digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















New Scientist
New Scientist 6 Feb 2010.jpg
New Scientist cover, 6 February 2010
Editor Sumit Paul-Choudhury
Categories Science
Frequency weekly
Total circulation
(June 2013)
Founder Tom Margerison[2]
First issue 22 November 1956
Company Reed Business Information Ltd
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Website www.newscientist.com
ISSN 0262-4079

New Scientist is a weekly non-peer-reviewed English-language international science magazine,[3] founded by Tom Margerison in 1956.[2] Since 1996 it has also run a website.

Sold in retail outlets and on subscription, the magazine covers current developments, news, reviews and commentary on science and technology. It also prints speculative articles, ranging from the technical to the philosophical. There is a readers' letters section which discusses recent articles, and discussions also take place on the website.

Readers contribute observations on examples of pseudoscience to Feedback, and questions and answers on scientific and technical topics to Last Word; extracts from the latter have been compiled into several books.

New Scientist is based in London, England, and publishes editions in the UK, the United States, and Australia. Sumit Paul-Choudhury became editor in 2011,[4] following Roger Highfield's move to the National Museum of Science and Industry in London.[5]


The magazine was founded in 1956 by Tom Margerison, a British science journalist and broadcaster.[2]

The British science magazine Science Journal, published 1965–71, was merged with New Scientist to form New Scientist and Science Journal.[6]

Originally, the cover had a text list of articles rather than a picture.[citation needed] Pages were numbered sequentially for an entire volume of many issues, as is the norm for academic journals (i.e., so that the first page of a March issue could be 651 instead of 1); later each issue's pages were numbered separately. Colour was not used except for blocks of colour on the cover. In 1964 there was a regular "Science in British Industry" section with several items.[7] An article published on their tenth anniversary provides some anecdotes on the founding of the magazine.[8]

In 1970, the company Albert E. Reed acquired New Scientist when it merged with IPC Magazines, retaining the magazine when it sold most of its consumer magazines in a management buyout to what is now IPC Media.

The Grimbledon Down comic strip appeared from 1970 to 1994. Ariadne, which later moved to Nature, commented every week on the lighter side of science and technology and the plausible but impractical humorous inventions of (fictitious) inventor Daedalus, often developed by the (fictitious) DREADCO corporation.[9]

As of the first half of 2013, the UK circulation averaged 125,172, a 4.3% reduction on the previous year's figure, but a considerably smaller reduction than many other mainstream magazines of similar or greater circulation.[10]


New Scientist runs advertisements for jobs and academic opportunities in the field of science. In the early days[when?] they were in a "Classified Advertisements" section with subsections "Official Appointments", "Appointments and Situations Vacant", and "Travel", with a list of coach holidays and prices. The general classified section was dropped in favour of what has become "NewScientist Jobs".

Other advertising (particularly but not exclusively of interest to scientists and technologists) is carried in the magazine.


The New Scientist website has blogs and limited news articles and 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 that has so far been digitised. As of 2012 a Web 30-day access pass was available, at different prices in different countries (e.g., US$19.95 in the United States).[11] 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 had dropped considerably by June 2005, and it was since discontinued.

From mid-2006 some New Scientist content was made available to users of Newsvine, a community-driven social news website.

From mid-December 2009 to March 2010 non-subscribers could read up to seven articles per month.

In November 2009 New Scientist started The S Word, a blog providing a forum for the discussion of "The science of politics – and vice versa". It was so named because "Despite the central role that science plays in our world, politicians often seem reluctant to engage with it", with the aim of the blog being to help "persuade politicians that 'the s word' belongs at the heart of political debate".[12]

The technology, environment and space sites were discontinued in 2008, with the content being integrated into the main NewScientist.com site. The site includes a blog on a range of topics from inventions to "short sharp" science.


Over the years New Scientist has published several series of books derived from its content. Most recently it has compiled seven books of selected questions and answers from the Last Word section of the magazine and the Last Word website.

Why Don't Penguins Feet Freeze? is largely a repackaging of selected material from the first two books, following the unexpected mass-market success of Does Anything Eat Wasps?

  • 2007. How to Fossilise Your Hamster: And Other Amazing Experiments For The Armchair Scientist. ISBN 978-1-84668-044-1
  • 2008. Do Polar Bears Get Lonely?: And 101 Other Intriguing Science Questions. ISBN 978-1-84668-130-1
  • 2009. How to Make a Tornado: The Strange and Wonderful Things That Happen When Scientists Break Free. ISBN 978-1846682872
  • 2010. Why Can't Elephants Jump?: And 113 More Science Questions Answered. ISBN 978-1-84668-398-5
  • 2011. Why Are Orangutans Orange?: Science Questions In Picture - With Fascinating Answers. ISBN 978-1-84668-507-1
  • 2012. Will We Ever Speak Dolphin?: And 130 Other Science Questions Answered. ISBN 978-1-78125-026-6

In 2012 Arc, "a new digital quarterly from the makers of New Scientist, exploring the future through the world of science fiction" and fact was launched.[13] It is available in several ebook formats, and a "collectable print edition".

Also in 2012 the magazine launched a dating service, NewScientistConnect, operated by The Dating Lab.

