Being pulled apart brought us closer together
Kamila Markram, Co-founder and CEO
COVID-19 has posed an unprecedented and ever-changing challenge to the international scientific community. We all felt the importance of pulling together to pursue our mission of making science open – particularly during these exceptional times. Open Science plays a critical role in mitigating the pandemic emergency – it has never been more important to share research results and data quickly and openly – to combat COVID-19 and save lives. We can all be proud to be making a difference.
We have been amazed and inspired with the way the Frontiers community – our 100,000 editorial board members and 700 employees (together the Frontons) – have mobilized to work together and provide concrete solutions during the pandemic. Our COVID-19 call to action received so much response from you, the academic community, that we created the Coronavirus Knowledge Hub. This currently showcases more than 60 Research Topics, a funding portal and interviews with key experts, amongst other initiatives.
As Frontiers is fully digitized, we are accustomed to working with each other online and were able to continue to provide the highest level of support to our editors, authors and reviewers from our homes. Even though seamless, the challenges posed by a sudden global lockdown was new and uncharted territory. From having to support COVID-19 cases to experiencing uncertainty and anxiety, lack of testing capacity, caring for children and dealing with isolation, we had to pull together and support each other through this new reality.
Our Coronavirus support group encouraged all teams to check in with each other daily, to have a meal together or to catch-up over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. We established weekly “Work-from-home” zoom calls for everyone at the company, to provide updates on our health situation, the pandemic and to celebrate team achievements.
With hundreds of people joining every week to send their love and support to each other, we soon realized we should extend this to our Editorial Boards too! Over the month of May we organized four editorial board Zoominars, where an overwhelming number of editors, 8,938 to be exact, called in. It was a truly special experience to “meet” and interact with the Frontiers editorial community – particularly during this exceptional time.
We would like to thank everyone who called in for their participation, comments and questions, commitment and dedication to science – which has never been more important than it is today. We had clinicians taking a quick break in hospitals in Lombardy and scientists in Wuhan, Taipei, New York, Seoul and Manaus. It truly felt like the “United Nations of Researchers”, sharing their experiences, uniting against the Coronavirus and on a common mission to make science open.
Based on the positive response, I am pleased to confirm that this is the start of a new virtual editorial board Zoominar series, that we will now be running a few times a year. In case you missed it, please feel free to watch the recording and download the slides. We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting!