A member of our editorial team since 2003, senior editor Liza Gross edits articles in the journal’s front section and writes frequently…
We’re continuing our Meet Your Editor interview series with PLOS Biology senior editor Gabriel Gasque. With formal training in neurophysiology and neurogenetics, Gabriel oversees many of our neuroscience papers and enjoys meeting researchers at conferences. Learn more about developments he’s excited about in the field, thoughts on misconceptions about the peer review process, and the most intelligent person he knows.
What does PLOS’ vision for Open Science mean to you?
To me, Open Science means acceleration and democratization of scientific discoveries. It means increased transparency of the scientific enterprise and increased accountability of all stakeholders. Open Science maximizes the benefits of the scientific undertaking because it maximizes the sharing of knowledge.
What specific expertise do you bring to PLOS Biology?
I was trained as a neurophysiologist and neurogeneticist. Now, I handle most of our neuroscience papers.
What is the most exciting part of your job as an editor?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I communicate to an author that their work will be published in PLOS Biology, for many reasons. It is rewarding because I am proud of the scientific literature that we publish, because it will be published in an open access journal and anybody (with an internet connection) will be able to read it, and because I know how important it is for our authors to publish their results. I also enjoy attending conferences and witnessing the honesty and intensity of scientific discussions. Overall, the elegance with which science makes sense of Nature is very exciting, and my job is to read it every day!
What developments are occurring in Biology/ your field of expertise that excite you at this time?
The last decade and a half has seen an explosion of techniques, including optogenetics and genome-modifying strategies like CRISPR/Cas-9, that have allowed scientists to interrogate neurons and neuronal circuits to understand perception, cognition, and behavior. I am particularly excited about the use of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques that offer the opportunity to investigate the cognitive and behavioral consequences of specific brain computations in humans, with important clinical implications.
What’s a common misconception new authors have about the peer review or publication process?
I think there are many. I think that new authors might perceive editors as working in an ivory tower. However, we try to make ourselves very accessible to all queries and concerns. We do read the papers with an honest intention of making an educated assessment about the data’s soundness and strength of advance, we do honor reviewer exclusions, and we do read the reviews and try to adjudicate them to reach the fairest and most balanced decision. My piece of advice to new authors is that if they have any questions or concerns at any point during the editorial or peer-review process, they should always reach out to their editor.
My piece of advice to new authors is that if they have any questions or concerns at any point during the editorial or peer-review process, they should always reach out to their editor.
What are your hobbies?
I love cooking, and not only for survival. I love the textures, aromas, and flavors of foods and spices, and I enjoy witnessing how the mix to create a very pleasant experience. I have had a regular yoga practice since I was in my mid-twenties and have gotten more serious about it since COVID has sent us home.
Who is the most intelligent person you know?
Because of the career I chose and the work I do, I have met many super intelligent people: my former and current advisors and mentors, my colleagues, most of my teachers, all the authors we publish, and the scientists I meet at conferences. However, the one person who has taught me the most about myself and about the important things in life is probably my son.
What’s on your reading list for the PLOS Biology community?
|In PLOS Biology
|In your local library
|Distinct Brain Systems Mediate the Effects of Nociceptive Input and Self-Regulation on Pain
Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices: A Simple, Low-Cost, Effective Method for Increasing Transparency
Commensal bacteria and essential amino acids control food choice behavior and reproduction
Nitrogen fixation in a landrace of maize is supported by a mucilage-associated diazotrophic microbiota
|Cien años de soledad, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
Among the Believers, by Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul
No Exit, by Jean-Paul Sartre