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The Journal Science Unveils New Science Population App for iPad Users

A new interactive, multimedia-enhanced iPad application from the journal Science features award-winning journalism and peer-reviewed research on global population growth and its impacts on education, health, quality of life, economics, and natural resources.

With the planet’s population clicking past 7 billion this year and projected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050, the new Science Population app pulls together authoritative content from the journal, plus additional videos, podcasts, and interactive graphics in a package that iPad users can explore when, where, and how they need it.

A screen capture from the Science Population app

Researchers expect almost all of the population growth over the next four decades to be concentrated in the world’s poorest countries, raising urgent questions such as how best to prevent food shortages. Yet, in other regions, populations of working-age people are expected to shrink, resulting in economic pressures. Science iPad app users can tap on a graphic “film strip,” then swipe viewing panes sideways, up, or down to interact with five media-rich sections of content on population-related issues. Readers can explore, for example, the long-running debate on whether family planning programs help reduce high fertility rates, the accuracy of current population prediction models, and whether more people may sometimes trigger positive economic shifts.

Science Publisher Beth Rosner, director of publishing and membership services at the nonprofit AAAS, said the new app represents another important step toward making high-quality scientific information accessible to an increasingly diverse global audience.

“By making this Science Population content available through the Apple App Store, we hope to introduce an even broader international community to science generally,” said Rosner. “Whether our readers are scientists and engineers, or high-school students and teachers, we want to play a role in promoting public interest in the scientific enterprise. We also hope of course that some app users will decide to support the AAAS mission by becoming members.”

Science previously rolled out Science Mobile, a free app through the Apple App Store and the Android Market, to make selected news content available to the public, and the journal’s Web sites are constantly undergoing enhancements to improve each visitor’s experience, said Stewart Wills, Science’s editorial director for the Web and new media.

“Like many Web publishers, we’re seeing steady increases in the percentage of users who access our content on mobile devices,” Wills said. “The new Science Population app is a natural evolution of what we’re doing on the Web. It’s an exciting opportunity to extend the scientific discussion on a vital topic.”

Ian King, director of marketing for AAAS and Science said: “A primary objective of the new Science Population app was to provide useful content through platforms that are both convenient and exciting for them. The iPad technology lets us leverage outstanding Science content to create a meaningful experience for our readers.”

The new app is available for $4.99 via the Apple App Store online. (Search for the Science Population app.) AAAS members also can access the Science Population iPad app by logging onto the MemberCentral Web site.

AAAS membership is open to all and conveys 51 issues of Science per year, plus other benefits such as Policy Alerts, Science Roundups, travel and product discounts, and more. Membership helps to support AAAS programmatic activities related to science literacy and education, science policy, international research collaboration and science diplomacy, and public engagement with science and technology. (Look for membership information online.)

The new app reflects work by a team of AAAS-Science staff, including Gilbert Chin, Corinna Cohn, Will Collins, Andrew Green, Martyn Green, Walter Jones, Ian King, Kerry Klein, Tara Marathe, Leslie Roberts, Andrew Whitesell, and Stewart Wills. Content for the new Science iPad app includes material from the journal’s special population edition of 29 July 2011.


Download the Science Population app at iTunes.

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