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Nature announces new editor-in-chief

Geneticist Magdalena Skipper is first woman to head the 149-year-old journal.

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Dr. Magdalena Skipper

Magdalena Skipper.Credit: Ian Alderman

Nature has named Magdalena Skipper as its new editor-in-chief. She is the first woman to hold the post.

Skipper, who is currently editor-in-chief of the open-access journal Nature Communications, will become the eighth editor of Nature. She will take over from Philip Campbell, who will move to the newly created post of editor in chief at publisher Springer Nature on 1 July.

The announcement comes after a lengthy selection process. Skipper has worked at Nature journals for more than 15 years. She first joined the publisher in 2001 as an editor of Nature Reviews Genetics, later becoming the journal’s chief editor.

During her tenure as Nature’s editor-in-chief, Skipper says she wants to continue the work that the journal does to ensure that scientific findings are reproducible and robust, particularly in the age of big data. She would also like Nature to focus more on early-career researchers.

“Science is becoming increasingly analytically complex and data rich, so there is an increased focus on data and computation. We have taken some amazing strides,” Skipper says, while adding that there is more work to be done.

She adds that as research is evolving, so too is the reporting of research, and it is up to publishers to work with scientists to meet the challenges that lie ahead. “Open science is very important,” she says. “This is a direction in which we will be following further.”

Campbell, who held the job for more than 22 years, says that he “could not be more pleased” with her appointment. “I know that Nature and its editorial team will truly thrive under her leadership. She is passionate about science and about its communication, and she has engaged strongly with the research community throughout her career,” he adds.

“Magdalena has already accomplished a huge amount at Nature and enjoys great respect and admiration within the organisation and in the wider scientific community," says Kevin Davies, executive editor at The CRISPR Journal and the founding editor of Nature Genetics. "It’s great to see a life scientist finally take the helm of Nature after almost 150 years."

Skipper has a PhD in genetics from the University of Cambridge, UK, and had a short stint as postdoctoral researcher at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-05060-w
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