Bruce Alberts, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and president emeritus of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, has been named the next editor-in-chief of Science. A prominent cell biologist best known for his work on the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated, Alberts has focused in recent years on public issues, especially the improvement of science education.
Alberts's appointment is being announced today by the board of directors of AAAS, publisher of Science. AAAS President David Baltimore, who chaired the search committee that nominated Alberts, says his "experience, skill, and interest in all of science make him the ideal person to continue the tradition of superb editors who have made Science the premier journal for the scientific community." Alberts will take over the editorship on 1 March 2008 from Donald Kennedy, who announced earlier this year that he would be retiring. Kennedy has served as editor-in-chief since 2000.
Alberts, 69, earned a doctorate from Harvard University in 1965, spent 10 years on the faculty of Princeton University, and moved to UCSF in 1976. He has published more than 150 research papers and is one of the original authors of a leading textbook, Molecular Biology of the Cell. He served two terms as president of the National Academy of Sciences, from 1993 to 2005. Then he returned to UCSF to continue working on issues he emphasized during his tenure at the academies: internationalizing science--especially building links to scientists in the developing world and strengthening scientific infrastructures--and improving science education.
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."