After 151 years, Popular Science will no longer be available for purchase as a magazine. In a statement to The Verge, Cathy Hibbert, communications director at PopSci owner Recurrent Ventures, said the publication needs to “evolve” beyond the product of the magazine, which released its first all-digital issue in 2021.
PopSci, which covers a range of stories related to the fields of science, technology and nature, published its first issue in 1872. Things have changed a lot over the years, and the magazine moved to a quarterly calendar in 2018 and abandoned physical copies after that. 2020.
In a post on LinkedIn, former PopSci editor-in-chief Purpita Saha commented on the magazine’s discontinuation, stating that she was “disappointed, angry and dismayed that the owners are shutting down a pioneering publication that has adapted to 151 years of change in the space.” For five minutes on a Zoom call. Layoffs have particularly affected science journalists in recent weeks. National Geographic laid off the rest of its editorial staff in June, followed by Gizmodo, which laid off its last climate correspondent, and CNBC, which closed its climate desk last week.
“PopSci is an exceptional brand, and as consumer trends evolve, it’s important that we prioritize investment in new formats,” Herbert tells The Verge. “We believe that editorial strategy must evolve beyond the digital magazine product. A combination of the editorial team, along with sales, video, and other initiatives, will work to produce content that aligns naturally with PopSci’s mission.”
In addition to ditching the magazine format, PopSci laid off several employees earlier this month, leaving about five editorial staff members and “a handful” of sales staff, according to Axios. Digital media group Recurrent Ventures acquired PopSci in 2021 and named its third CEO in three years just one week before the layoffs.
PopSci will continue to offer articles on its website, in addition to its PopSci Plus subscription, which provides access to exclusive content and the magazine’s archives. However, its closure represents the end of an era, and further cuts to science journalism won’t make it any easier to stay up to date on the state of our climate or delve into great stories you wouldn’t have found without bringing in the media. They have our attention.
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