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Sunday, 23 December 2007

A new editor for Science

It has always been difficult to fathom what the journal Science means by the title "editor". For most of the leading journals, such as Nature and the medical publications, it is a professional journalist with experience on other publications. While Science does have its fair share of these folks, the top job, what they call the editor-in-chief, is usually a leading scientist whose previous experience is in filling the pages of the journals with the results of their research.

The AAAS, owner of Science, or perhaps it should be the other way round, given the journal's importance to the finances of the association, has continued the tradition with the
News Release announcing that the new editor is to be Bruce Alberts.

Alberts's other roles underline the point. He is president emeritus of the US National Academy of Sciences and was chair of the National Research Council between 1993 and 2005. Alberts, whose day job is as professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, "will become the 18th editor-in-chief of Science since its inception in 1880".