sectors. Reading the magazine will give you a feel for the hot topics within the science community and the wider general public, it gives you a taste of opinion and contrasting views on these topics, which in turn will improve your knowledge, confidence and provide you with more to discuss at interview. Additionally, if you read widely around your subject and keep up with press coverage you will appear a more focused applicant and it will help to prove your commitment to your career.

Critics might argue that New Scientist is too broad and aimed too much at a popular market rather than a truly scientific one but the advantage is that it could help a Scientist to step outside of their niche and see what the wider world and the layman’s view of scientific research is, and what topics are currently piqueing their interest.

New Scientist’s strength is that it reports the latest science news in brief which makes it a good way of keeping track of developments in all sectors of science.  In comparison scientific journals are niche and very specific to one sector. You can easily see an overview of the latest science stories in New Scientist and then explore them in more detail and read the research in the relevant scientific sector journal. For non-scientists who might be applying for business function roles within the science industry reading New Scientist is a good way of understanding the sector and researching prior to interview.

New Scientist’s annual Graduate Careers Special is available to pick up from Careers this term.

Careers also stocks copies of Physics World, Planet Earth, Hydro International, Clinical Discovery and Wellcome News.

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