Appearances in popular culture[edit]


Greg Egan's criticism of the EmDrive article[edit]

In September 2006, New Scientist was criticised by science fiction writer Greg Egan, 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", 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".[16]

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".[17]

"Darwin was wrong" cover[edit]

In January 2009, New Scientist ran a cover with the title "Darwin was wrong". The actual story stated that specific details of Darwin's evolution theory had been shown incorrectly, mainly the shape of phylogenetic trees of interrelated species, which should be represented as web instead of tree.[18] Some evolutionary biologists who actively oppose the intelligent design movement thought the cover was both sensationalist and damaging to the scientific community.[18][19] Jerry Coyne, author of the book Why Evolution Is True, called for a boycott of the magazine, which was supported by evolutionary biologists Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mag ABCs: Full circulation round-up for the first half of 2013". Press Gazette. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Richmond, Caroline (2014-03-03). "Tom Margerison obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  3. ^ Krauss, Lawrence. "Commentary: Editors must be our gatekeepers". New Scientist, no. 2671, 27 August 2008, p. 46.
  4. ^ "Who's Who at New Scientist". New Scientist. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "About Roger Highfield". RogerHighfield.com. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  6. ^ National Library of Australia Bib ID 2298705
  7. ^ New Scientist, vol. 21 No. 382, 12 March 1964
  8. ^ Calder, Nigel (24 November 1966). "How New Scientist got started". New Scientist. 
  9. ^ New Scientist for 19 January 1978
  10. ^ "PressGazette circulation figures". Retrieved 4 Oct 2013. 
  11. ^ Web 30-day access pass
  12. ^ "Welcome to the S Word!". New Scientist. 24 November 2009. 
  13. ^ Arc URL, redirects to http://www.newscientist.com/arc
  14. ^ New Scientist (2013). "New Scientist - 11 February 1988 (on Google Books)". books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Friday Night Dinner - Reviews and Press Articles - British Comedy Guide
  16. ^ John C. Baez A Plea to Save New Scientist
  17. ^ Emdrive on trial
  18. ^ a b c Pharyngula: New Scientist flips the bird at scientists, again
  19. ^ The New Scientist has no shame–again! Why Evolution Is True blog, 21 March 2009.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Scientist — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

What Earth would be like if humans never existed

What was the planet like before Homo sapiens, and would it still be that way if we had never gone global? We rewind time, erase our ancestors, and hit play R...

Infinity in the real world: Does space go on forever?

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929300.700 We might have more success in explaining how the universe works if we abandoned the idea that s...

Big Bang breakthrough explained with towel and apple

Full story: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25254 Need a giant IQ to understand the announcement about gravitational waves? Nonsense. Our video explain...

How you can change the past

Full story: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21728971.600 Forget particles and waves. When it comes to the true guise of material reality, what's out th...

What is reality?

Full story here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528840.500 Even trying to define what we mean by "reality" is fraught with difficulty.

Why only the smartest animals make friends

Full story: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229700.400 Whether you're a human or a horse, it takes a lot of brainpower to support a complex social gr...

How life on Earth began

Full story: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329820.500 What was the last shared ancestor of all life like? How did it make its living? A radical new ...

Why we live in 3D

The explanation of one of reality's greatest mysteries could lie in physics we already know Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929360.700.

Where 26 asteroids recently hit Earth

Full story: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25449 The network that monitors for covert nuclear weapons testing helped detect 26 asteroids entering Eart...

2000-year-old computer recreated

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026861.600 A working model of an ancient computer was recently recreated in London.

1000000 videos foundNext > 

3590 news items

New Scientist

New Scientist
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 09:52:30 -0700

Enjoy the pause in global warming while it lasts, because it's probably the last one we will get this century. Once temperatures start rising again, it looks like they will keep going up without a break for the rest of the century, unless we cut our ...
New Scientist
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:52:30 -0700

If you would like to reuse any content from New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndication department first for permission. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing options available ...

The Guardian

New Scientist
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:03:14 -0700

Most experts contacted by New Scientist agreed that the scratches were made by a Neanderthal more than 39,000 years ago. Tom Higham of the University of Oxford, who recently reassessed the dates of dozens of Neanderthal sites, says the grooves must ...
New Scientist
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:11:15 -0700

If you would like to reuse any content from New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndication department first for permission. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing options available ...

New Scientist

New Scientist
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 08:45:00 -0700

IN 1958, archaeologist Robert Dyson was excavating the long-buried citadel of Hasanlu in Iran when he came across this beautiful gold bowl (pictured, right). But after a moment in the international headlines, the bowl and citadel were largely forgotten.

New Scientist

New Scientist
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:14:34 -0700

Vitamins, minerals, fish oils… the list of nutritional supplements you can buy keeps growing. Some are worth it, some aren't. We sift the evidence for you. IN 1911, Polish chemist Casimir Funk made one of the most influential biomedical discoveries of ...
New Scientist
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:35:17 -0700

If you would like to reuse any content from New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndication department first for permission. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing options available ...
New Scientist
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:37 -0700

GUILTY as charged. Over the years, humans have often been accused of killing off our Neanderthal cousins, although climate change, stupidity and even bad luck have been blamed too. Now we are back in the frame. A reassessment of major archaeological ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About New Scientist

You can talk about New Scientist with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!