A Brief History of The Skeptic

In January 1981 a new phenomenon burst upon the publishing scene. It was manifested in a four page, tabloid format newspaper, titled the Skeptic and it contained articles headed “Skeptics Test Psychic Surgeon”, “Doris Stokes Wrong – Police” and “Alien Honeycomb Tested”, among others. This issue was followed in August 1981 by No 2, in a new 16 page A4 format, and in November by No 3, also of 16 pages. Thus, in its first year of publication, the Skeptic comprised only three issues.

From January 1982, the Skeptic became a quarterly magazine and has remained so ever since, with the number of pages gradually increasing to over 60 pages.

Issues 1:1 to 3:1 were edited by Mark Plummer, then President of Australian Skeptics, with word processing carried out by Secretary, James Gerrand. From 3:2 the editorship passed to Janet de Silva, who carried the load until issue 5:1, when it was taken on by Anne Tuohy. Anne remained in the chair until issue 6:4 when Tim Mendham took over and moved publication from Melbourne to Sydney and started using a computer for production. Tim continued until 10:1 when pressure of work forced him to relinquish the post. Barry Williams then became editor “for one issue only” and he remained in that position until he retired at the end of 2008 with issue 28:4. Karen Stollznow edited issue 29:1 and Steve Roberts edited issue 29:2 before Tim Mendham (yes, the same Tim Mendham from the 1980’s) was appointed editor again in June 2009.