People often ask me, “When DYSTENIUM Science officially launches, just what are you exactly trying to accomplish? What differentiates DYSTENIUM Science from all of the other science publishers out there?”
In a word – well, actually two words – it is flexibility and vision. Flexibility is expressed in the aptitude for quick and nimble reorganizing and reorienting work flows in the face of a seemingly exponential and accelerating increase in the rate of change in publishing. Vision comes from perpetual curiosity and the never ending quest to “see around the next corner” and anticipate what “lies over the horizon”.
These objectives, clearly, are more easily expressed than executed. Developing and sustaining an organizational culture that is permeated top to bottom and sideways with flexibility and vision is a difficult undertaking, indeed, one that organizations big and small wrestle with almost unanimously unsuccessfully on a daily basis. A tight horizontal organization that can assemble and reassemble itself according to needs and resources on a project basis is the organizational form of the future – no, make that today. Clearly, smaller organizations have less internal friction and inertia than lumbering behemoth mega-companies in which department, group or individual objectives may be radically and irrationally at odds with a statement of over-arching company objectives, that is if such a statement even exists.
So, back to the original question: “What is it, exactly, that DYSTENIUM Science is trying to accomplish?”
Utilizing flexibility and vision, DYSTENIUM Science – Science Is An Original Idea™ is aiming to publish cutting-edge interactive and environmentally sound properly vetted and peer-reviewed books. Sounds simple. Right?
As the late W.H. Auden wryly observed:
Attacking bad books is not only a waste of time but also bad for the character. If I find a book really bad, the only interest I can derive from writing about it has to come from myself, from such display of intelligence, wit and malice as I can contrive. One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
It is not the aim of DYSTENIUM Science or any DYSTENIUM imprint for that matter to provide yet more fodder for stroking the egos of reviewers like Auden.
DYSTENIUM’s objectives are intimately tied to the perception of where “books” are likely headed over the near-term – namely, to provide an integrated, animated and provocative learning experience. A good practical example of what is meant by the string of aforementioned adjectives is provided in the report of the success of the Open University in the UK in delivering course materials in the form of iBooks. This account provides perhaps the best statement of what ought to be generally understood publisher aspirations in today’s market that I’ve read anywhere. To read the full article, click the image.
Clearly, this is an exciting time to be alive and be a publisher. From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg. Now who would ever have thought that?
Enough for today.