by Ross Pomeroy
Science communicators once again had their hands full in 2021. Between two and three million research articles were published this year, announcing discoveries from the microscopic to the cosmic and from the (relatively) mundane to the controversial. The gigantic elephant in the room – COVID-19 – also continued to hang around, killing millions while dishonest actors manufactured misinformation galore.
Separating science from pseudoscience, hype from reality, and truth from fiction, all while reporting honestly and coherently, can be a struggle. But each year, writers at a range of websites prove they are up to the task. At RealClearScience, we honor them in our annual listing of the top websites for science.
ScienceNews has provided dependable science journalism since 1921.
If there’s need-to-know news from any discipline, NewScientist will have it covered.
The Royal Institution of Australia provides fantastic science news via Cosmos Magazine.
The Conversation serves as a platform for scientists to inform the public about their own research.
The Scientist focuses on biology and medicine, and covers them ably.
The Top Ten!
10. Big Think has been reinvigorated of late with the hiring of Founding RCS Editor Alex Berezow as Executive Editor and the inclusion of a number of talented science writers like astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, astrophysicist Adam Frank, philosopher Marcelo Gleiser, and many others. (Disclosure: Current RCS editor Ross Pomeroy also occasionally freelances for Big Think.)
9. Smithsonian‘s writers deftly round-up the latest science news including fascinating stories often missed by other outlets. And their archaeology coverage can’t be beat.
8. You might know Nature as (disputably) the top scientific journal in the world. They also maintain a news arm that regularly publishes exemplary content by long-time writers. Our only gripe is that the frequency seems to be falling.
7. A new arrival onto our top ten list, Science Alert wowed us with their breadth of coverage and consistently factual write-ups. Moreover, they report on interesting studies published in lesser-known journals whose findings still matter to the public.
6. Science Magazine is America’s top scientific journal. The journal’s news reporters can also be counted on to provide in-depth coverage of the latest discoveries and of the issues where science and politics intersect.
5. Live Science has made our annual top ten list six times in a row. We’ll stop including them when their veteran writers stop writing and disseminating clear, well-researched science content. It doesn’t seem like that will happen anytime soon…
4. Like Live Science, math and physics-focused Quanta is another mainstay of our top ten list. Featuring longer-form stories on advanced topics from smart writers, a daily visit to Quanta will undoubtedly challenge your brain and make you more well-informed.
3. The talented bunch of science writers at Gizmodo maintain a smart, skeptical style that manages to entertain and inform a lay audience while still remaining grounded in evidence-based reality.
2. The health science-centered STAT took the top spot on our 2020 list of the best websites for science, owing to their indispensable reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic. As the global health crisis continued into this year, STAT‘s stalwart journalism did as well. The pandemic spawned and exacerbated other global health problems, which STAT‘s writers exposed and explored with grace and dedication. The outlet also delved deeply into the controversial FDA approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm.
1. Ars Technica reclaims its spot atop our list of the best science websites after being dethroned by STAT last year. The outlet’s writers skillfully cover all corners of science, and deliver an average of three to five new pieces of content daily for your reading pleasure. Don’t forget to catch Eric Berger’s regular updates with news from the rapidly growing space industry.
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Ross Pomeroy contributes to RealClearScience.