New Scientist, first published on 22 November 1956, is a weekly, English-language magazine that covers all aspects of science and technology. New Scientist, based in London, publishes editions in the UK, the United States, and Australia. Since 1996 it has been available online.
Sold in retail outlets (paper edition) and on subscription (paper and/or online), the magazine covers news, features, reviews and commentary on science, technology and their implications. New Scientist also publishes speculative articles, ranging from the technical to the philosophical.
New Scientist cover, issue 3197 dated 29 September 2018
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The magazine was founded in 1956 by Tom Margerison, Max Raison and Nicholas Harrison as The New Scientist, with Issue 1 on 22 November, priced one shilling (£0.05 as 20 shillings in the £; £1.23 today). The British monthly science magazine Science Journal, published 1965–71, was merged with New Scientist to form New Scientist and Science Journal.
Originally, the cover of New Scientist listed articles in plain text. Initially, page numbering followed academic practice with sequential numbering for each quarterly volume. So, for example, the first page of an issue in March could be 649 instead of 1. Later issues numbered issues separately. From the beginning of 1961 "The" was dropped from the title.
From 1965, the front cover was illustrated. Until the 1970s, colour was not used except for on the cover. Since its first issue, New Scientist has written about the applications of science, through its coverage of technology. For example, the first issue included an article "Where next from Calder Hall?" on the future of nuclear power in the UK, a topic that it has covered throughout its history. In 1964 there was a regular "Science in British Industry" section with several items. An article in the magazine's 10th anniversary issues provides anecdotes on the founding of the magazine.
In 1970, the Reed Group, which went on to become Reed Elsevier, acquired New Scientist when it merged with IPC Magazines. Reed retained the magazine when it sold most of its consumer titles in a management buyout to what is now TI Media.
Throughout most of its history, New Scientist has published cartoons as light relief and comment on the news, with contributions from regulars such as Mike Peyton and David Austin. The Grimbledon Down comic strip, by cartoonist Bill Tidy, appeared from 1970 to 1994. The Ariadne pages in New Scientist commented on the lighter side of science and technology and included contributions from Daedalus. The fictitious inventor devised plausible but impractical and humorous inventions, often developed by the (fictitious) DREADCO corporation. Daedalus later moved to Nature. Issues of (The) New Scientist from Issue 1 to the end of 1989 have been made free to read online. Subsequent issues require a subscription.
In the first half of 2013, the international circulation of New Scientist averaged 125,172. While this was a 4.3% reduction on the previous year's figure, it was a much smaller reduction in circulation than many mainstream magazines of similar or greater circulation. For the 2014 UK circulation fell by 3.2% but stronger international sales, increased the circulation to 129,585. See also #Website below.
In April 2017, New Scientist changed hands when RELX Group, formerly known as Reed Elsevier, sold the magazine to Kingston Acquisitions, a group set up by Sir Bernard Gray, Louise Rogers and Matthew O’Sullivan to acquire New Scientist. Kingston Acquisitions then renamed itself New Scientist Ltd.
New Scientist currently contains the following sections: Leader, News (Upfront), Technology, Opinion (interviews, point-of-view articles and letters), Features (including cover article), CultureLab (book and event reviews), Feedback (humour), The Last Word (questions and answers) and Jobs & Careers. A Tom Gauld cartoon appears on the Letters page. A readers' letters section discusses recent articles and discussions also take place on the website. Readers contribute observations on examples of pseudoscience to Feedback, and offer questions and answers on scientific and technical topics to Last Word. New Scientist has produced a series of books compiled from contributions to Last Word.
There are 51 issues a year, with a Christmas and New Year double issue. The double issue in 2014 was the 3,000th edition of the magazine.
The Editor-in-chief is Emily Wilson, Executive Editor is Graham Lawton, Managing Editor is Rowan Hooper and Editor-at-Large is Jeremy Webb.  Consultants include Fred Pearce (environment), Marcus Chown (cosmology), and Linda Geddes (biomedicine). Simon Ings and former editor Alun Anderson are contributors.)
The New Scientist website carries blogs, reports and news articles. 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.
Online readership takes various forms. Overall global views of an online database of over 100,000 articles are 8.0m by 3.6m unique users according to Adobe Reports & Analytics, as of September 2014. On social media there are 1.47m+ Twitter followers, 2.3m+ Facebook likes and 365,000+ Google+ followers as of January 2015.
