The New Statesman has announced that its Christmas issue will be edited by no other than Richard Dawkins, who will apparently fill it with all kinds of secular stuff. (This may be a counter to the issue guest-edited by the Archbishop of Canterbury last June.)
It looks a great issue, and will include a contribution by Hitch. As I expected from Richard, it won’t be limited to atheist pieces—though all of the “Four Horsemen” will appear—but will also contain a good dollop of science:
Dawkins has contributed an essay, written the New Statesman leader column, and travelled to Texas to conduct an exclusive interview with the author and journalist Christopher Hitchens. They discuss religious fundamentalism, US politics, Tony Blair, abortion and Christmas.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates has written a column on the wonders of innovation, the political theorist Alan Ryan has written on Barack Obama, and there are contributions from some of the world’s most respected scientists, includingPaul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, and the space explorer Carolyn Porco, on Saturn. . .
In 2007, Dawkins, Hitchens, the philosopher Daniel Dennett and the neuroscientist Sam Harris were nicknamed the “Four Horsemen” of new atheism. Both Dennett and Harris have written essays for this issue, on human loyalty and free will, respectively.
Other contributors to the special issue include the human rights activistMaryam Namazie, the comedian Tim Minchin and the rabbi and broadcasterJonathan Romain.
Elsewhere in the magazine, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, speaks to the NS assistant editor Sophie Elmhirst about choosing morals over politics, reading poems at Occupy St Paul’s and her “Christmassy relationship” with God, Philip Pullman defends fairytales and Kate Atkinson offers an exclusive short story, “darktime”.
The issue will be on sale on December 13 in London and on the next day in the rest of Britain.