Royal Society Publishing


What is the future of scholarly scientific communication?

As part of our Publishing350 programme to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Philosophical Transactions, the Royal Society convened and hosted a series of debates on the evolving and controversial areas in scholarly communication.  Topics discussed included peer review; the use of impact metrics in research assessment; reproducibility; ethics and misconduct; business models and profiting from publishing; and the mechanisms by which scientific knowledge is disseminated and assessed.  Participants in the debates included researchers, research funders, university leaders, policy makers, publishers and data experts, who discussed these areas and how science might be communicated in the future.

The ensuing Future of scholarly scientific communication report is now available, as well as audio from the original sessions.

How we can learn from nature

Biological structures and processes have benefited from billions of years of refinement during the process of the evolution of life on Earth. So why should we not benefit from what nature discovered in designing our own new technologies? On 27 May, scientitists from a range of disciplines discussed how inspiration from nature had inspired their work and how it can contribute to the technological evolution. Watch the recorded sessions and read the resulting issue of Interface Focus, organised by Denis Noble, Clemens Kaminski and Richard Templer.

Celebrating 350 years of Philosophical Transactions

6 March 2015 marked 350 years since the first issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions was published.  To celebrate the anniversary, we published two special issues which look back at highlights from the archive, alongside commentaries by current leading scientists, historians and science writers. The physical sciences and mathematics are covered in Philosophical Transactions A, whilst the life sciences in Philosophical Transactions B.  You can also watch a series of videos celebrating the anniversary and tell us about your favourite Philosophical Transactions paper on our blog.

Science stories

Scientific journals, and Philosophical Transactions in particular, are a remarkable record of great moments of discovery, and the minds that both gave birth to those ideas and communicated them to the rest of the world. In this series of short films, Fellows of the Royal Society, the researchers we fund, and award recipients discuss the stories behind the papers and show that in science, there is no final chapter.

Young Scientist Journal and Royal Society partnership

A partnership between Young Scientists Journal and the Royal Society marks 350 years of scientific publishing, pioneered by Philosophical Transactions. For some years, the Royal Society has been awarding Partnership Grants to enable schools to carry out real research with the help of a professional scientist. These schools have been encouraged to write up their research for submission to, and publication in, Young Scientists Journal.

The paradigm shift for forensic science

The discipline of forensic science is facing problems internationally, and the discipline is approaching a critical juncture. A new theme issue of Philosophical Transactions B examines what has transpired within the forensic science field in the six years since the wake-up call delivered by the US National Research Council report in 2009 (‘Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward’), and lays the groundwork for what still needs to be done.

The weird and wonderful world of sea squirts: a tribute to Thomas Huxley

The great biologist and philosopher Thomas Huxley published landmark papers in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society on pelagic tunicates, the cousins of the well-known sea squirts. More than 150 years after Huxley's papers, a special Publishing350 review in Open Biology explains why tunicates are still at the forefront of biological research, and how they provide original and crucial insights into the process of animal evolution.

Announcing the 4th Notes and Records essay award

The Notes and Records 4th essay award invites entries from researchers in the history of science who have completed a postgraduate degree within the last five years. The winner wiill receive £500, publication in Notes and Records and a year's subscription to the journal.  The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2016. For further details, including how to enter, visit our website.