How Science for the People Magazine Outlasts the Pandemic


How Science for the People Magazine Outlasts the Pandemic

May 15, 2020

Dear SftP Subscribers, Supporters, and Friends,

We dearly hope this message finds you and yours healthy and safe. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened and accelerated the violence of capitalism; if you need aid from, or have the capacity to help with, Science for the People’s response to COVID-19, please reach out: Science for the People activists have set up a COVID-19 response slack channel and sign-up form for those who can help, and local chapters are responding in their communities.

Our need to understand—and act on—the politics of science does not go away during a pandemic. If anything, it’s more urgent than ever. So while Science for the People, the organization, works to build a better world in response to this crisis, Science for the People, the magazine, is proud to continue publishing. Our third issue, “Science Under Occupation,” is printing now, and will be available online and distributed at the beginning of next month. And our collectives for the next two issues, “Fighting for a People’s Green New Deal” and “Bio-Politics,” are hard at work editing articles and assembling stories.

So that we can focus on paying our authors, artists, and designers for their important work, the rest of our magazine is volunteer-run, from the editorial collectives who make each issue happen to the managing editor, treasurer, and many proofreaders and designers who make each issue shine. Their committed volunteer labor ensures as much of your support as possible goes directly to the contributors who fill the magazine’s pages with reporting, commentary, and illustrations. 

Artwork by Matteo Farinella

But printing the magazine is not free. In fact, printing and shipping to you represents the vast majority of our expenses—outweighing even what we pay contributors. Thanks to our generous Kickstarter backers, the magazine had the cash to afford a substantial deficit during our first few issues, but it has long been clear that many more subscribers, or much lower costs, would be needed for us to reach financial sustainability. With our supporters and potential subscribers devoting their organizing and financial capacity to urgent responses towards survival, it is now clear we won’t see that growth in the next few months.

We are therefore producing our next issue, “Fighting For a People’s Green New Deal,” as a digital edition only; subscribers, like Patreon supporters, will receive a beautiful PDF, which we will also make available to chapters who can sell it in a way that suits them. We know this decision will disappoint those of you who bought subscriptions expecting paper copies of “Fighting for a People’s Green New Deal,” “Bio-Politics,” and issues beyond. We hope you can continue to support the work that you found so important when you subscribed.

By offering this magazine digital-only, we are able to discount our subscriptions, while reserving more money to pay contributors.

One-year subscriptions are discounted to $29 (formerly $45)
Three-year subscriptions are discounted to $79 (formerly $115)
If your subscription started with “The Return of Radical Science,” renew now to receive “Fighting for a People’s Green New Deal”!

We’re grateful to our Patreon subscribers for their support and solidarity as well. Stay tuned for online events just for them, coming soon!

This decision was made in consultation with the People’s Green New Deal editorial collective in order to allow us to distribute essential commentary on a pressing issue this summer. For future issues, we want your input. Please email us or fill out this survey to help us understand how Science for the People magazine can continue to be a valuable voice for justice in science during and after this pandemic.

In solidarity,
Science for the People Business Development Committee

P.S. If you’re a current subscriber to Science for the People magazine, watch for an email in the coming days with information on managing your subscription online.