Working alone is inefficient: it is time consuming and results in a lack of positive discussions. On the other hand, collaboration harnesses the best out of each individual, all jointly working to reach a common goal.
This issue of the MCAA Newsletter is an exemplary representation of the benefits and power of collaborations. For the last five years, the MCAA Newsletter has been produced with the substantial support of an external agency specialised in science communication. The current issue you are reading is the first one entirely produced by the MCAA Newsletter Editorial Team without the external contractor. All the members of the Editorial Team, with the support of the Editorial Board, have put an incredible effort and dedicated many hours of their time to make sure that this issue maintains the standards of quality that you (and we) have been used to. It was quite a challenge as it considerably increased our amount of work as well as responsibilities.
The collaborative nature of this issue extends beyond the Editorial Team and involves the
whole MCAA community. In order to face the challenges of creating a publication without any external specialised support, we reached out to the MCAA community. A call for articles was sent to all MCAA members, Chapters and Working Groups. The response was overwhelming. The outcome is a rich and diverse publication that makes us proud of the collective efforts of our community.
Being the first issue after the 2021 Annual Conference of the MCAA, a number of articles cover the event that took place in March. They gives us the opportunity to discuss once more the theme of “Research in time of crisis,” and highlight the effects that this pandemic has had on the research system – especially on researchers’ mental health.
The usual updates from Chapters and Working Groups report on some events that took place early this year and that span from science communication to scholars at risk. The notable feature of this issue of the Newsletter is most likely the research section, which has never been so rich. Seven articles guides us to the discovery of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) projects, with topics ranging from animal nutrition to the relation of data science and literature, from the social and cultural phenomenon of catacombs to the importance of theatre for refugees.
Over the years, the MSCA programme has funded projects that encompass a wide variety of topics. Researchers with diverse cultural, geographical and scientific background have enriched this fellowship
Over the years, the MSCA programme has funded projects that encompass a wide variety of topics. Researchers with diverse cultural, geographical and scientific background have enriched this fellowship scheme. The MCAA Newsletter harnesses this diversity and connects almost 20,000 researchers through a single publication that provides a glimpse of the various projects and stories. The Newsletter also discusses issues relevant to researchers and the everyday challenges they face. To reiterate our previous point, MCAA membershave been extremely forthcoming with content, ideas and suggestions for this issue of the Newsletter. We – as the Editorial Team – are indebted to them. We therefore dedicate this issue to our incredible community. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Valerie Bentivegna, Gian Maria Greco,
Oleksandra Ivashchenko, Christina Makoundou,
Sugosh Prabhu, Ruben Riosa,
Yahaya Abubakar Yabo