Reader Survey

21stC was created four years ago as an innovative magazine to report on research across the disciplines--to offer faculty and staff within Columbia, and readers beyond the University, short, lively articles on a broad range of intellectual issues.

We are posting here a readership survey for 21stC. The survey is being sent by mail to a random sample of our readers, asking for reactions to 21stC. (You may or may not receive it in letter form. If you do, please return it as soon as possible.)

We have posted the survey here because we think it will be a helpful guide to our future issues if you who come to our web site also participate.

Please respond to all questions that are relevant to you as a web site reader, and return the survey to us electronically. It will only take a few minutes.

We thank you for your assistance in helping to make 21stC as informative and useful as possible.

--The Editors and Publishers of 21stC

Section 1, Introduction

First, some questions about your familiarity with 21stC. How often do you receive 21stC?

How many of the last four issues did you open up and read?

In general, how much time did you spend reading 21stC?

Would you like to receive 21stC more often, or is the current level appropriate?

Section 2, Articles

The subtitle of 21stC is "The World of Research at Columbia University." With this goal in mind, consider the following questions.

To what degree has 21stC improved your knowledge about and understanding of the variety of research conducted at Columbia?

21stC also intends to increase knowledge about important issues in research worldwide, involving universities, corporations, and governments. To what degree has it improved your understanding of these issues?

In general, are the articles written in an appropriate manner for busy, educated people interested in research?

Here are some words about the writing of 21stC. Check all that you think appropriate.
Analytical Boring
Irreverent Lucid
Confusing Witty
Shallow Clever
Informative Thoughtful

Is the balance between longer and shorter articles about right, or should it change?

Do you clip and save stories from 21stC?

Do you discuss the material in 21stC with colleagues and friends?

Has a story or other material in 21stC led you to seek further information on the subject?

Check each of the following publications that you read (or follow on Web) regularly.
Science Nature
JAMA Atlantic
Slate N.Y. Times/Science Times
Salon Atlantic
Columbia Journalism Review The Lancet
Smithsonian N.Y.Review of Books

Section III - Specific Issues

21stC carries a regular section called Metanews--a signature critique of how the popular media report on academic research.

Does Metanews help you understand how reporters fail to understand scientific subjects?

Does Metanews help you understand how headline writers oversimplify or misdescribe science stories even if the stories themselves are relatively accurate?

Does Metanews help you understand how reporters confuse basic and applied science?

21stC carries a regular section called Publisher's Corner, an opinion, op-ed style article. These have included "Is the Enlightenment out of Fashion" by Jonathan R. Cole, "Underrating the Overhead" by Samuel C. Silverstein, "A New Era of Research Cooperation" by Erich Bloch. Do you find this section provocative?

Do you find the cartoons, illustrations, and other light diversions in 21stC amusing?

Have you read the most recent issue of 21stC, with the special section, Strange Science?

In this issue, did you read Valerie Brown's article on environmental ethics new movements in theological scholarship directed to biological and ecological concerns?

Did you read David I. Lewin's article on the scientific information and misinformation that is available online?

Did you read Nicholas Turro's article on how understanding what he calls "pathological science" can help a researcher better understand, and perform, reliable science?

Did you read Robert MacDougall on strange enthusiasms - a brief history of American pseudoscience?

Did you read Lauren Walker on alternative medicine, St. John's Wort and "Quackwatch"?

Do you remember the issue of 21stC featuring Sciences and the Humanities?

In that issue, did you read Marianne de Laet's article on the "new sociology of science" and the work of Robert K. Merton?

Did you read Ursula Heise's article about the changing impact of science on literature?

Do you remember the issue of 21stC featuring Biospheres?

In that issue, did you read, "Living Heavily on the Earth," a conversation on population, with participants John Bongaarts, Joel E. Cohen, and Allan Rosenfield?

Did you read the rumination on the planet's oxygen supply by Wallace S. Broecker?

Did you read John C. Mutter's article about the partnership between Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Biosphere 2?

Do you remember the issue of 21stC featuring Research and Teaching?

Did you read Robert Pollack's article about why he left his biology lab?

Did you read Nancy Henderson's article about harnessing new technology for teaching?

Please note all of the special sections that you found especially interesting and informative.
Strange Science Science and the Humanities
Biotechnology Forum Research and Teaching
Biospheres Technology Transfer

Section IV - Format and Design

21stC comes to you in a large tabloid format. Do you find this format convenient to read and handle, or would you like to see it in another form?

If you would like another format, what would you prefer?

Would you be more or less likely to pass along 21stC to colleagues and friends to read if it were packaged in a different format?

Would you be more or less likely to read 21stC if it carried color photographs?

Here are some words to consider about the design of 21stC. Check all that you think appropriate.
Attractive Undistinguished
Inviting Clever
Confusing Overdesigned
Enticing Adequate

On a scale, 1 (high) to 5 (low), do you find the logo 21stC attractive and understandable?

Section V - Web Site

Were you aware (before your current visit to the site) that 21stC had its own Web site?

How did you learn about the Web site?

How often have you visited it?

Have you added the 21stC Web site to your "bookmarks" or "favorites"?

If you have not made 21stC a "bookmark" or "favorite," do you plan to do so?

Here are some reasons that you might visit the Web site. Check as many as appropriate.
To read fuller treatments of articles or symposia than the magazine has space to publish
To ask questions of, or respond to, authors of articles
To join in "chat room" exchanges with other readers
To ask questions of, or respond to, the editors

Section VI - Request

Would you consider sharing information about your research for 21stC (and, if so, could you briefly describe the subject)?