Reflections and Resolutions
With one year at the helm of The Analytical Scientist, I consider my own “lessons learned.”
Charlotte Barker |
The close of the old year (and the start of the new one) is traditionally a time for reflection. Inspired by the latest article in our “Lessons I’ve Learned” series, I find myself asking: what lessons have I learned from my first year as Editor of The Analytical Scientist?
First, my fascination for analytical science has intensified beyond my bioanalytical background. Ever since the first article I edited, I’ve been constantly reminded that the wider field is at once surprisingly simple and fathomlessly complex. Though most analytical techniques are based on straightforward concepts and a deep well of fundamental knowledge, there remains a constant stream of iterative innovation that is always pushing the field forward. (Don’t miss the fantastic array of advances in our 2017 Innovation Awards: tas.txp.to/1217/Innovation).
Second, I’ve learned that, although techniques and technology are the lifeblood of the field, people are its beating heart. From the patient being conned by counterfeit drugs to the planet’s 7.6 billion humans (and 20,000 lions) who need a clean and safe environment, analytical science is having a huge impact – everywhere.
Finally, I’ve come to realize that analytical scientists are a truly self-effacing bunch – a comment often made by Content Director Rich Whitworth in these pages. Our authors and readers often make little of the important role they play in diverse and ground-breaking research; Perdita Barran provides a perfect example, saying, “It is very humbling as a mere measurement scientist to help find some signature molecules to diagnose Parkinson’s.” Interestingly, although individually modest, as a community you are more than happy to give credit to colleagues and mentors, as witnessed by the overwhelming number of Power List nominations.
Another New Year’s tradition is to make resolutions. Here are three resolutions for 2018 that (unlike most such commitments) we will keep as we head into our sixth year:
- We aim to meet as many readers and contributors as possible. This spring, look out for Jo, Frank, Rich and me at HTC in Cardiff, Pittcon in Orlando, and Spring SciX in Glasgow.
- We won’t shy away from unusual or controversial topics – e-cigarettes, life on Mars and the unsung heroes of industry are all coming soon.
- We will continue to celebrate analytical scientists and their achievements.
I wish you all a wonderful 2018.
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