Yang Yang, PRL post-doc, starts science editor position at Wiley Beijing

  • Apr 30, 2018
  • Benning lab, future scientists
  • Future Scientists
  • Igor Houwat

Yang Yang, a former post-doc in the lab of Christoph Benning, has started a science editor position at the Wiley Beijing office. Wiley is a global company that specializes in academic publishing.

Yang Yang’s main responsibilities are to oversee submitted manuscripts, to select reviewers, and to decide what research gets published. She will also scout for quality scientists in China and recruit them to publish with Wiley.

“Right now, Chinese science is developing at a quick pace,” Yang Yang says. “With a lot of new research coming in, there is a need to enlarge the Chinese publishing market. Publishers also need editors to develop the publication system, which is young compared to its American counterpart.”

The career step is a big change for someone who has done research in academic settings for 12 years.

Yang Yang portrait
Yang Yang
By Yang Yang.

"As I started job hunting, I realized I like science a lot, but I don’t want to be a professor. Professors spend a lot of time teaching, attending meetings, dealing with administrative responsibilities. They don’t seem to have much time for awesome science. And I like science a lot!”

An industry position was not an option, since her background does not fit Chinese companies’ current needs. Then, a friend who is a science editor at Nature Plants told her about the job, and Yang Yang realized it was exactly what she wanted to do. It also was an opportunity to stay in science.

She thinks that her academic background will be a great asset in her new career.

“MSU was a great place for doing plant science and learning career skills. Christoph [Benning] encouraged me to pursue my research passions and to present at a lot of conferences. So I am more confident in my skills, compared to 5 years ago,” Yang Yang says. “My lab mates are positive thinkers that have encouraged me to always keep an open mind. Linda Danhof, our lab manager, has taught me how to manage. Thanks to everyone, I am not afraid to move into a different field.”

Benning, her former mentor, says, “Yang Yang is an outstanding scientist who can grasp big scientific concepts. In my laboratory she has pursued intriguing research questions and published her findings in several excellent papers. She has learned the craft of writing papers and presenting science to wider audiences first hand. These skills provide the basis for her next career step as a scientific editor for a major journal in her home country.”

Yang Yang has a BS in Biotechnology from Huazhong University of Science and Technology and a PhD in Biotechnology from Peking University. She spent 6 years in the Benning laboratory researching how to increase oil production in crops targeted for biofuels.