The National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) 2020 Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS) bi-annual brochure highlighted research by Tomasz Skwarnicki, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), and a team of his collaborators. The brochure featured the…
Physicist Named Editor of Top Scientific Journal
A physicist in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is taking over the reins of one of the world’s top scientific journals.
M. Cristina Marchetti, the William R. Kenan Professor of Physics, has been appointed co-lead editor of Physical Review X (PRX), a highly selective, online, open-access journal published by the American Physical Society (APS).
Marchetti shares the appointment with Jean-Michel Raimond, professor of physics at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. They succeed founding editor Jorge Pullin, a gravitational physicist at Louisiana State University, who helped launch the journal in 2011.
“Cristina’s broad scientific perspective and passion for pure, applied and interdisciplinary research make her ideally suited for this position,” says Alan Middleton, professor and chair of physics in A&S. “I am sure that, along with Jean-Michel, she will be most effective in increasing PRX’s impact and value to authors and readers around the globe.”
In a relatively short time, PRX has emerged as a “high-impact” journal. A journal’s impact factor refers to the average number of article citations during a specific period. (PRX has an impact factor of nine, compared to some science journals, whose impact factor is less than one.) Marchetti says this is a reflection of PRX’s stringent editorial and peer-review process: “We look for key papers that highlight new fundamental theoretical or experimental discoveries, establish new paradigms or push an established field in a new direction.”
A widely renowned theoretical physicist, Marchetti studies the structure and rheology of active suspensions and gels, cell cytoskeleton and motility, bacteria swarms and non-equilibrium phase transitions. She is a member of the University’s Soft Matter Program and co-organizer of “Active and Smart Matter: A New Frontier for Sciences and Engineering,” an upcoming international workshop at Syracuse, co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter.
Marchetti’s other recent honors include a three-year, $473,000 grant from the Simons Foundation to study models of collective cell migration and sorting, and a yearlong, $129,000 Simons Fellowship to explore theoretical modeling of active matter that culminated in a four-month workshop at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In 2014, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies.
“Jean-Michel and I are honored to work with the APS, the editorial board of PRX and its team of editors to ensure the journal remains a venue for the most interesting and influential physics research,” Marchetti adds. “I look forward to broadening PRX’s reach, both within and beyond the physics community, by publishing papers of high quality and integrity.”