Coronavirus: Letter from the Editor of The Conversation

The staff of The Conversation at our London newsroom wrapped up for the day and headed home a little early last Thursday afternoon. There were a few doleful looks. We’re a pretty tight bunch, and I think we realised we might not be meeting in person for a few days or weeks.

Since then though, it’s become clear that this could be a much longer haul. These strangest, most unnerving of times may go on, and on. In my head, as in yours I’m sure, is a fog of questions. For me, they relate to a parent, other senior relatives and close friends. To a child. And to my partner. She and I will now be working together in the same room at home.

Across the world, versions of this are playing out. And, of course, those questions play in our minds, starting with the ones that rise up inside through the fear and uncertainty. What should I do, if? When should we go, if?

And then there are the more prosaic yet suddenly crucial ones. How should I wash my hands, and dry them? Is sanitiser any good? And the wider ones. What is the UK government’s strategy? What on earth does this mean for the economy? Will work be forever changed?

So many questions on so many levels. And of course, so many places to find answers. But, where is one to find answers worth having?

Here. The Conversation continues as before. At this moment, when it becomes blindingly clear that experts are utterly crucial to how we live, we bring them to you, and answer questions.

We bring them from around the world. Our weekly updates highlight the work from across The Conversation International network.

Our academic authors are specialists, writing within their areas of expertise, in partnership with our staff of professional editors. We exist with the aim of leading to a better informed society. To equip that society, to meet the big global challenges.

I hope that we can be a significant positive force in the months ahead, airing key voices, and, crucially, research from across the sciences and social sciences. I believe that these voices can warn, reassure and help.

At this time, it is clear from our analytics that there is great interest in the work we produce and, as a charity, make available free of charge to read and republish. Our traffic is running at three times its normal levels. We are able to sustain this content thanks to the support of our university members and authors and to the generosity of you, our readers.

So, if you are finding Conversation journalism valuable at this time, sign up to our daily newsletter. Please stay safe, wash your hands, and keep reading.

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