Labtimes 2017-06

page 6 Lab Times 6-2017 News F irst of all: If there is anybody out there, who is willing and, of course, able to save this unique European project, please, speak up! It is not as expensive as you might think. Let’s just say, the price of a decent new car – every year. Nevertheless, don’t hesitate; give us a call! Many of you are wondering, why Lab Times should have to cease publication, especially now. Here are a few points from the publisher’s view: Lab Times was funded by ads and there were simply too few ads to make a living during the last few years. When we started the project in 2006, the business idea was to create a magazine, through which companies could reach as many Eu- ropean customers as possible; the European mar- ket, as they say. And we really got off to a cracking start: more than 25,000 copies per issue from the outset. Companies recognised that in the early years and we thought we must be riding on the right track. Over time, things changed. Larger companies in- creasingly bought the smaller ones. For instance, three ads from smaller companies became just one placed by the new owner; clearly a synergistic effect for them. Most unfortunate of all, the majority of those larger companies was located in the USA. For US compa- nies, advertising in a print magazine is like creating an Excel sheet on papyrus roll. So, where should we point the finger? About the same time, roughly 2010, our print run began to decline. How could this be? It took us some time to figure out as our readers don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves. Particularly those no longer reading our magazines. Now, however, we are quite certain: many simply don’t like reading any more than necessary. Especially the younger generation. Scientists – like yourselves – have to read. You have to read all the papers in your field, day by day; heavy and hard-going stuff. We always took pride in and understood our writing to be an entertaining counter-offensive against this hard-core paper read- ing in the labs. We tried to send information to your minds without frying your brains. And indeed, most of our readers highly appreciated this, for many years. But even this front began to crumble. Mini YouTube videos are gradually pervading the labs, being distributed in a viral manner; tweets are chirped from one smartphone to the next; and many prefer chatting on WhatsApp or WhatEver! This seems to be entertaining enough for the upcoming generation of scientists. Reading texts for entertainment is okay – up to 140 characters, or 280 nowadays! Is this a warning sign? Will all print media go down? Definitely not! To all you enthusiastic readers out there: do not fret, it is not all doom and gloom! Paper is still the very best material for good journalism. The internet is full of fake, phishing and disinfor- mation. Try the same on paper and you would soon find yourself in court. Besides, when your favourite print magazine arrives in the post, it’s almost like receiving a birthday package: you are curious as to what you will find inside. You’ll leaf through the pages one by one, searching, discovering and absorbing its content. No blinking and twinkling banners, no pop-up boxes, no risk of clicking yourself off. Instead, reading from paper gives you time to ap- preciate, be aware, concentrate and contemplate. It con- fronts you with perspectives from outside of your per- sonal information bubble. And it ultimately offers you a huge variety of journalistic items and disciplines in one single source. You’d have to do a lot of Google- ing around to find half such a set on the www. It is still possible to run a business publishing printed magazines. We know this, as we do so suc- cessfully with Laborjournal . There will be fewer readers globally in the future, this we do not doubt, but there will always be many, who continue to appreciate and even prefer print for the reasons I have described. The major outlay for Lab Times was due to expensive shipping costs all over Europe, from Iceland to Greece, and the capacity of the “margin buffer” had become too small for it to survive. Subsequently, after two years of subsidising what we still believe to be an excellent product, the time has come for us to say goodbye to Lab Times . A huge personal “Thank You” goes to Kathleen Gransalke, for the making of this high quality magazine and her dedication as its managing editor. To me, the most challenging and exciting thing you did was to find and keep together a dozen wonderful freelance sci- ence writers from all over Europe. Thank you also to all of you, without whom Lab Times would not have achieved its goals over the last twelve years. I extend my very best wishes for the future. Kai Herfort Being dependent on your approbation We wished, alas! Our work might be commended. We’re disappointed too. With consternation We see the curtain closed, the plot unended. Bertolt Brecht Dear Readers,

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Nzk1Nzg=