Annual Reviews appoints Eva Emerson to lead new digital magazine

Image credit: Sandy Schaffer, Science News.

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that Eva Emerson has been appointed editor to lead a soon-to-be launched digital magazine. Eva has an outstanding track record in the communication of science, having most recently served as Editor of Science News.

Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-In-Chief said:

“Eva’s journalistic talent, digital publishing expertise and significant leadership ability make her a natural fit for this position. We’re delighted she has joined this innovative project in Annual Reviews’ 85th year of service to the research community.”

The magazine is set to launch in 2017 with generous support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Comprising feature articles, interviews, videos and podcasts, infographics, slideshows, and animations, the magazine will explore the real-world significance of the research covered in Annual Reviews journals in an appealing and accessible way. The content will be freely available to anyone to read and reuse, and will attract those who wish to stay abreast of progress in research in the natural and social sciences.

“Annual Reviews was founded to help scientists keep abreast of what was even then considered an overwhelming amount of relevant literature,” Eva says. “Its role is to synthesize understandings revealed in individual research articles into something larger – emerging trends, insights, analyses — and to articulate where scientific progress stands now, from the point of view of scientists working in their fields. Taking advantage of the digital space, the new magazine aims to reveal such milestones to a broad audience in compelling ways.”

A native of Los Angeles, Eva brings over 20 years of experience in science communication to the Annual Reviews team. As Managing Editor and then Editor in Chief of Science News, she helped to oversee a shift to daily digital journalism, the creation of a robust website and huge growth in social media followers. She is delighted to join nonprofit Annual Reviews. “We want to elevate intelligent, informed discourse. This feels especially urgent right now, given the erosion of public trust in facts that the Internet enables and thrives on.”

About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit Moore.org and follow @MooreFound.

About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation: The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Founded in 1934 by industrialist Alfred P. Sloan Jr, the Foundation supports original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics.

About Annual Reviews: Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and benefit of society.  Journalists who require further information, access to our content or press contacts can visit the Press Center.

 

 

 

Annual Review of Statistics and Its Application, Volume 4

Investigate the full table of contents for Volume 4 of the Annual Review of Statistics and Its Application.

st4-fingerprintOne topic I’ve been tracking for a while is addressed by Stern’s article “Statistical Issues in Forensic Science.”  In the past decade, there have been many challenges to accepted forensic science—such as fingerprint analysis. Fingerprints are used by the author to demonstrate how statistical methods could be used to address current problems:

Another concern expressed in the 2009 NRC report is whether the forensic practitioner community has a full appreciation of the role of uncertainty in forensic examinations. For many years (through the early 2000s), it was common for latent print examiners to support a claimed identification by noting that the process they followed had zero error rate. Another popular claim was that the source of a print was identified to the exclusion of all other people that had ever lived or ever would live. Those who work in scientific disciplines and appreciate the role of uncertainty know that such claims are not credible. Recent studies have demonstrated a low but nonzero misidentification error rate for latent fingerprint examiners. In other forensic disciplines, it is common to have examiners testify to a “reasonable degree of scientific certainty.” This language was recently criticized by the NCFS because it does not have a standard definition and might confuse or mislead jurors (NCFS 2016).

Jeffrey T. Leek & Leah R. Jager tackle another much discussed topic in their article “Is Most Published Research Really False?” This has been a concern in many fields for the past several years, and because a lot of the discussion has involved some high-level statistics, I was very glad to find more information from this perspective. The introduction is especially good at laying out some of the possible concerns:

But this system was invented before modern computing, data generation, scientific software, email, the Internet, and social media. Each of these inventions has placed strain on the scientific publication infrastructure. These modern developments have happened during the careers of practicing scientists. Many laboratory leaders received their training before the explosion of cheap data generation, before the widespread use of statistics and computing, and before there was modern data analytic infrastructure. At the same time, there has been increasing pressure from review panels, hiring committees, and funding agencies to publish positive and surprising results in the scientific literature. These trends have left scientists with a nagging suspicion that some fraction of published results are at minimum exaggerated and at worst outright false.

Statistics articles ripped from the headlines? We have one! For example, Dwork et al.’s article “Exposed! A Survey of Attacks on Private Data” offers an introduction to an interesting facet of the privacy discussion: How do we use information publicly while protecting a sensitive dataset:

We focus on the simple scenario in which there is a dataset x containing sensitive information, and the goal is to release statistics about the dataset to the public. These statistics may be fixed in advance or may be chosen by the analyst, who queries the dataset. Speaking intuitively (because we have not yet defined privacy), the goal in privacy-preserving data analysis is to protect the privacy of the individual records in the dataset, even if the analyst maliciously chooses queries according to an attack strategy designed to compromise privacy.

Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, she has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.

Annual Review of Cancer Biology – now available online

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Annual Review of Cancer Biology, the 47th in our collection of highly cited review journals. It seems appropriate to focus on Cancer Research, a field that is deeply linked to the investigation of central themes in the life sciences, during our 85th year of service to the research community. It is also a natural fit for the interdisciplinary coverage of our portfolio of existing journals.

Co-Editors Dr. Tyler Jacks (Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT) and Dr. Charles L. Sawyers (Chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering) said:

“Cancer Biology covers a wide range of disciplines that are converging to provide a deep understanding of the cancer cell and the various biological and physiological processes that contribute to tumor initiation and progression. These advances—coupled with the application of an increasing array of powerful technologies—have paved the way for the development of numerous new medicines that are greatly benefiting cancer patients.”

Annual Review of Cancer Biology cover icon

Their introduction to the first volume summarizes the goals of this new publication. The first volume of the Annual Review of Cancer Biology contains more than twenty reviews that address the basic mechanisms of cancer development and the translation to therapeutic strategies today and in the future. The journal scope includes three broad themes to cover a broad spectrum of the rapidly moving cancer biology field: Cancer Cell Biology, Tumorigenesis and Cancer Progression, and Translational Cancer Science.

The first volume also contains a review by Dr. Harold Varmus (Weill Cornell Medical College) entitled How Tumor Virology Evolved into Cancer Biology and Transformed Oncology (published Open Access). Dr. Sawyers expanded, “Cancer research has become deeply linked to investigation of the central themes in the life sciences. Dr. Varmus’s work has been important to the evolution of our interdisciplinary science.”

Tyler Jacks, MIT.

Dr. Jacks is also involved in the Cancer Moonshot, where he serves as the Scientific Panel Co-Chair. Former US Vice-President Joe Biden updated attendees of SXSW on March 12th with progress of the Moonshot. To learn more about Dr. Jacks’ dedication to cancer research, check out his presentation at TEDxCambridge: Tyler Jacks (Life lessons from 34 years of fighting cancer.)

Charles L. Sawyers, MSKCC.

Dr. Sawyers is involved in Stand up to Cancer, a groundbreaking initiative created to accelerate innovative cancer research and quickly provide patients with access to new therapies in the hope of saving lives. He is the co-leader of the Scientific Research Dream Team on Precision Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer.

This journal is now available online (March 6th, 2017). If you are a journalist, writer, or blogger who wants access to this and/or other Annual Reviews journals, please email us. The official Press Release is available in our Press Center.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society.

 

Eugene Garfield – 1925-2017 – a life of impact

Eugene Garfield. May 9th, 2007.

By Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-In-Chief of Annual Reviews. 

It is with great sadness that I write to share the news that Dr. Eugene Garfield, one of the longest serving members of the Annual Reviews Board of Directors, passed away yesterday (26th February 2017) at the age of 91. Throughout his tenure Gene provided invaluable and enthusiastic support to us.

That Gene’s life created an impact is undisputed.

He first mentioned the idea of an impact factor in science in 1955 and an article in JAMA tells the story of how he and Irving H. Sher created it. In research that he conducted in the late 1950s, he developed the concept of citation analysis, which provided researchers with a powerful network to identify, connect and retrieve information, decades before the internet.

Although he was an information scientist at heart, Gene’s entrepreneurial flair is revealed in a catalogue of highly successful business ventures. The products that he developed from this research, including Current Contents and the Science Citation Index, are still in use today. Gene founded a very successful business, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), to produce these products and they were for many years part of Thomson Reuters until their IP and Science business was bought out in 2016 (now Clarivate Analytics). 

His influence extended well beyond scientific information.  Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin acknowledged Gene in their academic work on PageRank, the algorithm that powers their company’s search engine, leading Gene to be described as “the grandfather of Google.”

My relationship with Gene and his wife Meher goes back prior to my arrival at Annual Reviews in May 2015. I was privileged to work with him between 2002 and 2010 as Editor and Publisher at The Scientist, a professional magazine for life scientists that Gene founded in 1986. He had boldly envisaged it as a daily newspaper for scientists distributed at campuses across the country, and we brought his vision to reality with The Scientist Daily, launched a decade ago. Ellis Rubinsten, an early employee of The Scientist who became Editor of Science, says that Gene’s encouragement of great science journalism ended up transforming both Science and Nature’s research coverage.