New Scientist has published books derived from its content, many of which are selected questions and answers from the Last Word section of the magazine and website:
Other books published by New Scientist include:
New Scientist has also worked with other publishers to produce books based on the magazine's content:
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. In the same year the magazine launched a dating service, NewScientistConnect, operated by The Dating Lab.
A Dutch edition of New Scientist was launched in June 2015, replacing the former Natuurwetenschap & Techniek (NWT) magazine. The monthly magazine, published by Veen Media, is sold in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Since 2016 New Scientist has held an annual science festival in London. Styled New Scientist Live, the event has attracted high-profile scientists and science presenters.
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". 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 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 a web instead of a tree. Some evolutionary biologists who actively oppose the intelligent design movement thought the cover was both sensationalist and damaging to the scientific community. 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.
Aspies For Freedom (AFF) is a solidarity and campaigning group that aimed at raising public awareness of the autism rights movement. The aim of Aspies For Freedom is to educate the public that the autism spectrum is not always a disability, and that there are advantages as well as disadvantages. For this purpose, the group organizes an annual Autistic Pride Day. AFF provides support for the autistic community and protests attempts to cure autism.Established in 2004 by Amy and Gareth Nelson, AFF has received coverage from publications such as New Scientist magazine. As of August 2007, The Guardian estimated the group's membership at 20,000. Rob Crossan, writing for the BBC, mentioned their belief that higher functioning autistics are often in possession of extraordinary talents in the fields of mathematics, memory, music or arts.Brian Josephson
Brian David Josephson (born 4 January 1940) is a Welsh theoretical physicist and professor emeritus of physics at the University of Cambridge. Best known for his pioneering work on superconductivity and quantum tunnelling, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 for his prediction of the Josephson effect, made in 1962 when he was a 22-year-old PhD student at Cambridge University. Josephson is the only Welshman to have won a Nobel Prize in Physics. He shared the prize with physicists Leo Esaki and Ivar Giaever, who jointly received half the award for their own work on quantum tunnelling.Josephson has spent his academic career as a member of the Theory of Condensed Matter group at Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory. He has been a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge since 1962, and served as professor of physics from 1974 until 2007.In the early 1970s Josephson took up transcendental meditation and turned his attention to issues outside the boundaries of mainstream science. He set up the Mind–Matter Unification Project at the Cavendish to explore the idea of intelligence in nature, the relationship between quantum mechanics and consciousness, and the synthesis of science and Eastern mysticism, broadly known as quantum mysticism. Those interests have led him to express support for topics such as parapsychology, water memory and cold fusion, and have made him a focus of criticism from fellow scientists.Carl Sargent
Carl Lynwood Sargent (1952 – 12 September 2018) was a British parapsychologist and author of several roleplaying game-based products and novels, using the pen name Keith Martin to write Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.Conservapedia
Conservapedia is an English-language wiki encyclopedia project written from an American conservative point of view. The website was started in 2006 by American homeschool teacher and attorney Andrew Schlafly, son of the late conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, to counter what he perceived as a liberal bias present in Wikipedia. It uses editorials and a wiki-based system to generate content.
Examples of Conservapedia's ideology include its accusations against and strong criticism of former U.S. President Barack Obama – including belief in the "birther" conspiracy theory – along with criticisms of atheism, homosexuality, the Democratic Party, evolution, and Wikipedia's alleged liberal bias. Furthermore, it views the theory of relativity as promoting moral relativism, claims there is a proven link between abortion and breast cancer, praises a number of Republican politicians, supports celebrities and artistic works that it believes represent moral standards in line with Christian family values, and accepts fundamentalist Christian doctrines such as Young Earth creationism. Conservapedia's "Conservative Bible Project" is a crowd-sourced retranslation of the English-language Bible which Conservapedia claims will be "free of corruption by liberal untruths".The site has received negative reactions from the mainstream media, as well as from notable political figures, including commentators and journalists; and has been criticized by liberal and conservative critics alike for bias and inaccuracies.Conservapedia had over 46,000 articles in August 2018.Electronic paper
Electronic paper and e-paper, also sometimes electronic ink or e-ink, are display devices that mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper. Unlike conventional backlit flat panel displays that emit light, electronic paper displays reflect light like paper. This may make them more comfortable to read, and provide a wider viewing angle than most light-emitting displays. The contrast ratio in electronic displays available as of 2008 approaches newspaper, and newly (2008) developed displays are slightly better. An ideal e-paper display can be read in direct sunlight without the image appearing to fade.
Many electronic paper technologies hold static text and images indefinitely without electricity. Flexible electronic paper uses plastic substrates and plastic electronics for the display backplane. There is ongoing competition among manufacturers to provide full-color ability.
