As many of us retreat to the relative safety of our homes – hopefully now replete with toilet tissue – I thought it might be useful to share a little of how the team behind The Conversation is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
From today we have asked staff at The Conversation to remain at home to aid social distancing and slow the spread of the virus. Despite this change, everyone is working longer and harder than ever to bring you reliable information from academic experts.
Since the outbreak we’ve published more than 90 evidence-based articles. They have been read more than 4.1 million times and shared widely on social media and republishing sites such as ABC, ScienceAlert and The Guardian. These numbers are very encouraging, but they’re not even close to being the most important measure of what we do.
Our only editorial mission is to ensure you have the best possible information. That’s why in tomorrow’s newsletter we have a very pertinent article on how to survive social distancing without becoming lonely and analysis of New Zealand’s $12 billion economic and health package from three leading economists.
In recent times we have published articles on everything from the maths behind flattening the curve, to practical advice for parents of young children, to analysis of the longer term social and economic impacts. We have also produced a video of experts responding to dozens of questions from you. In fact our most useful articles usually stem from questions you’ve asked – if you’ve got any more please email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All this work is part of a broader effort by The Conversation’s global network which has published more than 350 articles in four languages that have attracted more than 33 million reads. If you’d like to find out more about this global coverage the best place to start is the terrific weekly round up, this week written by The Conversation Africa’s Health + Medicine Editor Ina Skosana.
The strength of our passionate and dedicated network is also important as our team moves into a period of working without face-to-face contact. We are relying more than ever on Zoom meetings for video conference calls and communication technology like Slack and the telephone. The editors have been sharing photos of their home work spaces (way too neat) and we’ve set up a regular meeting for our daily quiz and a Spotify playlist for working-from-home. We are very keen to avoid social distancing turning into social isolation.
If you value what we do there are a few ways you can help us. Please share articles you find useful and encourage friends to sign up to the newsletter. Please comment on our articles and send us your questions. And if you can, please join the thousands of people who support our mission with a monthly tax deductible donation – no amount is too small.
Mostly importantly, stay safe, be kind to yourself and others, and if you are working from home remember that pyjamas are never suitable work attire, especially after 10am.
Authors: Misha Ketchell, Editor & Executive Director, The Conversation