An Interview with...New Humanist

  • 3 min read

New Humanist is brand new to the Pics & Ink shelves but definitely not new to the indie mag world. We’re so pleased to have it on the shelves. I’ll let Deputy Editor, Niki Seth-Smith tell you what this mag is all about as she very gratefully sat down to answer some questions for us for the blog…

An Interview with New Humanist


Thank you so much for talking with us, Niki. Firstly, could you sum up New Humanist in a sentence or two?

Published by the Rationalist Association, a charity founded in 1885, New Humanist stands for free thought and rational inquiry in an age of extremes. A quarterly magazine of ideas, culture, politics, science and comment, we bring you quality journalism to illuminate these turbulent times.


Thanks! I gather the mag has a rather long history…

New Humanist has been in print for 136 years; starting out life as Watts's Literary Guide, founded by C. A. Watts in November 1885. It later became The Literary Guide and Rationalist Review (1894–1954), Humanist (1956–1971) and New Humanist in 1972.

Of course there has been a lot of change in this time! Print and digital subscribers also receive access to our rich archive – an invaluable cultural and historical resource.


I think you definitely win longest running mag on the shelves. NH covers science, philosophy, culture and so much else, and you have some fantastic contributors. How do you put an issue together?

We have a fantastic stable of columnists and regular writers, including Samira Ahmed, Laurie Taylor and Michael Rosen. We also work with many new and emerging young journalists – for example, Jem Bartholomew, who recently won the best newcomer at the Street Institutional Press Awards. We also take diversity seriously, particularly in areas where representation is traditionally unequal – for example, we publish equal numbers of male and female science writers. We also commission from across the globe – over the last four issues, we have published journalists based in Kenya, Poland, Turkey, Brazil and Hong Kong.  


So much the better! What other indie mags are on your reading list?

Aeon magazine, Wired UK, Philosophy Now, the New Scientist, openDemocracy.


Now, we ask all our mags this one…in our increasingly online world, why still make print magazines?

Recent trends have shown that readers value print publications and particularly the long-read, which in our age of bite-size content is enjoying a welcome revival. New Humanist offers a mix of reportage, reviews, columns, poems and long features, which dig deep into the big ideas and trends of the day. Readers value our beautiful design, and many prefer particularly to read long features in print. As a quarterly magazine, we are not driven by the news agenda, but by the spirit of rational inquiry and independent thinking.


And finally, who do you think will enjoy New Humanist?

Free-thinking people, with a love of culture and an interest in understanding the ideas, trends and systems shaping our world.


Thank you, Niki!

The Autumn issue of New Humanist is now in the shop. This is the ‘body’ issue. There are many areas where there is policy governing our bodies, from debate over the right to die, mental health treatment, sex work and childbirth. These issues are explored in depth in this issue of New Humanist, along with columns on climate, science and culture. Have a flick through here…

New Humanist Magazine  New Humanist Magazine  New Humanist Magazine


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