Applications of electronic visual displays include electronic pricing labels in retail shops and digital signage, time tables at bus stations, electronic billboards, smartphone displays, and e-readers able to display digital versions of books and magazines.Fred Espenak
Fred Espenak (born 1953) is a retired emeritus American astrophysicist. He worked at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He is best known for his work on eclipse predictions.He became interested in astronomy when he was 7–8 years old, and had his first telescope when he was around 9–10 years old. Espenak earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Wagner College, Staten Island, where he worked in the planetarium. His master's degree is from the University of Toledo, based on studies he did at Kitt Peak Observatory of eruptive and flare stars among red dwarfs.
He was employed at Goddard Space Flight Center, where he used infrared spectrometers to measure the atmosphere of planets in the Solar System. He provided NASA's eclipse bulletins since 1978. He is the author of several canonical works on eclipse predictions, such as the Fifty Year Canon of Solar Eclipses: 1986–2035 and Fifty Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses: 1986–2035, both of which are standard references on eclipses. The first eclipse he saw was the solar eclipse of March 7, 1970, which sparked his interest in eclipses, and he has since seen over 20 eclipses. He is co-author with Jean Meeus of Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses, which covers all types of solar eclipses (partial, total, annular, or hybrid) from 2000 BCE to AD 3000. He is also a co-author (with Mark Littmann and Ken Willcoxof) of Totality: Eclipses of the Sun.He was the co-investigator of an atmospheric experiment flown on Space Shuttle Discovery.He is also known as "Mr. Eclipse." He gives public lectures on eclipses and astrophotophy. Astronomical photographs taken by Espenak have been published in National Geographic, Newsweek, Nature, New Scientist, and Ciel et Espace magazines.He retired in 2009. Asteroid 14120 Espenak was named in his honor in 2003.Gene therapy
In the medicine field gene therapy (also called human gene transfer) is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid into a patient's cells as a drug to treat disease. The first attempt at modifying human DNA was performed in 1980 by Martin Cline, but the first successful nuclear gene transfer in humans, approved by the National Institutes of Health, was performed in May 1989. The first therapeutic use of gene transfer as well as the first direct insertion of human DNA into the nuclear genome was performed by French Anderson in a trial starting in September 1990.
Between 1989 and February 2016, over 2,300 clinical trials were conducted, with more than half of them in phase I.
Not all medical procedures that introduce alterations to a patient's genetic makeup can be considered gene therapy. Bone marrow transplantation and organ transplants in general have been found to introduce foreign DNA into patients. Gene therapy is defined by the precision of the procedure and the intention of direct therapeutic effect.Io9
io9 is a blog launched in 2008 by Gawker Media, which focuses on the subjects of science fiction, fantasy, futurism, science, technology and related areas. It was founded by Annalee Newitz, a former policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and contributor to Popular Science, Wired, and New Scientist. Other contributors included co-founding editors Charlie Jane Anders and Kevin Kelly, in addition to Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG), Graeme McMillan (Newsarama), Meredith Woerner, Alasdair Wilkins, Cyriaque Lamar, Tim Barribeau, Esther Inglis-Arkell, Lauren Davis, Robbie Gonzalez, Keith Veronese, George Dvorsky, and Lynn Peril. Between October 2010 and January 2012 io9 hosted the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast, produced by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley.List of scientific journals
The following is a partial list of scientific journals. There are thousands of scientific journals in publication, and many more have been published at various points in the past. The list given here is far from exhaustive, only containing some of the most influential, currently publishing journals in each field. As a rule of thumb, each field should be represented by more or less than ten positions, chosen by their impact factors and other ratings.
Note: there are many science magazines that are not scientific journals, including Scientific American, New Scientist, Australasian Science and others. They are not listed here.
For periodicals in the social sciences and humanities, see list of social science journals.Loch Ness Monster
In Scottish folklore, the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie is a creature said to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is often described as large in size with a long neck and one or more humps protruding from the water. Popular interest and belief in the creature has varied since it was brought to worldwide attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with a few disputed photographs and sonar readings.
