is a weekly non-peer-reviewed English-language international science magazine
In academic publishing, a scientific journal is a periodical publication intended to further the progress of science, usually by reporting new research. There are thousands of scientific journals in publication, and many more have been published at various points in the past...
, which since 1996 has also run a website, covering recent developments in science and technology for a general audience. Founded in 1956, it is published by Reed Business Information Ltd, a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier
Reed Elsevier is a publisher and information provider operating in the science, medical, legal, risk and business sectors. It is listed on several of the world's major stock exchanges. It is a FTSE 100 and FT500 Global company...
. The company Albert E. Reed acquired New Scientist when it merged with IPC Magazines in 1970, retaining the magazine when it sold most of its consumer magazines in a management buyout
A management buyout is a form of acquisition where a company's existing managers acquire a large part or all of the company.- Overview :Management buyouts are similar in all major legal aspects to any other acquisition of a company...
to what is now IPC Media
IPC Media , a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Inc., is a consumer magazine and digital publisher in the United Kingdom, with a large portfolio selling over 350 million copies each year.- Origins :...
The magazine covers current developments, news, and commentary from the scientific community, including environmental issues such as climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...
. It also prints speculative articles, ranging from the technical to the philosophical. There is a readers' letters section which discusses recent articles, and discussion on the website.
is based in London, England, and publishes UK, U.S. and Australian editions. Roger Highfield became editor in 2008.
An article published on their 10th year anniversary gives some anecdotes on the founding.
The British science magazine Science Journal
, published 1965–71, was merged with the New Scientist
to form New Scientist and Science Journal
The general look and feel of New Scientist changed over the years, like all magazines. In the early days the cover had a text list of articles, rather than a picture. Pages were numbered sequentially for an entire volume of many issues, as is usual for scientific publications, so that the first page of a March issue might be 651; later each issue's pages were numbered separately starting with 1. Colour was not used except for blocks of colour on the cover. Typefaces and layout were firmly of their day. In 1964 there was a regular "Science in British Industry" section with several items. And the price increased over the years from a shilling to several pounds.
Some regular features disappeared over the years: the Grimbledon Down
Grimbledon Down was a comic strip by British cartoonist Bill Tidy, which ran in New Scientist magazine from March 26, 1970 until March 26, 1994.The strip was set in a fictitious UK government research lab...
comic strip about a research establishment run by the hapless Treem; Ariadne
David E. H. Jones is best known as Daedalus, the fictional inventor for DREADCO. Jones' columns as Daedalus were published weekly in the New Scientist starting in the mid-sixties. He then moved on to the journal Nature, and continued to publish for many years. He published two books with columns...
, later with Nature
Nature, first published on 4 November 1869, is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports...
, commenting every week on the lighter side of science and technology and the plausible but impractical humorous inventions of (fictitious) inventor Daedalus
Daedalus is a fictional inventor created by David E. H. Jones for his Ariadne column in the New Scientist and The Guardian, and which is currently featured in Nature.Daedalus's imaginary inventions are solidly grounded in science —...
, often developed by the (fictitious) DREADCO corporation.
New Scientist always runs many pages of advertisements for jobs in the field of science, currently as the last section of the magazine. In the early days they were in a "Classified Advertisements" section with subsections "Official Appointments", "Appointments and Situations Vacant", and very little else (e.g., "Travel", with a list of coach holidays and prices). The general classified section was dropped in favour of what in 2011 is "NewScientist Jobs". In addition to more mundane advertising (cars, computers, airlines), advertisements for things of interest to scientists and technologist are interspersed with the magazine's text.
New Scientist has a website
on which content is available. Access to blogs and limited news articles is available to anybody; users with free-of-charge registration have limited access to new content, and can receive emailed New Scientist newsletters. Subscribers to the print edition have full access to all articles and the archive of past content. online-only subscriptions were available, but only to subscribers in North America.The website also has special reports on many topics.
The magazine had a weekly podcast, SciPod, which was discontinued in October 2007.
In late 2004 NewScientist.com added a subdomain, "nomoresocks" (No More Socks), where visitors could search for, rate and discuss innovative gifts. Use of the site dropped considerably by June 2005, and the section has since been retired.
