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We intend that from issue three onwards, Medical Humanities will alternate between a general issue published each June and thematic issues published each December. The general issues will provide a forum for papers and discussions of various topics, arising either independently or in response to papers published in previous issues of the journal; these non-thematic issues will none the less continue to pursue our general aim of seeking to explore the “integrated conception” of the medical humanities–that conception according to which the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences are regarded as belonging at the core of medical knowledge and practice. Original, high quality papers on topics falling within this general aim are invited. The thematic issues will be announced at least two issues (one calendar year) in advance of publication. The first of these, to be published in December 2001, will be devoted to “The role of the imagination in science and scientific medicine”. Original, high quality papers are sought for this issue. Contributors should follow the guidance given at our website ( and should submit contributions to the editors at the address shown. Informal discussion with the editors prior to submission is welcomed.J Med Ethics: Medical Humanities