Hunting the Yeti with "Popular Science"


The Popular Science archives—Google-digitzed versions of whole issues stretching back to the beginning of the 20th century—will never not be awesome. Reading these magazines can teach you a lot about the culture and history of science. It's also a nice way for journalists, like me, to remind ourselves about how very easy it is to get our jobs wrong.

For instance, just because the Royal Geographic Society is sending an expedition to the Himalayas to hunt for the Abominable Snowman doesn't mean the Abominable Snowman definitely exists. In this story, from a gallery of Pop Sci articles about pseudoscience (some appropriately skeptical, some … not), it's easy to see the writer getting so caught up in the excitement of the hunt that he stopped questioning whether there was really anything to hunt for. It's a fun read. And a nice kick in the pants.