Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bruce Alberts Is the New Editor-in-chief of Science

 
The board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced yesterday that Bruce Alberts will take over as editor-in-chief of Science magazine, effective March 1, 2008 [Prominent cell biologist will take reins on 1 March].
Alberts will retain his UCSF faculty position and expects to devote half of his time to Science. "I view Science magazine as a critical venue for maintaining the standards of science, as well as for spreading an understanding and appreciation for science around the world," says Alberts. "With the tremendous challenges we face today, both of these important aims need constant attention."
As many of you know, Bruce is interested in science education and this is a marvelous opportunity for him to improve the quality of science journalism [Bruce Alberts in Toronto]. I happen to know that he is also curious about blogging and its effect on science education so maybe there will be more press about bloggers in future editions of Science.


8 comments :

  1. Both jobs are essentially full time. I'm quite sceptical of professors with significant side jobs. He'll
    likely neglect one of his two jobs now.
    It would have been better if he had given
    up the faculty position for someone else who actually has enough time for it now.

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  2. This is extremely good news, both for science and for Science. Alberts epitomizes what a public intellectual should strive to be.

    As for nn's comment -- how could a professor with Albert's skills make a bigger impact on his field and on society? It is rather difficult to imagine what nn thinks a professor's job actually is, or should be. nn certainly doesn't say.

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  3. nn says,

    It would have been better if he had given
    up the faculty position for someone else who actually has enough time for it now.


    You don't give up tenured faculty positions when you take up jobs like this. Alberts retained his position at UCSF during the 12 years he spent as President of the National Academies.

    These jobs are temporary. Nobody would ever take them if they had to resign their academic appointment.

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  4. I'll add, in response to nn, that most universities don't mind their faculty taking such appointments. They see it as a round-about endorsement of the quality of their faculty, and such appointments are often trumpeted loudly.

    This in addition to what the other two posters said.

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  5. Alberts seems to be exactly the kind of editor they'd want if they are interested in the quality of their publication's science reporting as well as of its function as a primary journal. Well done AAAS.

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  6. Kevin, perhaps they do, but is it in
    the best interest of their research and their students? I doubt it. People accumulating offices is always a bad sign.
    e.g. if he taught currently he'll likely
    mostly have to "out source" that to some
    other people and it would be fairer
    to just call them professor then.

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  7. nn, you really don't have any idea how universities work, do you?

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  8. but is it in the best interest of their research and their students?

    Let's put this another way. Alberts's research record is one of the best in our business; if you were in our business, nn, you would already know that. And I can honestly say that I've learned as much about how to do science from Bruce Alberts as I have from any other scientist, with only three exceptions. This is without so much as standing face-to-face with the guy or exchanging an e-mail with him. This is just from reading his papers. He's that good.

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