Professor Dave Garner FRS became editor of the Royal Society journal Philosophical Transactions A in January 2011. Here, he discusses both his own research as a chemist and his plans for the journal's future.
Philosophical Transactions A publishes twice a month, each issue is devoted to a specific area of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences, which defines a research frontier that is advancing rapidly, often bridging traditional disciplines.
What is your area of research?
I'm interested in the role of inorganic elements in biological systems, especially metals like molybdenum, nickel, copper and iron, also known as d-transition metals, which can be found at the centre of enzymes. These are traditionally considered as trace elements as they are generally present at low, or very low, levels in organisms. We can now employ the techniques of biology, chemistry and physics to move beyond the detection of these elements, towards a greater understanding of their chemical roles in biological systems.
What attracted you to the role as Editor of Philosophical Transactions A?
It is a great honour to be the Editor of the longest continuously published scientific journal. Looking back on the history of the journal, the giants that have published in Philosophical Transactions A have set the scene for generations of scientists to follow. My aim is to maintain the quality and standard of this journal so that people will continue to be impressed by its content in years to come.
What plans do you have for the future of the journal?
One of the challenges is to ensure that the full spectrum of the physical sciences is covered. Some areas of strength, such as physics, are well represented whereas contributions from others like chemistry and astronomy are encouraged. Part of my role will be to identify the areas where we would like to see more contributions and stimulate members of the community, including Fellows, to regard this as a journal that they wish to publish in. Above all, my aim is to maintain the journal's high quality .
How do I submit a publishing proposal to your journal?
By contacting me, a member of the editorial board or the editorial office.