Over the last 12 months, the world has seen a lot of change and as we all look ahead now to 2021, with vaccines offering the promise of a return to social normality, we are reminded there is hope. During this time, Portland Press and the Biochemical Society have been working hard behind the scenes to improve The Biochemist, and we would like to take this opportunity to give you an update.

In October 2019, we launched a new online offering (https://portlandpress.com/biochemist) as part of our new Portland Press websites, with greater search and sharing functions. All content published in the magazine is made available online to the community for free and published under an open access license so you can share it with your colleagues and reuse it if you wish.

During the second half of 2020, we have been looking at processes to make the production of the magazine more efficient (including for authors) and therefore we have brought in an XML-first workflow and submission system. XML-first workflows will help to streamline the publishing process for both the author and the publishing team, while the online manuscript processing system would enable us to track submissions to the magazine and operate an online peer review process.

The Biochemist has provided researchers from all over the world and at all career stages the opportunity to share what they feel is important – from work addressing inequality in the STEM fields, to our beginner’s guide series sharing technical knowledge, and we are proud to be able to continue to do so in 2021. Looking ahead to themes we aim to cover in forthcoming issues, including biological symmetry, vaccine strategies, and diabetes and insulin, we hope to bring you something of interest – whatever your current research field.

If you read the editorial in our last issue, you will know that Chris Willmott has now stepped down as Science Editor and we would like to introduce you to our new Science Editor, Heather Doran.

Heather has been a member of The Biochemist Editorial Board since 2017 and is the Public Engagement Manager for the award winning Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee. Her PhD from the University of Aberdeen is in molecular pharmacology and her undergraduate degree is in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, so she is a biochemist by background and training. Heather has worked in public engagement since 2012 where her efforts have been focused on supporting researchers to engage with the public through face-to-face initiatives, designed citizen science projects and online engagement. Respected in her field, in 2015/2016 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship on the communication of science travelling to the USA, Japan and China to explore how major research institutes and individual researchers help foster online engagement through social media.

We are always looking for ways we can improve the magazine. If you would like to contribute content or have suggestions for future themes you would like to see covered, please contact us at editorial@PortlandPress.com.