DIARY: Parting is such sweet sorrow…

After 11 years at Nature, it's time for a new challenge for this soon-to-be-ex chief editor

Like Comment

For a few weeks now my teammates at Nature Microbiology and colleagues in the wider company have been digesting the news that I will be leaving my post as Chief Editor of Nature Microbiology at the end of January 2019. While most will rightly have no care who is in the captain’s chair at Nature Microbiology, some of you might, and the time to let you know is probably now overdue - hence this brief diary entry.

What, the reader might rightly ask, could possibly drag this diarist from one of the best jobs (and certainly the best editorial team, an admittedly biased opinion) in science publishing? Well for several years now Mrs Jermy has been incubating a little gem of a business that combines delivering free educational Science and Maths videos targeted at UK high school students studying for GCSE and A-level, with creating resources to support their learning (I won’t put a direct link here as it would probably contravene community policy on advertising, but if you were really keen a quick Google search for Kitten Science and YouTube should see you find it). That business has been growing steadily for some time and is now in a position that it needs someone to organize content creation/create some content/manage operations behind the scene/deal with a burgeoning email inbox/write random blog posts/make the tea.

After much deliberation and arm-twisting to convince Mrs Jermy that yours truly can brew a passable pot of Earl Grey (and have some experience with mountains of email and strict content deadlines), she finally relented and offered me a post.

In all seriousness though, this is an opportunity to join and help the continued growth of what will now be our family business, will also see me lose ~9 hours spent commuting every week and also allow me more time for Jermy’s Minor and Minimus.

Mr Shakespeare was – as ever – a keen observer of the nature of being when, in a line from his play Romeo and Juliet, he observed that “Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.” For leaving a journal that I have loved launching and team that I have loved assembling and working with will indeed be bittersweet. While it will be sad indeed to say goodbye, there can be also happiness in what we have achieved thus far. The ‘morrow’ will surely bring ever greater microbiology to publish and bright achievements for my excellent team, as well as an exciting and reinvigorating new challenge for this soon to be ex-editor.

Experiences gained during a decade in microbiology editorial will not have been completely for nought, have no fear. I will be reserving 20% of my working time for a microbe-related side project or two (which I may describe in more detail here in the future, once they are up and off the ground). I will also be looking for opportunities to volunteer, should any of you or your affiliated institutions/societies be in the need of an ageing beardy bloke with a passing knowledge of the microbiology field and a definitely un-Shakespearean way with words – do get in touch (@jermynation or jermynate@gmail.com). 

 I am planning to be back here with a greatest-hits post ahead of my last day, and I will still pop in from time to time thereafter, so I wont be saying goodbye just yet, or indeed entirely, as long as this community will still have me.

Andrew Jermy

Consultant, Germinate

Andrew gained his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester, UK, studying fungal protein trafficking and secretion. He was subsequently a microbiology editor at Nature for more than a decade, joining Nature Reviews Microbiology in 2008 as an Associate Editor after a brief stint as locum editor on Nature Cell Biology. Over the following 4.5 years Andrew developed a passion for the field, commissioning Reviews and writing on all aspects of microbiology. He also took a keen interest in developing new approaches to communicate with the microbiology community. In January 2013 Andrew joined the Nature team as Senior Editor, handling primary manuscripts from across the field and championing microbiology in Nature’s pages and beyond. Andrew left Nature in April 2015 to become the Chief Editor for the launch of Nature Microbiology. Having helped to establish Nature Microbiology as one of the premier journals in the microbiology publishing landscape, and in search of a better work-life balance, in January 2019 he left Nature to become Chief Publishing Officer (and tea boy) for the family GCSE and A-Level educational resources business established by his wife over the preceding three years. 


Go to the profile of Madhukar Pai
over 3 years ago

You will be greatly missed, but helping students is such a wonderful cause! 

Good luck and thanks, Andrew!

Go to the profile of Jenefer Thoroughgood
over 3 years ago

Sad news but sounds like a great move. Good luck with it all!

Go to the profile of Martin G. Klotz
over 3 years ago

Onward, Andrew, change is good! Best of success with the new “project!”

Go to the profile of Ben Johnson
over 3 years ago

Andy, it's been such a pleasure working with you on the Microbiology Community. All the best for the future, and you are always welcome to write about your new life on here! 

Go to the profile of Ruth Milne
over 3 years ago

We will still have you! 

Thanks so much for all your help and advice. You will certainly be missed, but what a great adventure :)