The new issue of the Mètode magazine gives a special analysis on COVID-19

  • Mètode
  • June 3rd, 2020

Mètode, the Universitat de València's research dissemination journal, is publishing its second volume for 2020 with a selection of articles by specialists from different fields to analyse the COVID-19 crisis from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Communication professors Celeste Condit (University of Georgia), Teresa Thompson (University of Dayton) and Leah Ceccarelli (University of Washington), lecturer Ester Samper and Universitat de València Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Juli Peretó offer a scientific view of the evolution of this pandemic.

The special issue is completed with a platform by Juan Romero, Chair of Human Geography at the University of Valencia, and two articles in the regular sections of the journal by his collaborators: Josep Lluís Barona, Chair of History of Science at the Universitat de València, offers a reflection on pandemics throughout history, while Ricard Guerrero and Mercé Berlanga talk about SARS-CoV-2 from the point of view of microbiology.

"Science as an answer", this is how Martí Domínguez, director of Mètode, begins the editorial of the new issue. "This should be the message that permeates society after this crisis by the COVID-19", says the also professor of Journalism at the Universitat de València.

This special dossier joins the web section that was created on the occasion of the declaration of the state of alarm and the health crisis, in which, in addition to journalistic pieces, scientists such as Joandomènec Ros, president of the Institute of Catalan Studies; Josep Bernabeu-Mestre, chair of History of Science at the University of Alicante, and Salvador Macip, professor at the University of Leicester and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, have collaborated.

In addition, during the confinement, Mètode has launched the "Mètode at home" section on its Youtube channel, with video-conference interviews with specialists who are working on SARS-CoV-2 or on the consequences of the pandemic.

A central monograph on the standards of science

The special COVID-19 is included in the issue Standards: The Parts of Complexity, which addresses the issue of standards in science, with special emphasis on synthetic biology; an area that, both because of its novelty and complexity, still finds resistance in the field of standardization. The issue is coordinated by Juli Peretó - Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Universitat de València and Deputy Director of the Institute of Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio) - and Manuel Porcar - researcher at the Universitat de València in the Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology group at I2SysBio. Both participate with a joint article on the challenges posed by synthetic biology on its way to standardization.

In the opening article of the monograph, Víctor de Lorenzo, a researcher from the National Centre for Biotechnology, discusses the foundation of synthetic biology and the type of standards to which it should aspire. Pablo Shyfter, professor at the School of Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, brings a sociological perspective to the physical and social infrastructures that make it possible for standards to work. Sergi Valverde, PhD in Applied Physics and researcher at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at Pompeu Fabra University - CSIC, talks about the difficult (and perhaps impossible) standardisation of computer software. Finally, Michele Garfinkel, Director of Science Policy at the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), reflects on what standards science needs to meet the objectives of open science and responsible research and innovation.