Privacy Policy


Privacy Policy
Effective Date:  December 13, 2013  
We at Scientific American, a division of Nature America, Inc. respect  your privacy and value the relationship we have with you. This Privacy Notice describes how we collect personal information on our website, how we use that information, and the parties with whom we may share it. Our Privacy Notice also describes the measures we take to protect the security of the information we collect.

We also provide instructions for updating your contact information, managing your newsletters and alerts, and changing your preferences regarding the postal mail and email communications that you receive from Scientific American or third parties.

Information We Collect

We collect information about you when you engage in the following activities on  

Site Registration

When you register (create an “Account”) you are required to provide your name, postal address, and email address (subject to confirmation).   You must also agree to our Terms of Use. While registration is voluntary, it is required to access certain site features such as Commenting, and to sign up for Newsletters and Alerts. 

Purchase Products, Services, or Subscriptions

When you make a purchase on our site, you register and create an “Account”.   You are required to provide your name, address, email address (subject to confirmation).   If you purchase a product, service, or subscription as a gift you must also provide the name(s), address(s) and email address(s) for your gift recipient(s).  You must agree to our Terms of Use.  Additionally, you must submit a valid credit card number for payment of your purchases.   Your credit card number will be encrypted and retained to facilitate future purchases and process subscription renewals (if applicable).
Complete a Survey or Join a Panel

We occasionally ask visitors to our website to complete online surveys or to participate in user panels.  Your participation in these surveys and panels helps Scientific American meet your expectations.    When we form a user or reader panel, we will request that you provide your name, full postal address and email address.   For surveys, we may request that respondents include their contact information to facilitate any follow up questionnaires. 
Enter a Sweepstakes, Contest, Giveaway or Other Promotion

In the event you enter a contest, sweepstakes, giveaway or other online promotion sponsored by Scientific American, Scientific American in partnership with another organization, or sponsored solely by a third party, you will be required to provide your name, full postal address, and email address.  You may be required to confirm your understanding of promotion rules.   Your participation in some online promotions may require site registration.

Passive Collection of Information

Cookies are small text files that websites often store on the computer hard drives of visitors to their sites. A cookie contains a unique code, which is used to recognize a computer when a user of that computer returns to a Web site that was visited previously. The "help" portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how to stop accepting new cookies, how to be notified when you receive a new cookie, and how to disable existing cookies. However, in order to use certain features of our websites, users must have the "cookie" function on their browsers enabled. We use cookies to store visitors preferences, record session information, such as items that consumers add to their shopping cart, alert visitors to new areas that we think might be of interest to them when they return to our site, record past activity at a site in order to provide better service when visitors return to our site, ensure that visitors are not repeatedly sent the same banner ads and customize Web page content based on visitors' browser type or other information that the visitor sends.

How We Use Information We Collect

When we collect information, we  use that information in connection with the purpose for which you submitted it (for example, to fulfill your subscription,  confirm an order, to deliver your newsletter or alert, or to  permit your participation in our blogs, surveys or panels).  We may also use the information we collect to send you information on products we think may be of interest to you. .  Finally, the information we collect is used to improve our Web site, used to customize the content and/or layout of our page for each individual visitor and used to notify consumers about updates to our Web site.

Information We Share

We may share the information you provide with companies that are affiliated with Scientific American, a division of Nature America, Inc.  We also share information with service providers we have retained to perform services on our behalf, such as subscription fulfillment.    If your information was obtained through your participation into a contest, sweepstakes, giveaway or other promotion sponsored or co-sponsored by a business partner, we may share your information with that partner. We will share information with business partners to permit them to fulfill a product or service that you purchased on our site.  In addition, we may share information about you with non-affiliated third parties whose products or services we believe may be of interest to you. These third parties may contact you about their products and services or we may contact you on their behalf. We will not share your information with these third parties for their own marketing purposes if you request that we not do so.   In addition, we may disclose information about you (i) if we are required to do so by law, (ii) in response to legal process, (iii) to law enforcement authorities or other government officials, or (iv) when we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to prevent physical harm or financial loss or in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity. We reserve the right to transfer any information we have about you in the event we sell or transfer all or a portion of our business or assets. Should such a sale or transfer occur, we will use reasonable efforts to try to ensure that the transferee uses personal information you have provided in a manner that is consistent with this Privacy Notice.

Links to Other Websites

Links to third-party websites may be provided for your convenience. These sites operate independently from These sites may have their own privacy notices, which we recommend that you review. We are not responsible for the content published on these sites, or for any products or services offered through these sites, or any other use of these sites. accepts third-party advertising.  When you click through an ad placed on our site, ad server companies may collect information such as your domain type, your IP address and click-stream information. For further information, consult the privacy policies of any advertiser sites you visit.

How to Modify your Preferences

Registered users may modify their Newsletter and Alert subscriptions by logging onto “My Account” on  Registered users may also modify their preferences for email communications from Scientific American and third parties by logging onto “My Account.”
Print subscribers may opt out of receiving postal mail communications from third parties by writing (Scientific American) and (Scientific American Mind).

For other inquiries regarding this Privacy Notice, please write to


Technical, physical and administrative methods are to protect your personal information.

When you submit information for a credit card transaction through our subscription pages, we use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software to encrypt the information during transmission.

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