We are delighted to announce that Graziella Caprarelli, Adjunct Research Professor with the International Research School of Planetary Sciences and Adjunct Research Fellow with the Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland, has just taken over as Editor in Chief of Earth and Space Science. We asked her some questions about her own research interests and her vision for the journal.
What are your own areas of scientific interest?
I am interested in planetary formation and evolution. My research training at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy was in isotope geochemistry, petrology, and mineral thermodynamics. The chemical and mineralogical compositions of igneous rocks give us glimpses of the mantle regions from which magmas originate and provide information about the evolution of the magmas during their ascent through the lithosphere.
In the early stages of my career, I worked in active volcanic areas in Italy and Japan, where I mostly focused on eruptive histories in relation to possible volcanic hazard.
Subsequently, while investigating the Paleozoic convergent margin of southeast Australia, I became interested in the link between magmatic and tectonic evolution.
I particularly enjoyed the big questions emerging from this line of research, which have implications related to the formation of continental crust, plate tectonics, geodynamics, and, ultimately, planetary evolution. From there, my scientific interests evolved organically toward planetary science.
When the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Mars Express spacecraft entered Martian orbit, I took the initiative to contact the leaders of some of the science teams working on the mission and proposed collaborations. I was invited to spend a sabbatical in Pescara, Italy at the International Research School of Planetary Sciences, where I worked on data acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera. This was followed by an invitation to visit the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica in Bologna, Italy to work on the data obtained by the radar sounder MARSIS. Since then, I have formally joined the MARSIS Science Team, and I have not looked back.
Over the years, my Martian research has included volcanic, tectonic, fluvial, and impact processes, which I investigate using all analytical and processing tools available to me and applying the knowledge and experience accumulated throughout my career. My current research focuses on the stability of ice and water on Mars, with recent work including my contribution to the interpretation of bright radar reflections from the base of the south polar cap.
What does it mean to you to serve as Editor in Chief of Earth and Space Science?
This is an incredible honor, and I hope to prove worthy of the trust that AGU has placed in me. I am fully committed to serving the journal, its Editorial Board, its authors, its readers, and the AGU community to the best of my abilities.
The journal was founded in 2014 with a vision to create a new platform for the dissemination of key data, observations, methods, instruments, and models, presented within the context of their application.
Building on this mission, Dr Peter A. Fox, who served as Editor in Chief of Earth and Space Science from 2019 until his sudden passing in March 2021, emphasized the broad scientific understanding of planet Earth stemming from such complexity, and shifted focus from conventional publication metrics to the useful impact of publications. This approach has continued under the leadership of my immediate predecessor at the helm of the journal, Interim Editor in Chief, Dr Benoît Pirenne, and through the work of the entire Editorial Board.
I love the idea that publication of scientific methods and data can make a real difference in the world: this vision is truly inspiring, and for a journal like Earth and Space Science, which publishes papers across all disciplinary areas represented by the AGU, it has the potential to boost excellence, innovation, and discovery to yet unexplored heights.
This is a huge challenge, but a good one, and I am excited to have been given the opportunity to play a role in shaping this vision for the future.
What makes Earth and Space Science special?
Because the journal encompasses all of Earth, planetary, and space research, we can “dare” to include contributions from niche fields that would not normally align with the more discipline-specific scope of other AGU journals.
At the other end of the spectrum, we can pivot the content to facilitate multidisciplinary approaches to solve problems, and, pushing this even further, “experiment” with transdisciplinarity to address the big global challenges of our generation. This flexibility of scope gives us unprecedented insight into new trends in science, allowing us to proactively engage the scientific community toward further discovery and innovation.
How do you plan to take the journal forward in the coming years?
My predecessors have proven that it is possible to innovate, build bridges across disciplines, and disrupt boundaries while promoting and sustaining quality through the entire publication process. This is evident in the high reputation achieved by the journal, despite its relatively young “age.” This success is due to the hard work and commitment of all involved.
Therefore, my principal responsibility is to ensure that the high standards that are expected of this journal are maintained. One way to do this is to broaden the disciplinary range of the Editorial Board through the appointment of new Editors.
I am very proud of the fact that the Editorial Board is already a shining example of gender diversity. However, this is not currently matched by geographic representation so I intend to invite Editors from countries currently under-represented on the Board. I have nominated three new Editors, who have already joined the Board, and I plan to consult regularly with the Editorial Board to further expand the pool of expertise and diversity.
Diversity and inclusion are essential guiding principles for me, and I want them to be reflected in every step of the publication process. This includes a commitment to regularly evaluate diversity within our pool of reviewers and to build on the experience and knowledge of the Editorial Board and the entire AGU community to draft and implement guidelines ensuring inclusivity.
Social media will be an integral part of the diversity and inclusion strategy: I intend to keep a regular stream of posts across several platforms, to present our principles, and to promote the work of our authors as broadly as possible. If you use Twitter, please follow Earth and Space Science (@AGUEarthSpace).
The journal is the natural home for FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data practices, as these clearly underpin its entire philosophy. I intend to actively promote understanding of FAIR across the community, and plan to explore how to embed, within the editorial process itself, user-friendly procedures to ensure consistent FAIR compliance.
To realize the journal vision, it will be essential to progressively steer it toward publication of digital research products that abide by the scientific principle of reproducibility through uniform practices of data and software sharing.
I envisage the journal as a nexus for digital scholarship and intend to establish collaboration and synergies with other AGU journals in order to explore ways and technologies that can make this concept a reality through the creation of a transformative hub for the exchange of scientific information.