The new “face-to-face” commentaries in Genes & Nutrition
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013
Published: 20 April 2013
Dear readers of Genes & Nutrition,
We are introducing a new type of commentary in the present issue, that we have named “face-to-face” and that we hope will appear more regularly in the future. We envision it as a forum for debates on hot topics, and it is structured as a “free” confrontation between scientists who are well known to take opposite stands on research topics relevant to the aims and scopes of the Journal. The articles in this series are therefore in the format of an interview, where the “interviewer” is represented by the scientist who proposes the topic to be discussed, prepares the specific questions to be debated, chooses the two “debaters,” and assembles the article on the basis of their answers. Lack of conventional peer reviewing is somehow implicit in the intrinsic nature of this type of commentary. However, the two debaters are to be considered as each other’s reviewer, because their answers often contain open criticisms of their opponent’s statements. They are therefore the most critical readers of each other’s answers, and we hope that this unusual format will further stimulate interactive discussion from our readers.
The interviewer and the debaters fully endorse the responsibility of their statements, which they read and approved before publication, so we invite anybody who wishes to comment on specific issues presented in this series to contribute to the forum by addressing their letters to the Editors. Their points will be forwarded to the authors, and published with their rebuttal, if any.
The first face-to-face commentary appearing in the present issue deals with a harsh debate on GMOs between a skeptic on their use in agriculture (M. Buiatti, University of Florence, Italy) and a supporter of their role in improving food production and quality (P. Christou, Universitat de Lleida, Barcelona, Spain). It was assembled by G. Pastore (INRAN, Italy) who posed seven questions on the pros and cons of GMOs in agriculture and of the resulting impact on the environment and human health.
Judging from the number of downloads made since online publication of this commentary, we expect it will elicit good feedback from other scientists willing to participate in the discussion.