Gene was also a pioneering employer. The ISI office had a state-of-the-art childcare facility attached, maximizing convenience for the staff. And he trained and supported many of the female leaders in the publishing industry today. The awards that he inspired also give an indication of his interests, including The Eugene Garfield Residency in Science Librarianship and the ALISE Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Competition. He also supported and was a Board Member of Research!America.

News of a memorial service will be forthcoming and we will share it here. All of us at Annual Reviews offer our sincere condolences to his family. We are grateful for his life. He will be greatly missed. 

Image credit: Chemical Heritage Foundation to Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA.

Ken Arrow and the Annual Review of Economics

From Sam Gubins, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Annual Reviews

Kenneth Arrow.

It is achingly sad to report the passing of Kenneth Arrow. As described by Michael Weinstein in Monday’s New York Times, Ken Arrow was a brilliant economist, the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics. He was also the founding Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Economics.

At a lunch at the Stanford Faculty Club in April, 2007, I invited Ken to launch an Annual Review in economics. Although Annual Reviews had been publishing journals in the social sciences for several decades, none were in economics. While this publishing house is well known in many disciplines, it was largely unknown among economists. For this reason I was concerned that Ken would be unconvinced of the need for extended reviews written by leading economists, and additionally, that leading economists would not easily be persuaded to write them. Ken quickly dispelled both concerns. He said that he was a regular reader of articles in many Annual Reviews series and understood how valuable they were in synthesizing developments in fields. He had been introduced to them by the sociologist Robert K. Merton and the psychologist Gardner Lindzey. In addition to the social science journals, Ken read articles in several Annual Reviews, including Public Health, Neuroscience, Environment, Ecology, and others. So to my request that he take on the task of serving as inaugural editor, he agreed enthusiastically, inviting Timothy Bresnahan to serve as a Co-Editor.

Most of those he invited to join him on the inaugural editorial committee were unfamiliar with Annual Reviews, yet all agreed to serve.  And most of those invited to write reviews accepted and delivered a manuscript.  Ken was so beloved and revered that the community was eager to join any endeavor of which he was a part.

His colleagues persuaded Ken to write an essay for Volume 1, Some Developments in Economic Theory Since 1940: An Eyewitness Account, which is a personal reflection on his relationship to the development of economic theory over 70 years.

Tim Bresnahan captured the essence of Ken when he wrote, “he was a great man, a great colleague, and a great economist.” We were privileged to have known him.

Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

“Queen of Carbon Science” Mildred Dresselhaus Dies

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 17.20.21.pngMildred S. Dresselhaus, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) physicist known as the “Queen of Carbon Science,” died at the age of 86 years in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Monday, February 20, 2017. She was the first woman at MIT to attain the rank of full, tenured professor, and the first woman to receive the National Medal of Science in Engineering.

Dr. Dresselhaus spent her career studying the properties of carbon and was instrumental in developing carbon nanotubes, which have shown promise in the creation of better electricity conduction and stronger materials. She also contributed to the development of thermoelectric materials, which can transform temperature difference into electricity.

Read her autobiographical article in the 2011 Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics.

Friday at AAAS 2017: A Science Salad

schedule-boardToday was a little bit of everything as I continued to get a feel for this years conference. I started off by checking in on some of the results from Obama’s 2013 BRAIN initiative to research new methods of treating and preventing brain disorders. This was the first all female panel I have seen at AAAS! It was really heartening to watch these engineers and researchers describe their projects. My favorite being the wearable PET scan!  No more having to lay perfectly still in a big tube and pretend you’re on a roller coaster. Now there’s a chance of getting valuable diagnostic data from people who cannot hold still or safely lay down. It’s quite amazing.

From there I headed to a lively discussion about the ethics of gene editing. I found one speaker’s comparison of IVF treatment and gene therapy very compelling. I next found myself listening to Daniel Nocera talk about the chemistry behind his artificial leaves that can turn sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel. I had to pull on all of my old high school chemistry lessons but I followed the discussion enough to be very impressed with the idea.

I especially enjoy the astronomy panels at every AAAS meeting, and usually come away counting down the months until a favored project launches. This year I was introduced to a coming exploration of Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Europa has an ocean over a rocky sea bed that is covered by a thick sheet of ice. Those rocks and water make it a good candidate for having some sort of life. NASA is planning for 20 days of battery life on the surface while carrying 42 kg of scientific instruments. The mission is currently planned for 2024–25.

With my head full of space dreams, I found a seat at Naomi Oreskes’s Plenary lecture titled “The Scientist as Sentinel” and listened to her history of scientists as political activists. I was thinking about the good timing of that lecture as I followed a group of young scientists out into the hallway and heard them making plans for the protest on Sunday.

Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, she has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.