People & Science

A publication of the British Science Association

02/09/2014

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Farewell, print version!

Long-standing members say regretful goodbyes to the print version

Roy Partington is not happy

I write as a longstanding member of the British Science Association and its forerunner the BA. I have been and still am an active member of the Tayside and North Fife Branch as a Branch Committee member and former convenor of the Public Lecture sub-committee. Until I recently chaired our local fund raising group and as a retired Lecturer in Science Teacher Education here in Dundee I have had life long commitment to the public understanding of science.

Long-standing members say regretful goodbyes to the print version

Roy Partington is not happy

I write as a longstanding member of the British Science Association and its forerunner the BA. I have been and still am an active member of the Tayside and North Fife Branch as a Branch Committee member and former convenor of the Public Lecture sub-committee. Until I recently chaired our local fund raising group and as a retired Lecturer in Science Teacher Education here in Dundee I have had life long commitment to the public understanding of science.

I wish to express my dismay and sadness at the demise of the hard copy of People and Science.

I dislike very much having to read everything on a screen: it is bad for posture and eyesight, and it will be impossible to browse the journal on the train for example. I do not see why I should be asked to print off the whole thing on my modest equipment at home. Further, old copies will not end up in the dentist’s and/or doctor’s waiting room or elsewhere, where they may reach even more members of the public.

I could grumble on but will refrain from doing so, but please do not assume that all members, especially the older ones who do a lot of volunteer work in the cause, are happy to spend hours sat at a computer screen or tapping an Ipad if they can afford it. I still relish books and journals as tools to turn to when needed.

Rosalind Thomspon is dismayed

I joined the British Association for the Advancement of Science in the late 1940s when I was a student at King's College, Durham University. That year, the Annual Meeting was held in Newcastle. I became a Life Member and have continued to be interested and to enjoy the publications and occasionally to attend the meetings ever since.

Now I am registered blind. I can still read People and Science a few inches from my eyes, and can look at a laptop screen tipped towards my eyes, but I have to print everything to read it properly.

So I was dismayed when I read that you are intending to dispense with hard copies of the very interesting and informative People and Science. What can I do? Will there be any chance of a few hard copies for such as myself to be able to read in comfort?

You must have a hard job trying to please everybody!

Pauline Martstrand is sad

I really am very sad that there are to be no more print copies of People & Science.  I have enjoyed receiving and reading it and passing it on to interested young, and to the local library.  I do not see well enough to go online, and in any case find sitting in front of a screen or balancing a laptop most uncongenial!

My grandfather was a member of the BAAS, and I first became involved in 1948, when I was a ‘runner’ for GP Wells at the Brighton meeting with Henry Tizard as President.

I expect it’s too late for a change of policy, but I do think the march of online is a mistake.  The written or printed word is far more memorable!

Pauline Marstrand

Wivenhoe

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The Editor replies:

I’m very sorry that we’re inconveniencing members who’ve put so much time and energy into the Association over so many years. However, it has been decided that printing and distributing the magazine is simply too expensive. Having it on the web will not only be cheaper, but will enable engagement with readers in a way that has previously been impossible. We realise that, for a magazine devoted to public engagement, we haven’t been very good at practising what we’ve preached!

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Dr Roy Partington
Rosalind Thompson
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