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Although the world has been always changing, there is some consensus concerning the high speed of current changes. The classic way in the public health community to shape opinions was the use of conferences, seminars, papers and books. But we should maybe accept that in a high speed changing world we need new tools in accordance to our times and the times to come. This is why we have decided to launch a new section in JECH called “The speaker's corner”, in order to give our authors (and readers interacting via the e-JECH rapid responses tool) the opportunity to speak and discuss more quickly and with more freedom in the public health arena.
We imagine this new section as very close to the current editorials, but with several advantages added: there is no need to include references, but they are not of course forbidden. We will review the pieces and take an editorial decision at a high speed. The idea is to have a more flexible place in which authors can give free opinions on public health matters without the academic constrictions of other sections of the journal. The only restriction we will have are those derived from the UK legislation on libel (we don't want to cause litigation problems to our publishers) and those dervived from the availability of printing space. So please keep your submissions as short as possible (400 words). The last JECHissue and this one contain good examples—taken from the members of our board who volunteered—of what the speaker's corner could be. Ilona Kickbush wrote an open letter to Bill Gates in our March issue, and now Len Duhl gives us intimate reflections on death as a surprise. So Ilona and Len have shown how the corner could be used both for the public and for the private. Let us know your views.
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