Harnessing the Power of Scientific Discovery in Reproductive Medicine

Siladitya Bhattacharya | OUP Blog | June 25, 2016

Human Reproduction Open (HR Open) is the official open access journal of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), launching in 2017. HR Open will publish content on clinical, biological, environmental, ethical, and social aspects of reproductive medicine. Reproductive medicine is a rapidly progressing field which generates a wealth of original and innovative research. As the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) gets ready to welcome a new open access journal to its prestigious family, we meet the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya, to find out how he sees the field developing in the future, and what he has in store for Human Reproduction Open (HR Open).

Advances in science such as the “omics” revolution have the potential to transform our understanding of reproductive biology and our approach to the management of subfertility. New techniques of ovarian stimulation, embryo culture, optimising implantation, and assessing embryo quality could make assisted reproduction safer and more effective. A personalised, prognosis-based approach could transform the way treatments are evaluated and implemented. At the same time, an expectation of conception on demand could prompt a redefinition of infertility and over-medicalisation of reproduction. There is a need to strike a balance between the availability of technology and its application in diverse social, ethical, and legal contexts. Harnessing the power of scientific discovery in order to provide treatments which benefit society will remain a key challenge.

The internet has transformed the nature and speed of communication in all walks of life, including academia and clinical decision making. An open access model is rapidly becoming the currency of research dissemination and there is a general agreement that scholarship should not be the preserve of a few. Scientists and clinicians across the world are hungry for services that can keep them abreast of the latest advances in science and medicine. Another key element of 21st century communication is immediacy—already evident in current styles of news coverage and social media use. Open access publishing facilitates rapid dissemination of scientific knowledge and potentially quicker implementation of effective treatments...