I sat down to write this brief editorial today with pen and paper. My goal is to introduce our readership to our print redesign – better layout, a more modern look, and clearer signposts within our articles. And yet, here I am, writing on a desk I inherited from my mother’s grandmother and thinking about the earliest printing presses and what they meant for communities, for the birth of academia, for political systems, and, possibly, for the eventual extinction of pen and paper.
As is the case for many of us, nearly everything I write these days is composed using a keyboard. I imagine, in fact, much of our readership have always written that way: never feeling the compulsion to pull out a pen and notebook during a meeting or sharpen a pencil before heading to a lecture. For those of us of a certain age, however, there is still a feeling of comfort in picking up a pen — the feel of the ink as it leaves the nib; the intimate tension of the metal as is scratches against the weave of the paper. Even the sound of the pen moving is familiar and resonant. These sensations remain familiar and remind me of letters written to boyfriends, of last-minute term papers, of brainstorming sessions around a table after dinner in a cafeteria, of thank you letters to grandparents long ago passed away.
And yet, one of the great things that I hope that I’ve learned from the work I do is to welcome change. In so many areas of hematology, our therapies and approaches are woefully inadequate, so proving that the next best thing actually works and should replace what you are currently employing is something to celebrate.
So when our managing editor approached me and said that The Hematologist was getting a graphical redesign, I was optimistic and encouraged. The hope was that readers would find it easier to navigate and gentler on the eyes. Diffusion articles will be called out with special headers and will continue to lead the front page and then be clustered in the center section. We anticipate that readers, especially those of the printed edition, will notice alterations in some of the fonts and the layout. We’ve added a bit more whitespace with the aim of improving readability, and better highlighting our figures and explanatory graphics. I sincerely hope that all of you find the changes satisfying and easy-on-the-eyes. That was certainly my reaction.
Let me assure you, however, that what we don’t want to lose with this redesign is the core purpose of The Hematologist. Our goal with this publication is to provide you, the readership, with expertly curated, concisely written summaries of key developments in the science of blood and blood disorders. We want you to read this to deepen your understanding of your own field and get insights into science and clinical care that are outside of your specialty. And we want this to be a source of news about the Society itself — its current actions and future aims. While we believe adapting to change is a sign of growth, we absolutely want to keep hold of what has made this publication popular since it was started back in 2003. In short, we want to keep hold of what’s working but still continually improve and evolve.
In keeping with this spirit, let us know what you think about our new look and how we are doing with the mission. Are there topics or features you would like to see more often? Are we keeping you abreast of what’s happening with ASH? Do you think there are gaps in what we’ve been presenting in these pages? Drop us a line at TheHematologist@hematology.org, or, if you feel like it, sit down and write a letter. We would love to hear what you think. Thanks for reading.