This is an extract from the Nature Nanotechnology March editorial, inviting our readers to join our webinar series
“Nature Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary journal that publishes papers of the highest quality and significance in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology.” This is the statement that can be read in the first lines of the ‘Aims & Scope’ of our journal (https://www.nature.com/nnano/about/aims). As editors, we believe strongly in that statement and we do our best, when handling manuscripts, to satisfy it.
We also feel that to be amongst the leading journals in the field we must engage our community beyond the publication of high-quality research papers. The journal publishes comments and other opinion articles that look at research from different points of view. Each editor also attends conferences and visits research departments to interact directly with scientists.
To increase our engagement, we have now launched a series of webinars that we named Nature Nano Talks. The scope of these events is to provide an informal but professional venue for our community to discuss a range of topics in nanoscience and nanotechnology directly with experts.
It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has something to do with this initiative. On the one hand, the difficulty in meeting members of our community face to face stimulated us to search different routes. On the other hand, it was exactly the science behind the virus that inspired the first online event that our senior editor Christine Horejs (now at Nature Reviews Materials) organized well before we were thinking of a series. Since then Chiara Pastore has organized a panel discussion on Nanomaterials for Immunomodulation and, together with Christine Horejs a joint Nature Nanotechnology - Nature Reviews Materials virtual Q&A on Lipid nanoparticles for mRNA delivery.
Nature Nanotechnology does not only cover nanomedicine and we certainly want to explore other topics in our webinars. Wenjie Sun talked to experts in nanocatalysis to discuss challenges and opportunities for industrial applications of emerging catalysts (https://go.nature.com/37Kf26U). In particular she explored the gap between academic research and industrial requirements, which is one of aspects of nanotechnology that is seldom discussed in scientific journals, including ours.
Beyond Q&As and panel discussions, in our ‘meet the editors’ sessions we shall describe the processes we use to select the papers that we publish and we shall answer any question that our audience may have about the journal. The first such session was on 1 March 2021 (https://go.nature.com/37YQpTO). We shall also host a series of one-to-one conversations with some of our authors to discuss their results in an informal and understandable fashion. For example, the first of such events, which is planned for 24 March, will focus on some of the topics covered in the March issue (https://go.nature.com/2MBSkX2).
We are not unique in organizing webinars during the pandemic and we also appreciate that online conversations cannot replace face-to-face interactions. We believe, however, that a series such as Nature Nano Talks offers the unique advantage of simultaneously reaching a large number of people spread around the globe, which would be impossible to do otherwise. For this reason, we are committed to continue even when travelling to conferences becomes easier for us. We hope you welcome the idea and invite you to regularly check the list of planned events (https://www.nature.com/nnano/video) and register for as many as you wish.