Connect the Science: Careers with a Mission

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Scholarly publishing and editing reflects an ecosystem as diverse as the research we help to communicate. This issue of Science Editor features a focus on careers centered on roles in that scientific ecosystem. While it’s easy to perform an internet search and find generic descriptions of jobs, here we offer a glimpse into the firsthand experiences of our colleagues. You’ll hear their voices through their words, and without exception each has a unique, fascinating story to tell.

CSE’s President, Sarah Tegen, Vice President Global Editorial & Author Services at the American Chemical Society (ACS), reflects a diverse career in scientific publishing. Her team oversees strategic, financial, and editorial operations for over 50 ACS journals with more than 500 scientific editors around the globe. She started her career in scholarly publishing at PNAS, where she solicited content in the physical sciences and social sciences and edited the journal’s front matter. With an undergraduate degree in biology (from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and a PhD in molecular and cell biology (from the University of California, Berkeley), stepping away from the bench took a leap of faith, but Sarah knew she wanted to pursue a career that combined her love of science and meeting people. Combining her scientific expertise and editorial background, Sarah emerged as a leader in our field.

In this issue, we also have the second in our new series called “An Editor’s Perspective.” Dr. Joseph Loscalzo reflects on his twelve years as Editor-in-Chief of Circulation, published by the American Heart Association. You’ll also learn more about editorial roles at Circulation as Pam Goldberg Smith, Editorial Assistant, presents a first-person piece about the transition to working at home but still discovering colleagues around the world. She vividly discusses the winding path that lead her to making an impact not just at the journal but also in the field of science.

This issue also features a series of illuminating interviews. Did you ever wonder what a consultant does all day? Michael Clarke of Clarke Consulting offers a keen observation: “Like just about everyone else in the industry, I wound up in STM and scholarly publishing by accident.” He talks about working around smart, talented, and dedicated people and the ways in which each organization—regardless of outward appearance—has unique circumstances, culture, and politics. He also makes a few predictions about scholarly publishing’s future.

We hear from Maisha Miles, Managing Editor at mBio, published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Maisha talks about her experiences working at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) as well as the Society for Neuroscience (SfN). Her career progression and learning experiences include becoming a Certified Association Executive (CAE), and CSE’s role in providing exposure to the world of scholarly publishing.

We also have pieces from proofreaders, journal managers, editorial coordinators, executive editors, medical editors, and a senior academic editor (who is also a practicing scientist).

From our annual meeting, this issue features a delightful piece on Dr. Mary Claire King’s Keynote Address. Peter Olson, ELS, Senior Copyediting Coordinator at Sheridan Journal Services, goes beyond summarizing Dr. King’s talk, and gives us insight into King’s own career path that led her to the discovery and identification of the breast cancer gene BRCA1. We read King’s elucidations on the “three classes of challenges” shared by scientists and journal editors, and about her passion not just for science but also for language, peer review, and maintaining quality and integrity in scientific publishing.

Have you had an observation, conversation, or finding that changed your perspective, process, or policy related to editing, publishing, or the support of your constituents and communities? We at Science Editor welcome your story. We intend to share these in paragraph or testimonial format, so please submit your ideas or articles at

As part of our mission, the Council of Science Editors “aims to improve communication in the sciences by educating authors, editors, and publishers.” We’re excited to announce our upcoming issue on Peer Review. Stay tuned for details and deadlines.


Tracey A DePellegrin is the Editor-in-Chief of Science Editor and Executive Editor, Genetics Society of America Journals and Executive Director, Genetics Society of America.