The Company of Biologists and Journal of Cell Science launch FocalPlane

FocalPlane is a trusted online meeting place to connect people, products, resources and information from the microscopy community.

Cambridge, UK, 1 July 2020 – Microscopy is a discipline that unites biologists across all areas of research. A frequently cited difficulty is the gap in knowledge sharing between microscopy experts and non-experts. Technical language can make the field feel exclusive and intimidating for those wanting to make use of current microscopy techniques. In response, The Company of Biologists and Journal of Cell Science have created a new community resource. FocalPlane is a community website for microscopists and biologists alike to share microscopy news, events and resources.

A Scientific Advisory Board has been appointed to support the site alongside its own dedicated Community Manager. Each of the five Advisory Board members bring their own microscopy specialism, making FocalPlane a centre of expertise. “We’ve been looking forward to creating this resource for a long time, to bring the biological research community [together] with the optical microscopy development community,” says Advisory Board member, Professor Ricardo Henriques (University College London, UK).
The community site is free to access and users can register for a free account to post their own contribution. FocalPlane will host news, interviews, opinions, tools, job listings and events to help promote interactions and foster connections. “We encourage you to make the site part of your online routine, and look forward to many interactions with you all,” says Sharon Ahmad, Executive Editor, Journal of Cell Science.
FocalPlane is the third community site launched by The Company of Biologists, following in the successful footsteps of the Node and preLights. The Node, now in its tenth year, serves the developmental biology community, whereas preLights is a preprint highlighting service featuring a team of over 200 early-career researchers.
Journal of Cell Science, which hosts the FocalPlane site, has a long history of publishing papers relating to microscopy. The journal was established in 1853 as ‘Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science’ and the archives showcase the evolution of microscopy over time.

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