Of passions, failures, bold decisions and alternative careers

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Of passions, failures, bold decisions and alternative careers


No matter how successful and fulfilling a career, few can say that every step along the way was carefully planned and executed. Making the most of opportunities is as important as learning from failures. But above all, it is knowing when and how to take risks and keeping an open mind at all times that have played a key role in helping me along the way to where I am today – the 8th Editor in Chief of Nature in its 150-year-long history. It’s been a journey that began with a passion for all life on earth, some failures, a true love of genetics, and some tough decisions that eventually culminated in what many consider ‘an alternative’ career. I did not walk this path alone, and perhaps unexpectedly, the ones whose advice I took on board and also those whose advice I ignored have shaped this path in equal measures.


Dr Magdalena Skipper is Editor in Chief of Nature and Chief Editorial Advisor for Nature Research.

A geneticist by training, she did her doctoral work at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. She holds an honorary doctorate from University of Nottingham, her alma mater. Before joining Nature Publishing Group, she was a postdoctoral researcher at what was then ICRF, now CRUK, in London. She has considerable editorial and publishing experience, having worked as Chief Editor of Nature Reviews Genetics, Senior Editor for genetics and genomics at Nature and Editor in Chief of Nature Communications.

She is passionate about mentorship, innovation in science publishing and research integrity. As part of her desire to promote underrepresented groups in research, in 2018 she co-launched the Nature Research Inspiring Science Award for early-career female researchers. She is the editorial champion of diversity, equality and inclusion at Springer Nature. She serves on the advisory board of the University of Oxford Centre for Personalised Medicine and of the International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publications; she is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the UK Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists. She is a frequent speaker and contributor to social media debates.

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