Dawkins to edit New Statesman Christmas issue

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.

h/t: Micha


  1. Dominic
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    I do not usually get a weekly magazine – apart from the, er, New Whatsitthatwecannotmention-ist 😉 but will definitely get this on Tuesday.
    Bill Gates? Isn’t RD an Apple man? Perhaps it would have been Steve Jobs if things had been otherwise…

    • Posted December 9, 2011 at 5:06 am | Permalink

      I’ve noticed from video that your famous globe-trotting philosopher or evolutionary atheist loves an Apple ~ less so the physicist atheist [JAC, RD, SH & PZ are a bunch of Apples I believe]

      Can’t bear New Whatsitthatwecannotmention-ist any more ~ too many poor articles. The money saved is a pint of ale a week ~ a far better deal 🙂

  2. Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    See ALL SUBSCRIPTIONS to order a single copy delivered to anywhere

    “Single Copy Order: The Richard Dawkins Christmas issue will be available to pre-order from 1pm on Monday 12 December 2011. If you have any queries, please email Stephen Brasher” sbrasher@newstatesman.co.uk

    UK Price: £3.50 + £1.00
    Overseas: £3.50 + £3.50

    [£7.00 today = €8.20 Euro, $11.09 CAD, $10.99 USD, $10.71 AUD]

    There’s also…

    A .pdf, but I don’t know if that’s available on a single copy basis &

    A Kindle Edition with a “risk Free” Free Trial…

    • Badger3k
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      iTunes also has a “New Statesman” app for $ US 2.99 for a thirty day subscription.

  3. moochava
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    “…the political theorist Ayn Rand has written on Barack Obama…”


    Wait, let’s read that again.

    “…the political theorist Alan Ryan has written on Barack Obama…”

    Phew. Okay. I read too quickly the first time.

    • Teemo
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Rofl I read it that way first as well.

    • Aidan Karley
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      You had me worried for a few seconds there that the zombiepocalypse was upon us.

  4. Aidan Karley
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    If I remember correctly, I brought a copy of New Statesman when I was a student. So if this is an attempt to attract lapsed readers, this has succeeded in doubling my purcahses and page-views. Despite the Ayn Rand zombie-written article.
    Well, it will have succeeded when I go into the newsagent to pick up a copy. It’s normally about three rows back and a 5 magazines left of the other “NS” magazines (whose name, it seems, we are not meant to mention – “New Voldemort?”).

  5. Marella
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Amusing that the Archbish gets the June issue and the atheist gets Christmas!

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