Australian Skeptics has digitised all of the back issues of The Skeptic magazine – going back to its first issues in 1981. And these are now available for free download from the Magazine page of the Skeptics website.
The only exceptions are the most recent four issues which are kept exclusively for subscribers, although sample articles from even those issues are also available.
This is the result of a concerted effort by Australian Skeptics Inc, and we believe that offering complete back issues of virtually the entire run of a skeptical publication … for free! … is unique in the skeptical community.
Richard Saunders, committee member and former president of Australian Skeptics, was instrumental in digitising the printed issues, along with current president Eran Segev. “The magazine is the second oldest English-language skeptical magazine in the world,” Saunders says. “It was a pretty basic production in the first years, with literal cut-and-paste-and-photocopy by a dedicated crew of volunteers. We’re happy to say that the process has improved dramatically over the years through increasingly sophisticated publishing technology.
“Cleaning up all the printing and production imperfections of those early issues has been a long process,” he says. “In some cases, it meant finding new copies of the photography and clippings that were used as illustrations, which has been a time-consuming job, albeit a labour of love.”
Readers can now see how the skeptical movement in Australia has developed over four decades as reflected in the pages of the magazine. From health and medicine to psychics and clairvoyants, yowies, cults, pseudoscience and the paranormal, there is a wealth of information in the 144 issues now available online.
In addition to the individual issues are the two compendium publications – In the Beginning and The Second Coming – which collated articles from the first 10 years of The Skeptic according to a number of themes, each of which is available separately.
Of course, The Skeptic continues to be published every quarter, and readers can subscribe to coming new issues via our online shop … though you will have to pay for those.