Happy birthday to us…

October 3, 2011 at 8:50 am | Posted in 40th birthday celebrations, Editorial Comment | Leave a comment

Welcome to the 40th anniversary edition of Laboratory News! I am pleased and indeed very proud to bring you this special birthday edition.

Starting on p15 you’ll find a special anniversary section where we celebrate the last 40 years of the magazine, and the science and people that have played a part in it. On page 16 we hear from some previous editors – each has put their own inimitable stamp on the publication over the years and each has contributed to the magazine it has become. But of course we aren’t just celebrating the magazine as it is today; throughout the last 40 years Lab News has been a stalwart of the science community – and it is a community that has seen many changes and challenges. On page 18 we take a look at a few past headlines, some of them particularly reflective of today’s scientific climate.

Of course science itself has advanced in ways that would astonish the team that worked on the launch issue of Laboratory News back in 1971 – and on page 20 we have charted some of the highlights of scientific discovery and development over that time. But if you think we have missed something, or would just like to comment then please do e-mail me – as always I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Just as important as what we have seen over the past 40 years is what the next 40 may hold. On page 24 some good friends of the magazine give their fascinating insights into what course we might expect science to take in the future.

Like any good retrospective however, my aim isn’t just simple nostalgia – we must endeavour to look back and learn from history. These are challenging times for UK science, yet something that has become evident from looking back over past issues of the magazine is that science has always faced barriers. Headlines involving a funding crisis, job security issues, and education apprehensions have adorned our news pages for as long as they have existed – and this is no different today.

I hope you enjoy the issue, and I hope that it might go some way to framing the problems – and the potential successes – that science faces today and in the future. But most of all I’d like to thank you, the readers. This is your magazine and it is down to you that it has gone from strength to strength. Happy Birthday Laboratory News – and here’s to the next 40!

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