The political implications of this article are enormous, including international relations to come up with worldwide emissions agreements, economic reform in regards to the businesses that continue to use carbon-emitting practices, and legislation that will limit the abilities of businesses. This article is written from the point-of-view, therefore, of someone who has been monitoring this situation for quite some time, and who is concerned about global warming's impact on earth. In addition, this person writes from the political point-of-view, having a great deal of knowledge about how the problem can be solved politically. The scientific conclusion that global warming is a time-sensitive problem is unique, but not valid, while the idea of 350 is based on a new study, so its accurateness cannot be confirmed. McKibben, however, does not suggest this. Instead, he relies on the number, 350, as solid fact, without admitting that it may not be correct. Thus, when presented with the information with which McKibben was presented, I may have been concerned, but would not have moved to the place of changing international agreements just yet.
Christine Cyr's Popular Science article "Flying High on Biofuels," discusses yet another area of science related to global warming. In this article, the author discusses how airlines are attempting to go green by using alternative fuels. The article, which presents new information, that several airlines are planning on testing new models that run on alternative fuels, as well as an application for that information, that alternative fuel-using aircraft could save consumers on their airline tickets. Cyr writes this short article from the point-of-view of someone who wants to relay information. As Cyr uses the application of cheaper tickets to get the reader's attention, the article is written from the point-of-view of the consumer. Although it has a real application, however, it is a scientific article as new scientific information is being imparted. Though this article does not use many complex terms or scientific language, its message is clear and unbiased. The author simply presents the fact that airlines are experimenting with alternative fuels with no hidden agenda, though she does tell consumers how the change may benefit them.
While global warming is certainly a hot topic among the public, so too are medical issues, especially those that can question medical and scientific ethics, such as plastic surgery. William Saletan's Slate article, "Saving Face," discusses the most recent brand of plastic surgery -- face transplantation. This article serves a primarily social purpose, to condemn "socially necessary surgery." Relating scientific information regarding the largest face transplant surgery in history, in addition to criticizing it, Saletan writes from the point-of-view of one who is struggling ethically with the idea of surgery to escape social suffering. Though he admits that society can cause suffering in those who do not look like others do, he implies that surgery, a dangerous process that can have risky side effects, is not the answer. Saletan's point has a variety of societal implications, which may turn political. It questions the values and culture of those who are willing to risk their lives to look nice. It also questions whether such processes, which some call unethical, will be challenged in court in the future. The information presented in the article is primarily discussing a new medical and scientific process that was successfully completed. The purpose of this article, however, is not immediately clear as the author discusses feeling sympathetic with the face transplant recipient. Thus, the article can be criticized, as it seems to argue for both sides. Although some may excuse this as grappling with the information, the author then makes a conclusion that is rather strong.
Thus, the articles from popular scientific magazines above suggest that the public is interested in science for a variety of reasons. Science affects their behavior, their attitudes, their politics, and even their pocketbooks. Ranging from scientific to politically biased, however, the above articles make clear that the way in which scientific information is presented can impact how it is received.
Allen, Laura. (2008, December 19). The Other Big Meltdown. Retrieved December 20, 2008 at http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2008-12/other-big-meltdown
Cyr, Christine. (2008, December 11). Flying High on Biofuels. Retrieved December, 20
2008, at http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-amp-space/article/2008-12/flying-high-biofuels
McKIbben, Bill. (2008, November/December). The Most Important Number on Earth.
Retrieved December 20, 2008, at http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/11/the-most-important-number-on-earth.html
Seletan, William. (2008, December 18). Saving Face. Retrieved December 20, 2008, at http://www.slate.com/id/2207049