Nancy Shappell, Guy Gilron and David DeForest, Co-editors of Learned Discourses

Do you have something important to communicate within the sphere of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM) that doesn’t conform to the traditional scientific method report structure and framework (i.e., introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusions)? A challenge to current methodologies, research paradigms or the applications of results? Perhaps a topic or observation of scientific interest? Or a work-in-progress initiative in your research program?

The intent of the Learned Discourses feature of IEAM is to provide a forum for open discussion among scientists working in our field. This is generally accomplished in a unique manner; the articles have a more free-form editorial-style format—short and crisp but still solidly based on the tenet of sound science and its implications. The intent is not necessarily to arrive at well-defined conclusions, but rather to explore the thinking behind our disciplines, challenge our assumptions, ask good questions, propose new ideas and think creatively. These short articles are subject to editorial review for clarity, consistency and brevity; however, they are not peer reviewed. In that regard, the articles published in this feature reflect the professional opinions of the authors regarding scientific issues—they do not represent official SETAC positions or policies.

The Learned Discourses feature dates back to 1996, at which time it was a section of the North America SETAC News. When that latter publication was replaced by the SETAC Globe, it continued there through 2004. The continued success of Learned Discourses depends on you, our contributors. We encourage timely submissions that will inform and stimulate new ideas and discussion. We invite articles that address topics of interest to SETAC’s IEAM community and continue to provide a venue for timely scientific ideas and opinions.

The new incarnation of this feature pays homage to the efforts of our late colleague, IEAM Senior Editor and the previous editor of Learned Discourses, Peter M. Chapman, who single-handedly shepherded this section of the journal. Throughout his tenure, Chapman created a vision that inspired and challenged SETAC members and other scientists in our field to share ideas, perspectives and commentaries on important topics in the IEAM disciplinary sphere. We are pleased to continue co-editing this section in the spirit of his vision, and we look forward to bringing more of these types of perspectives and commentaries to the IEAM readership.

The “rules” are simple:

  • Topics should fall within IEAM’s sphere of interest.
  • All submissions must:
    • Be succinct—no longer than 1,000 words
    • Only include, at most, one table or figure
    • Cite no more than six references, formatted according to IEAM journal requirements

We look forward to hearing from you. Please send all manuscripts via email as Word attachments to learned_discourses@setac.org.

Authors’ contact information: learned_discourses@setac.org