From mid-2006 some New Scientist
content was made available to users of Newsvine
Newsvine is a community-powered, collaborative journalism news website, owned by msnbc.com, which draws content from its users and syndicated content from mainstream sources such as The Associated Press...
, a community-driven social news web site.
in the browser.
In 2010 New Scientist
started The S Word
, a blog providing a forum for the discussion of "The science of politics – and vice versa". This was a part of an influential wider attempt to raise the profile of science in the general election of 2010 in the UK.
According to Technorati
, NewScientist.com is the 14th in the list of most-linked-to news organisations and the only science and technology specialist in the top 100.
NewScientist.com is organized into several sub-sections. The main site includes a list of news stories and features.
The technology site
, environment site
and space site
were retired in 2008, with the content being integrated into the main NewScientist.com site. The site also includes a blog, on a range of topics from inventions to "short sharp" science.
In September 2006, New Scientist
was criticised by science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...
writer Greg Egan
Greg Egan is an Australian science fiction author.Egan published his first work in 1983. He specialises in hard science fiction stories with mathematical and quantum ontology themes, including the nature of consciousness...
, who wrote that "a sensationalist bent and a lack of basic knowledge by its writers" was making the magazine's coverage sufficiently unreliable "to constitute a real threat to the public understanding of science". In particular, Egan found himself "gobsmacked by the level of scientific illiteracy" in the magazine's coverage of Roger Shawyer's "electromagnetic drive
EmDrive is the name of a spacecraft propulsion system proposed, and reportedly developed, by Roger Shawyer. New Scientist ran a cover story on EmDrive in its 8 September 2006 issue. The device is a magnetron with a specially shaped, fully enclosed tapering resonator cavity whose area is greater...
", where New Scientist
allowed the publication of "meaningless double-talk" designed to bypass a fatal objection to Shawyer's proposed space drive, namely that it violates the law of conservation of momentum. Egan urged others to write to New Scientist
and pressure the magazine to raise its standards, instead of "squandering the opportunity that the magazine's circulation and prestige provides".
The editor of New Scientist
, then Jeremy Webb, replied defending the article, saying that it is "an ideas magazine—that means writing about hypotheses as well as theories".
In January 2009, New Scientist
ran a cover with the title "Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...
was wrong". The actual story stated that specific details of Darwin's evolution theory had been shown wrong, mainly the shape of phylogenetic trees of interrelated species. However, prominent champions of evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...
engaged in opposing intelligent design
Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...
beliefs thought the cover was both sensationalist and damaging to the scientific community. Dr. Jerry Coyne
-Online articles:* , The New Republic* , The New Republic* , The New Republic* ", The New Republic * -Online articles:* , The New Republic* , The New Republic* , The New Republic* ", The New Republic (Review of Michael Behe's The Edge of Evolution)* -Online articles:* , The New Republic* , The...
, author of the book Why Evolution is True
(ISBN 0199230846) and its related blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...
, called for a boycott of the magazine, which was supported by prominent evolutionary biologists Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...
and P.Z. Myers.
Over the years New Scientist
has published several series of books derived from its content. Most recently it has compiled seven very successful books of selected questions and answers from the Last Word
section of the magazine and the Last Word website
- 1998. The Last Word. ISBN 978-0192861993
- 2000. The Last Word 2. ISBN 978-0192862044
- 2005. Does Anything Eat Wasps? And 101 Other Questions. ISBN 978-1861979735
- 2006. Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze? And 114 Other Questions. ISBN 978-1861978769
- 2007. How to Fossilise Your Hamster: And Other Amazing Experiments For The Armchair Scientist. ISBN 978-1846680441
- 2008. Do Polar Bears Get Lonely?: And 101 Other Intriguing Science Questions. ISBN 978-1846681301
- 2010. Why Can't Elephants Jump?: And 113 More Science Questions Answered. ISBN 978-1846683985
- 2011. Why Are Orangutans Orange?: Science Questions In Picture - With Fascinating Answers. ISBN 978-1846685071