Throughout human history, the fields of chemistry and materials science have been at the frontier of science and technology, as world needs evolve and these disciplines have allowed us to adapt ideas into reality. We spoke to Dr. Mayra Castro, Senior Editor in the Interdisciplinary Applied Science Books team and Dr. Charlotte Hollingworth, Executive Editor in the Chemistry Books team about latest trends in the fields of Chemistry and Materials Science.
Tell us about your background and your work at Springer Nature
Mayra Castro: As a Chemist, I have conducted research in Brazil, Spain, Germany and South Korea on a variety of materials, including ceramics, plastics, metals, thin films, nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes. During my PhD studies, I became more and more attracted to scientific publishing having served as an author, reviewer and editorial board member.
After one year of post-doc, I was glad to join Springer Nature as an editor, where I have established a materials engineering program of books and journals in exciting areas such as nanomedicine and commercialization aspects of graphene in collaboration with outstanding scientists and societies in the field.
Charlotte Hollingworth: Before joining Springer in 2013 I completed my PhD in organic and organometallic chemistry at the University of Oxford. I was very keen to put my degree to use but was ready to leave the lab. Scientific publishing offered the chance to stay connected to research, opportunities to discuss cutting edge developments with researchers and help in sharing these discoveries with the wider research community.
My first role at Springer involved managing a portfolio of fully open access chemistry journals. From there my role developed to working on hybrid journals and books from our Heidelberg office and finally to the exciting role managing the global chemistry book portfolio.
How has the Chemistry & Materials Science book program developed in recent years?
The Chemistry & Materials Science book program continues to communicate research that deepens fundamental knowledge while also bridging the gap between theory and application. In recent years we have had a strong focus on how this knowledge can be applied to provide answers to global challenges with many titles showcasing research aimed at meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
What are the emerging research trends you’re seeing in chemistry & material sciences today? How are those trends reflected in our eBook collection?
The way in which research is conducted continues to change and improve. We are seeing a transition from trial-and-error synthesis to more guided methodology, with scientists less interested in empirical results and more so in rational design. In recent years we have seen artificial intelligence, an area that has dominated the research landscape across many different disciplines, also become very important for chemistry & materials science. Machine learning and computation are being used in materials discovery, helping to predict stable structures with certain properties and understanding fundamental mechanisms. It is also applied to the use of automated platforms and robotics allowing for faster results and scientific breakthroughs.
We have also seen an increase in the importance of interdisciplinary research and the connections across research areas, reinstating the reference to chemistry as the central science. This is well reflected with the Chemistry and Materials Science collection covering topics from sustainable synthesis, biotechnology, design and characterisation of nanomaterials to the applications of these areas in healthcare, clean energy and environmental remediation.
What’s unique about the Springer Nature Chemistry & Materials Science eBook collection?
The Chemistry and Materials Science eBook collection comprises a rich selection of books from international authors including notable contributions from Nobel Prize winners. It presents the latest cutting edge developments along with offering a fantastic foundation in fundamental areas. From textbooks, to monographs and professional books this collection provides content to suit all readers across basic and applied fields.
How important is Open Access to this field of research and are you seeing an increase in OA books as result?
Open access plays a fundamental role in supporting the availability of scholarly information to everyone. The number of open access publications in chemistry and materials science across both the journal and book format has been gaining momentum with the introduction of transformative journals and some hybrid journals already switching to full OA. As a pioneer in open access book publishing Springer Nature has a wide range of open access titles across the science and technology areas and we hope to see the number of open access book publications in chemistry and materials science begin to grow.
The Chemistry & Materials Science eBook collection
Advancements in 3-D printing and biomaterials have transformed medical care needs. Nanomaterials and electrochemistry have advanced solar and fuel-cell technologies and answered our urgent need for more sustainable and efficient energy production and storage. Bio-inspired membranes and nanostructures offer hope in providing clean water to the growing world population and water issue. The Chemistry and Materials Science eBook Collection serves as a nod to these fields that so dramatically shape our society and enable researchers working in all areas of science to make the jump from theory to reality.
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