The BMJ journal Medical Humanities was launched in June 2000. Eight years later sees the launch of the journal’s blog. As the new editor, I have, as you might imagine, spent considerable time and effort thinking about what the journal could and should- and, as the new editorial board brings its not inconsiderable intellectual and creative talents to bear- will be.
The journal’s new aims and scope states that Medical Humanities is a leading international journal that reflects the whole field of medical humanities; that it aims to encourage a high academic standard for this evolving and developing subject and to enhance professional and public discussion; that it features original articles relevant to the delivery of healthcare, the formulation of public health policy, the experience of being ill and of caring for those who are ill, as well as case conferences, educational case studies, book, film, and art reviews, editorials, correspondence, news and notes.
This is an ambitious programme. In December, some of these changes will be evident. Other changes will take longer to appear in print, reflecting the lag time between authors learning about new article types and journal priorities and papers progressing from submission to publication.
The new editorial board, like the one that served the journal under the previous editors, is both academically distinguished and international. A significant change in the board’s composition has however taken place with greater representation in the fields of history, literary studies, film, fine art, law, sociology, and anthropology. In addition, the four new associate editors- Tom Faunce, Margaret Healy, Jose Lazaro and Audrey Shafer- bring with them extensive expertise across the medical humanities field combined with the sort of commitment, enthusiasm and energy key to the success of any journal.
All of that is, I hope you’ll agree, a good thing. But in launching this blog, we aim to add a new and more timely means of responding to and stimulating debate about the many subjects that interest and drive the large, diverse, and intellectually hungry medical humanities community. Postings will be weekly. Your contributions will be key to the blog’s success.