The following is the established format for referencing this article:Allen, C. R., P. Balvanera, and K. Brown. 2022. A new adaptive cycle for Ecology and Society. Ecology and Society 27(2):37.
Ecology and Society was launched 25 years ago as a result of C.S. (Buzz) Holling’s vision for a new type of journal, one that was free to read, inexpensive to publish in, interdisciplinary, web-based, and encouraged novel thinking and grounded speculation. When Buzz eventually stepped down as Editor-in-Chief (EIC), Ecology and Society was able to seamlessly transition to the leadership of Lance Gunderson and Carl Folke, with Marco Janssen eventually replacing Carl. Aiding the EICs in creating a successful journal was a team of journal managing editors, subject editors, authors, reviewers—and our readers. Ecology and Society is itself a complex system and is undergoing an adaptive cycle of renewal, restructuring, to continue improve functioning, and increase the quality of science being published.
A new adaptive cycle begins, as the new face of the webpage is launched, and a (relatively) new set of EICs takes the lead. Craig R. Allen has been serving from 1 April 2021. He is an ecologist at the University of Nebraska and the Director of the Center for Resilience in Agricultural Working Landscapes. Patricia (Patty) Balvanera, is an ecologist based at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), working on the links between biodiversity and human well-being from a social-ecological perspective. Katrina (Kate) Brown is a social scientist based in Exeter in the UK, researching social dynamics of resilience, transformation, and adaptation. We are honored and excited to take on the mantle and responsibility of editing the journal, following in the footsteps of distinguished and visionary scientists.
This journal has an amazing history of innovation and novelty and of fostering a vibrant and creative community of scholars. Ecology and Society pioneered open access, online publication, run by scientists for scientists. It has helped to open up and define a whole field of interdisciplinary analysis of social-ecological systems.
This field is growing and is ever more important and the sustainability crisis is more urgent and pervasive as ever. We want to take the journal forward and further innovate to meet these challenges, and foster novel, multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary integrative research. We want to broaden the diverse list of contributors from a wide range of scientific disciplines in natural and social sciences and arts and humanities, and are keen to include collaborative work of different kinds, between scientists and practitioners and across different knowledge domains. We are also looking forward to broadening our already diverse audience of scientists and practitioners from an array of disciplines and countries concerned with the relationship between society and the life-supporting ecosystems on which human well-being ultimately depends.
We are looking forward to receiving your most relevant, robust, and creative contributions on social-ecological systems and resilience. We invite researchers, indigenous peoples and scholars, practitioners and artists to contribute with research articles, resulting from original research, insight articles, including exciting perspectives and novel “out of the box” analyses, and synthesis articles, bringing different bodies of knowledge in comprehensive and novel ways.
We want to renew the cutting-edge nature of the journal. We are looking forward to broadening the contributions in terms of disciplines and fields, and include non-conventional science, especially transdisciplinary collaboration and interaction between scholars and practitioners. We are eager for papers exploring how different forms of knowledge, learning, and co-production can contribute to advancing our understanding of social-ecological systems and our ability to foster deeper and more just and sustainable future pathways. We invite papers that do more than just incrementally advance science, and papers that utilize online publishing in novel and more dynamics ways.
In this new phase we are keen to better depict the plural perspectives on resilience, and the lessons derived from a diversity of context-specific social-ecological systems dynamics around the world. We are seeking to develop mechanisms to address structural inequities in opportunities for publication that have hindered such diversity. We aim at nurturing a new generation of social-ecological resilience scholars who represent a global and diverse set of voices.
We have started to take a number of actions to facilitate these developments. The Resilience Alliance has prepared the new web portal of the journal that will likely encourage and facilitate access. As EICs, we have renewed the editorial policies and the ethical guidelines. We are expanding the team of subject editors to cover a wider range of regions of the world, disciplinary backgrounds, and career stages. We are designing strategies to foster interactions with this team and with the Ecology and Society community at large.
In coming months we will introduce further activities and actions to help us implement this vision. We are especially keen to expand the Ecology and Society community, within different geographical spaces and intellectual spaces, and to make sure the journal responds to authors’ and readers’ needs and demands. We want to nurture and support upcoming scientists, especially those from beyond the normal centers of academe.
We look forward to working with you and to learning about your work.