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Re: The 'New Scientist'

I suppose it might be worth adding to the thread that there has been quite a bit of criticism of New Scientist by the scientific community over two sensationalist-type articles in the past few years which have actually resulted in campaigns against the magazine being set up.

The first of these campaigns relates an article published in September 2006 called "Relativity drive: The end of wings and wheels?", which enthusiastically talked up an alternative energy idea proposed by a British engineer called Roger Shawyer. Somebody called Greg Egan (who I believe is a sci-fi writer) was so apalled by the article that he organised a letter writing campaign to discourage the magazine from publishing this sort of material again, described in this link:


The 'relativity drive' article was actually free-to-view for several years as I remember it. Egan calls it "Fly by light", but that might be how the story was described on the magazine cover.

The second campaign relates to a cover story in 2009 called "Darwin was wrong", which caused a backlash particularly in the US scientific community as it was seen as being helpful to creationists. Somebody called Jerry Coyne called for a boycott of the magazine, and I believe Richard Dawkins joined in with the boycott.


The relativity drive article I think may have been a product of New Scientist's green bias. In the mid-00s there was a revival of the 'peak oil' scare in a section of the blogosphere, notably coming from an influential blog called "The Oil Drum", set up in 2005, which published the opinions of a bunch of Green-leaning energy experts. This revival of the peak oil scare did not get much publicity in the mainstream media (apart from the environment section of the Guardian), but pretty much every Green leaning scientist and science journalist tended to believe it. Such believers might be likely to start taking alternative energy ideas seriously. The Guardian did something similar in the autumn of 2006, where they publicised the activities of the Irish alternative energy company, Steorn, which was discussed in this forum at the time.

Re: The 'New Scientist'

I wonder where they stood on cold fusion or, more interestingly, the Steorn perpetual motion/free zero point energy gimmick.

Re: The 'New Scientist'

I managed to find a free-to-view copy of the 'relativity drive'/'fly by light' article online on this link, for anyone interested:


My understanding of New Scientist's attitude to Steorn is that they regard them as a bit of a joke, for example this article:

My understanding of New Scientist's position on cold fusion is that they appear to be more sympathetic to it than average for the scientific establishment, but don't go as far as actively promoting it (they would probably have a boycott organised against them if they did). For example this interview with a leading cold fusion researcher following the death of Fleischmann in 2012 gives the researcher a fairly easy ride:

Re: The 'New Scientist'

I used to be a subscriber to New Scientist and it gave a useful tour d’horizon of science in general, but that was long ago and it is now just another journal that has been penetrated by watermelons, who have seized control. I had forgotten about it until recently, when the BBC showed that brilliant film The IPCRESS file. In the preamble it is being read by the scientist who is about to be kidnapped.

Re: The 'New Scientist'

New Scientist is still a good place to advertise jobs - we get a lot of response, and usually at least one or two of adequate quality.

I have a hypothesis for the next move of the warmists, after another 10 years of zero warming. That it's irrelevant whether warming is man made or not. It might be completely natural but it's still bad, so all your money are still belong to us.

That and the fact that zero warming is proof that their prescription is working. In the same way that, throughout history, the continued failure of whichever god to pour out fire and brimstone on the world has been given as proof that the prayers are working.

Re: The 'New Scientist'

Reminds me of the story of a man who travelled by train to the city every day and every day, year in and year out, he would carefully shred his newspaper and spread it on the floor around his feet.
Finally one of his fellow passengers could resist no longer and said to him:
"Excuse me for bothering you but I've watched you do this every day for some time now and I just wondered why you do it."
"Oh," he replied, "It keeps the elephants away."
"But there are no elephants in Surrey."
"I know. Effective, isn't it."