We’re closing down our comment section

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Science News has always valued feedback from readers. And that is not going to change.

We value our readers’ input at Science News. Truly. Whether it’s enthusiasm, praise, criticism or a probing question, your feedback helps us understand what resonates, what doesn’t, and where we need to do better.

As we share the latest news in science with our growing audience online, we have offered many avenues for readers to share feedback. Increasingly we realize that the public comment section on our website is no longer working to foster conversations around scientific discovery and our coverage. Try as we might, spam slips through the cracks. Some comments have nothing to do with an article’s subject, and they spark interactions that can be off-topic and off-putting.

Unfortunately, those comments have drowned out feedback from people who are truly interested and engaged with what we do. And like at other news organizations, over time the number of comments has declined to the point where, in most cases, only a few people comment on each story. While many of those comments are considerate, witty and enlightening, the small number of participants limits conversation.

After much discussion here and with people at other news organizations, we’ve decided to focus on other avenues of communication. Next week, we are relaunching the Science News website without a comment section. Instead, you’ll be able to reach us through feedback@sciencenews.org with your questions and comments. We encourage you to join the conversation with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit. And we still welcome good old physical letters.

Thank you to those who have contributed in constructive ways and made the comment section an interesting and thought-provoking place to visit. We look forward to more conversations with you.

Mike is the audience engagement editor. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a double major in journalism and psychology. He previously wrote for The Palm Beach Post, covering breaking news.

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