From the Editor: October 2023

Cheryl Scott

October 17, 2023

3 Min Read

CASsmile-240x300.jpgThis issue goes to production as we editors board our flights from Eugene, OR, to the east coast for Biotech Week Boston. As you can imagine, it’s our biggest show of the year — and it will be my first time back since the pandemic disrupted everything three years ago. I have missed greatly our yearly get-together with far-flung staff members from Europe and across the United States. It’s almost like a family reunion with all the associated logistical complications and not-enough-time laments. We’re very grateful for Informa’s Streamly platform these days — as are most conference-goers, I’m sure — because it’s hard to catch every interesting talk between meetings and parties and casual encounters with favorite authors and advisors in the corridors and exhibit hall. If you see us anywhere, don’t hesitate to stop and chat because that’s one of our favorite parts of business travel.

That’s partly because we’re always looking ahead to the next issue, next featured report, next eBook, and so on. Already our 2024 schedule is mostly planned out, but we expect to refine and adjust that based on what we hear from friends, colleagues, authors, readers, and advisors in Boston. It is the nature of publishing, unfortunately, despite the wise
counsel of Yoda, who admonished Luke Skywalker in Star Wars for looking always “to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing.”

Consider the mental gymnastics required for copyediting — focusing intently on every word in every sentence of a manuscript, how they fit together, and all the many variations
they may take to get from start to finish — while simultaneously juggling the main message of that article, how it will look on the page, the associated graphics, other articles and departments in a given issue, how they fit the overall theme . . . and keeping in mind the hard deadlines of print publishing, the articles in process at various stages for upcoming issues, custom-publishing projects that never seem to follow a set schedule . . . and add writing projects and freelancer management and public relations questions and proofreading other editors’ work and answering dozens of emails about all these things and more. And wait, where was I? Oh yes: writing an editorial.

Details matter. We can’t lose sight of them as we lift our heads and look at the bigger picture. Yoda was right in redirecting Luke’s attention to the here and now. Such advice applies far beyond an editor’s world; it’s vitally important in biomanufacturing, where ultimately lives are at stake. This month’s theme of downstream processing is all about details. Our technical and supplier-side authors dig down into the nature and management of host cell proteins, the physics and chemistry of chromatography, and the allowable residuals from cleaning processes. The nontechnical pieces highlight the finer points of equipment maintenance, outsourcing, and entrepreneurship. So please take a moment to breathe, give them your attention, and reap the rewards of a few minutes spent in the now.


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