DIARY: Parting is such sweet sorrow…

By Andrew Jermy

DIARY: Parting is such sweet sorrow…

First published on the Nature Microbiology Community on the 30th Nov 2018


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.