The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a phenomenon without biological basis, explaining sightings as hoaxes, wishful thinking, and the misidentification of mundane objects.Nominative determinism
Nominative determinism is the hypothesis that people tend to gravitate towards areas of work that fit their names. The term was first used in the magazine New Scientist in 1994, after the magazine's humorous Feedback column noted several studies carried out by researchers with remarkably fitting surnames. These included a book on polar explorations by Daniel Snowman and an article on urology by researchers named Splatt and Weedon. These and other examples led to light-hearted speculation that some sort of psychological effect was at work. Since the term appeared, nominative determinism has been an irregularly recurring topic in New Scientist, as readers continue to submit examples. Nominative determinism differs from the related concept aptronym, and its synonyms aptonym, namephreak, and Perfect Fit Last Name, in that it focusses on causality. "Aptronym" merely means the name is fitting, without saying anything about why it has come to fit.
The idea that people are drawn to professions that fit their name was suggested by psychologist Carl Jung, citing as an example Sigmund Freud who studied pleasure and whose surname means "joy". A few recent empirical studies have indicated that certain professions are disproportionately represented by people with appropriate surnames (and sometimes given names), though the methods of these studies have been challenged. One explanation for nominative determinism is implicit egotism, which states that humans have an unconscious preference for things they associate with themselves. An alternative explanation is genetic: a person might be named Smith or Taylor because that was originally their occupation, and they would pass on their genes to their descendants, including an aptitude for activities involving strength in the case of Smith, or dexterity in the case of Taylor.Possibilianism
Possibilianism is a philosophy which rejects both the diverse claims of traditional theism and the positions of certainty in strong atheism in favor of a middle, exploratory ground. The term was invented by Robbie Parrish, a friend of neuroscientist David Eagleman who defined the term in relation to his book of fiction Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives.RAS syndrome
RAS syndrome (where "RAS" stands for "redundant acronym syndrome", making the phrase "RAS syndrome" self-referential) is the use of one or more of the words that make up an acronym (or other initialism) in conjunction with the abbreviated form. This means, in effect, repeating one or more words from the acronym. Two common examples are "PIN number"/ "VIN number" (the "N" in PIN and VIN stands for "number") and "ATM machine" (the "M" in ATM stands for "machine"). The term RAS syndrome was coined in 2001 by New Scientist.Usage of these redundant acronyms is advised against by many style guides, but they continue to have widespread usage in colloquial speech.RF resonant cavity thruster
A radio frequency (RF) resonant cavity thruster, also known as an EmDrive, is a hypothesized type of propellant-free thruster that was proposed in 2001 by Roger Shawyer. No plausible theory of operation for such drives has been proposed; the theories that were proposed were shown to be inconsistent with known laws of physics, including conservation of momentum and conservation of energy.Several prototypes of this concept have been constructed and tested, including by the Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory at NASA. Initially, a few tests of prototype drives were reported to produce a small apparent thrust, but subsequent testing has failed to reliably reproduce these results.Due to the lack of both a physically plausible theory of operation and of reliably reproducible evidence, many theoretical physicists and commentators consider the device unworkable, explaining the observed thrust as measurement errors. For that reason, various media platforms have referred to the engine as the Impossible Drive or the Impossible Space Drive.Retrograde and prograde motion
Retrograde motion in astronomy is, in general, orbital or rotational motion of an object in the direction opposite the rotation of its primary, that is the central object (right figure). It may also describe other motions such as precession or nutation of the object's rotational axis. Prograde or direct motion is motion in the same direction as the primary rotates. Rotation is determined by an inertial frame of reference, such as distant fixed stars. However, retrograde and prograde can also refer to an object other than the primary if so described.
In our Solar System, the orbits about the Sun of all planets and most other objects, except many comets, are prograde, i.e. in the same direction as the Sun rotates. The rotations of most planets, except Venus and Uranus, are also prograde. Most natural satellites have prograde orbits about their planets. Prograde satellites of Uranus orbit in the direction Uranus rotates, which is retrograde to the Sun. Retrograde satellites are generally small and distant from their planets, except Neptune's satellite Triton, which is large and close. All retrograde satellites are thought to have formed separately before being captured by their planets.Ruth Brandon
Ruth Brandon (born 1943) is a British journalist, historian and author.Stephen E. Braude
Stephen E. Braude (born April 17, 1945) is an American philosopher and parapsychologist. He is a past president of the Parapsychological Association, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, and a professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.ZooBank
ZooBank is an open access website intended to be the official International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) registry of zoological nomenclature. Any nomenclatural acts (e.g. publications that create or change a taxonomic name) need to be registered with ZooBank to be "officially" recognized by the ICZN Code of Nomenclature.
Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs) are used as the globally unique identifier for ZooBank registration entries.The ZooBank prototype was seeded with data from Index to Organism Names, which was compiled from the scientific literature in Zoological Record now owned by Thomson Reuters.
Major English-language science and technology magazines