Welcome to the November issue of Materials World.

While this issue’s features are specifically themed on ‘Improving Lives’, every issue of this magazine in fact carries articles about innovations that seek to bring benefits to society in a myriad of ways and that are important to share more widely. Indeed, the very basis of our publication depends on those expert academics and industry professionals who openly talk to us about their work, so we can, in turn, share it with you in a more accessible way.

“When you are publicly funded to do your research, the output cannot just be, in my opinion, scientific papers that often sit behind paywalls,” insists Physicist, Author and Science Communicator Laurie Winkless, in her interview in this issue. She argues, “There has to be some public face, some public output.” Winkless reflects on this dynamic as she talks to us about science communication.

She notes, “I don’t necessarily think that we should expect all scientists to be good communicators about their work. Or to be willing to be put in the public eye...[often] they don’t have time – even if they want to do it.” That’s where science writers/communicators and communications professionals can help, but she insists it needs to be a collaborative process, breaking down mistrust that can sometimes build on both sides.

We hope you enjoy this issue.