Nautilus

Frank Gannon says farewell to EMBO reports

Frank Gannon says goodbye as senior editor at EMBO reports in the journal’s April issue (10, 293; 2009). I shall certainly miss his monthly editorials, which I always looked forward to reading and often mentioned on this blog. On the occasion of his goodbye, he looks back at his contribution:

EMBO reports has not only garnered a reputation for reporting good science, but also paved the way with a novel Science & Society section. It has been a joy to help mould this section into something that our readers appreciate. A related major task—and a great pleasure—has been writing monthly editorials. When I had finished the first editorial, I experienced a moment of panic as I was faced with the challenge of finding a topic for the next month and beyond. More than one hundred editorials later, that concern has long gone. There are so many topics to write about that are relevant to scientists and that are not often addressed in other journals. Some of my favourites include language barriers for non-English speaking scientists (March, 2008), The downsides of mobility (March, 2007), the fate of scientists who reach retirement age (March, 2004), bullying (October, 2008), Family matters (November, 2005), and role models and mentors (December, 2006). Then there are all of the societal topics that address how science is catering to, and is directed by, politics and business, such as the ‘Faustian’ bargain of private interests and university research (March, 2003), or the role of government in directing science (December, 2003). My editorial, An NIH/NSF for Europe ( June, 2002), was one of the first serious calls for a European Research Council, which has now become a reality. And, of course, it is always fun to take a sidelong look at the scientific community and comment on how we behave. My favourites on this theme are Conformists (October, 2007) and Meeting standards ( January, 2006). It was similarly amusing to write a tongue-in-cheek rejection letter to Charles Darwin ( January, 2009) while a crowded world of communication was eulogizing him for his two-hundreth birthday.”

And there is news of the new order:

“Howy Jacobs has agreed to become the new Senior Editor of EMBO reports. I have known Howy for many years, both as a great scientist and communicator, and I have had many thought-provoking and enjoyable discussions with him. I have no doubt that the journal is in good hands for the years to come. I am certain that with Howy’s guidance, EMBO reports will increase even further in value and stature as an important source of information for the scientific community—and our broader readership—communicating both insightful scientific research, and commenting on and reporting the ongoing debates about how science and society shape one other in the twenty-first century.”

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