The spring 2024 cover of New Humanist is a reimagining of 'The Thinker' surrounded by scientific devices

The spring 2024 issue of New Humanist is on sale now! This issue we're delving in to the what science and the humanities can teach each other and why we need both. Subscribe to the print edition for just £27 a year or buy a single issue online and in all good newsagents. Read on for a peek inside the magazine.

Beyond the two cultures

Amid a polarised debate, science and art seem further apart than ever. Emma Park, editor of The Freethinker, explores what humanism has to teach us about the apparent conflict between these ways of thinking and how to bridge the divide.

"While humanities scholars are often (not without justification) accused of being Luddites, those on the science and technology side could also benefit from the knowledge that the humanities have accumulated over the centuries ... [And] no intellectual activity worth the name can flourish in a politically repressive environment: freedom of expression and enquiry should be an issue to unite artists, scholars and scientists."

The poetry of science

Metaphors are key to unlocking the secrets of the universe – scientists should do more to harness their power, writes acclaimed physicist Tasneem Zehra Husain.

"Metaphors aren't only a means of description, they can also lead to revelations. Centuries ago, Newton was able to calculate the gravitational attraction between two objects ... [but] would 'feign no hypothesis' as to why it was so. He had the equation, but he did not understand gravitation ... With Einstein, we finally have a metaphor. When we picture space-time as a dynamic 'fabric' ... we begin to understand what gravity means."

How to think like a scientist

Author Alom Shaha talks about how he went from "failed" physics student to one of the country's most celebrated science communicators – and what we should be teaching our children about science.

"Part of the problem with science communication is that it flatters the audience. I think people want to read stuff or listen to stuff that makes them feel like they've understood something. That's not what teachers have to do. We can't just inspire the kids and make them go away with the feeling that they've learned something. They actually have to learn things."

The spring 2024 issue of New Humanist is on sale now! Subscribe here for as little as £10 a year for a digital subscription, or £27 for a print subscription.

A scene from the Netflix production of '3 Body Problem'

Also in the spring 2024 issue:

  • Shaparak Khorsandi asks, is Gen X really so terrible?
  • Samira Ahmed on our love for dinosaurs
  • Eléonore Hughes reports on Brazil's "lithium rush"
  • Jonathan Glover on what moral philosophy can teach us about the Israel-Hamas war
  • In his language column, Michael Rosen considers the history and meaning of the word "genocide"
  • Amit Katwala on how dubious lie detectors are working their way into the British justice system
  • Yiannis Baboulias on China's underground historians and their fight for the truth
  • Katie Marie Davies meets the Russian feminists opposing Putin's war
  • Peter Salmon asks why the death penalty is such a popular idea

Plus more fascinating features on the biggest topics shaping our world today, and all our regular science columns, book reviews, original poetry, the cryptic crossword and brainteaser.

Subscribe to the print edition now to get a beautiful copy of the magazine delivered to your door, or choose a digital subscription to read it on the app.

New Humanist, a quarterly magazine of culture, ideas, science and philosophy, is published by the Rationalist Association, a 136-year-old charity promoting reason and free enquiry.