The year 2020, which is slowly coming to an end, was special in several respects. First and foremost, it was marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, which severely limited physical contact and, more importantly, completely changed our work and business habits. Literally overnight, we were forced to switch to (almost) entirely digital communications and telecommuting. As it turned out, we were obviously working in the right direction in the past, because this transition did not stop us completely. We also proved our digital competence in the editorial board of Les/Wood and continued our work smoothly, and already in late spring, when the first wave of the epidemic was just ending, published the spring issue, as planned for that time. It was a similar story for this issue. All the editorial meetings, the work on common documents, all the communication with authors and reviewers went online without major issues. Many thanks to all those involved in this process for their willingness to take on new challenges.
The year 2020 will also be remembered for its resounding events, which were very important for Slovenian wood science, as it gained recognition for its excellence and general social importance. The Zois Prize, the highest state award of the Republic of Slovenia for the most important scientific research achievements of the year, was at the end of 2020 awarded to Prof. Dr. Katarina Čufar for her achievements in the development of dendrochronology and wood science, which is a great confirmation of her excellence and years of hard work in these fields. At the same time, this was proof that achievements in wood science can compete with the most important achievements in other scientific fields, such as physics and chemistry. Prof. Dr. Katarina Čufar also received the Golden Plaque from the University of Ljubljana for outstanding scientific research, exemplary teaching and achievements in enhancing the university's reputation, a recognition that only confirmed her outstanding abilities. Another important recognition of Slovenian wood science was demonstrated by the appointment of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Nikolaj Torelli with the title "Professor Emeritus of the University of Ljubljana", which is awarded by to retired professors for their recognizable contributions to the operation, reputation and development of the University of Ljubljana. Of course, we also need to mention the prestigious "Donald Michie - Alan Turing" award received by Prof. Dr. Lidija Zadnik Stirn. As a proof of the excellence of our students, we are especially pleased to point to Eli Keržič,, who received the Jesenko Award for the best Master's student 2019 at the Biotechnical Faculty, which is also an important recognition of the high quality of study programmes related to wood science. All these awards and recognitions are presented in detail in this issue, as they are important evidence of the current academic excellence of Slovenian wood science, and also present a firm basis for its future development.
At the Department of Wood Science and Technology, a number of very good, if not exceptional, diplomas were defended in September 2020. However, two graduates – Katarina Remic (Academic Study Programme in Wood Science and Technology) and Toni Šauperl (Professional Study Programme in Wood Engineering) – prepared the main findings of their diploma theses and co-authored them with their mentors in the form of scientific articles to be published in this issue. The articles are both extremely interesting. Among the co-authors of the scientific articles in this issue are some of our PhD students, Nina Škrk, Vanja Turičnik, Rožle Repič, Jaša Saražin and Jure Žigon. We are very happy when young people start writing articles, because it shows, on the one hand, the potential for scientific excellence in research, and it also represents a solid basis for the further development of technical terminology in Slovenian.
Additionally, another event is undoubtedly important for the development of the journal Les/Wood. After pioneering the publication of original data and photographs at the Repository of the University of Ljubljana (RUL) in an earlier issue, Sebastian Dahle and co-authors, as well as Nina Škrk and co-authors, also used this practice in their articles in this issue. Thus, this approach seems to have caught on, keeping Les/Wood in step with the leading international journals.I am thus confident that you will find a lot of interesting reading in this issue. You are also welcome to prepare and submit your articles for publication in future issues so that Les/Wood can continue to develop. Thank you in advance.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Jože Kropivšek
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