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All change, all change

2021: Our year of space… and transformation

Amy Whitchurch
Words by Amy Whitchurch
1 December 2020
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Back in 2017, we asked you, our Fellows, for your views on Geoscientist magazine. Using a readership survey conducted by the company Research by Design, we wanted to understand how the magazine is viewed and used, and the extent to which our Fellows have an emotional attachment to it. The results of the readership survey were clear: Geoscientist magazine is a cherished member benefit and one to which Fellows turn to keep abreast of broader scientific developments, share opinions and engage in debate.

Many were satisfied with the magazine layout, but it was perceived as somewhat outdated, cluttered and in need of modernisation. And, while nowadays people increasingly seek their scientific information via the web, our website rated poorly, with less than half of the survey respondents ever looking at Geoscientist Online.

We’ve worked hard over the past few years to bring you more of the science and discussion you enjoy, but changes in the editorial team and a stint on maternity leave for me mean it’s taken some time for us to respond to your feedback in a significant way.

I am happy to report that this is set to change in 2021. As discussed by our Editor-in-Chief, Andy Fleet, Geoscientist will undergo a major overhaul in the coming months. We will soon have a new-look, modern Geoscientistwebsite that we hope the community will be eager to engage with often. The revamped website will not simply be a digital version of the print magazine. Rather, it will offer interesting and varied content that complements the more traditional articles and reports featured in print. We will add new content frequently, thereby keeping you regularly informed, as well as providing more high-quality science and a rapid service for our authors.

The printed magazine will undergo a significant redesign to modernise its look and feel, while retaining the existing vibrant mix of news, science, opinion and events. Monthly issues have served us well, but in terms of environmental sustainability, we can no longer justify producing more than 12,000 print copies of the magazine each month that are largely just recycled. Instead, beginning in March 2021, you will receive a high-quality issue of the print magazine every quarter.

Next year (and beyond) will also be a time of momentous transformation for the entire Society. Over the past several months, the Society has undergone an in-depth strategic review to assess our future directions. The review is now complete and on page 8 Megan O’Donnell and Richard Hughes provide a summary of the outcomes. The vision for our future is ambitious and bold, and if we can achieve all that we set out to, we will be stronger and more relevant for it.

2021 will also be a scientifically exciting year for the Society—our Year of Space! Flo Bullough gives a small taster of the events we have planned around this theme. To whet your appetites, we hope you enjoy this final monthly issue of Geoscientist, which is themed around the always captivating planet Mars.

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