Determining which science magazines are the best depends a little on the taste of different individuals. People are interested in different kinds of science and since different magazines offer different information, they might not always be what one is trying to get.
Below I will nevertheless list a few of the very good science magazines around. These magazines are primarily made for the popular market, meaning they do not delve into methodological questions, but merely look at the issue from a popular perspective. This does not mean that they are of no interest to scientists, of course.
So here they are – in no particular order:
National Geographic is issued on a monthly basis. The magazine offers general information on the latest in science and history. The magazine takes great pride in its photojournalism.
Sky & Telescope Magazine
Sky & Telescope Magazine is issued 12 times a year. The magazine has been published since 1941, and is thus one of the oldest popular science magazines. The magazine’s main topic is astronomy and the magazine is filled with the latest news on the topic. Reviews of the necessary products for hobby astronomers or professionals are part of the full package.
Natural History is issued ten times a year. The magazine focuses on nature, the environment and celestial bodies. It includes features on astronomy, national forests and nature photography.
Scientific American Magazine
Scientific American Magazine is issued 12 times a year. The magazine focuses on recent events in the world of science.
New Scientist is issued every week and deals with a wide specter of issues in science. The appeal of the magazine is primarily to those interested in popular science.
Science News Magazine
Science News Magazine is issued every second week and it covers recent research findings in all fields of medicine and sciences. The magazine is thus more professional and appeals also to professional scientists. The publication is not without interest to other people, however.
American Scientist Magazine
American Scientist Magazine is issued six times a year and focuses on general science and technology. The magazine runs special articles written by well known scientists.
Air & Space Magazine
Air & Space Magazine is issued six times a year and focuses – as the name indicates – on issues that relate to flying. Articles focus on historical or technological aspects of flying.
The Smithsonian Magazine is issued 12 times a year. The publication covers history, nature, science and arts.