John Toll, Editor-in-Chief
This issue marks the end of year one for the electronic Globe. The year has flown by. The eve of our first anniversary is a good time to take stock of what we’ve done so far and what lies ahead. That’s what I’m going to try to do in this article.
I set out my course for the Globe in the 5 August 2010 inaugural issue. Here’s what I said back then:
The Globe is here to serve SETAC’s advisory groups, publications, workshops and meetings, eLearning program, outreach initiatives, and governance. Our editorial policy will reflect a move to greater interdisciplinary science and discussion within SETAC, and the perspective that effective environmental problem solving requires understanding how people from other disciplines and world views think about the environmental problems one’s trying to solve.
I think that we’re on the right track. Looking back on the more than 130 feature articles that we’ve published in the past year, the Globe has worked reasonably well as a venue for publicizing SETAC’s programs and initiatives. I’m encouraged by the interest our contributors have shown in promoting greater interdisciplinary science and discussion.
That said, we’re a long way from using the Globe to its full potential. The Globe is uniquely suited to promoting interdisciplinary science and discussion within SETAC. It is a highly visible place to post public letters that can be used to build and sustain global conversations. As an electronic medium, the Globe is a few clicks away from the troves of the Internet. These are capabilities that we’ve barely begun to exploit. Uses for the Globe become even more interesting to think about when you consider combining it with other means of discourse.
For example, while we’ve had some very nice summary articles, no one has yet taken full advantage of the Globe as a medium for spotlighting an annual meeting session or topic, or a series in one of the SETAC journals. If you’re a session chair, think about how you could use the Globe in the months before your session convenes to frame the discourse, and in the aftermath of the session to spotlight important emerging topics that deserve more attention.
How about using the Globe, in concert with other media to build critical support for a SETAC workshop? Or using the Globe as a way to solicit global assistance to help solve a regional environmental problem, like mitigating acid mine drainage in South Africa’s Gauteng Province (Somerset, Globe 12(6)), or developing new ecotoxicological approaches to meet requirements of tropical regions (da Silva and van Gestel, Globe 11(10))?
I hope that this gets you thinking about what you could do with the Globe. When you think of something—whether it’s today, next week or next year—please tell us about it! We are here to make the Globe work for you. You provide the ball; we will help you get it rolling. The job might not be quick or easy, but the returns can easily justify the effort.
I’ll close by recognizing the outstanding support of the people who do most of the hard work to keep the Globe coming to you. Sabine Barrett and Daniel Hatcher, our production team, have consistently met or beaten tight deadlines and, along with Jason Andersen, solved technical problems. They deserve credit for the beautiful final product we’re able to deliver month after month. Mimi Meredith has been invaluable at teaching me the ropes of editing a SETAC publication. Mike Mozur, Dave Arnold and Greg Schiefer, Katrien Arijs and Bruce Vigon have provided support in many ways, most notably articles, contacts with potential authors, and other leads. For that I am grateful. Nancy Musgrove, our assistant editor-in-chief, has done it all. She helps authors through the production process, she writes, she edits, and she’s organized when I am not. And everybody has gracefully coped with my mistakes along the way. Thank you all!
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