After 16 years of being Editor, do I have any great insights or nuggets of wisdom that I can impart to upcoming sleep scientists? Nothing so grandiose I am afraid, but there is something that comes from a quote from Albert Einstein, which has always been at the back of my mind, which I would like to pass on:
‘Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted’.
For me, it means that we must not forget to rely on our eyes and intuition in scrutinizing data, and not to depend too much on the increasingly sophisticated data crunching technologies, or refined statistical analyses. Few biological phenomena are linear or will fit straight lines. Do not just dismiss those outliers, always look out for the unexpected, and do not assume that a small but highly statistically significant difference is also of real clinical, physiological or psychological significance. We easily forget that statistics is only a filter to remove ‘noise’– it is not a lens with which to magnify small effects, but a useful signpost to the further development of ideas or research, maybe to findings of greater clinical or scientific importance.
Now, to hand over to Peretz Lavie as JSR’s new Editor-in-Chief. The transfer has gone well, and is almost complete. So, it is time for me to say farewell and to wish Peretz and his new team every success. For me, being Editor has been a formative, rewarding and enjoyable experience and, at last, I can submit my own papers to JSR!
JSR would not have been the success it is, without the considerable efforts of the Associate Editors who have worked with me, together with all those of you who have kindly acted as reviewers for the submitted manuscripts. Several of the Associate Editors will also be stepping down, and I would especially like to thank them: Joelle Adrien, Alex Borbely, Hartmut Schulz, John Stradling, Irene Tobler and Giulio Tononi. I also owe a debt of gratitude to those Associate Editors who will be continuing: Törbjorn Åkerstedt, Claudio Basetti and Michael Bonnet and, together with the new Associate Editors, wish them all well in their tasks ahead. Thanks also to those at Blackwell Publishing Limited who work ‘behind the scenes’, and to Maria, my secretary-cum-JSR’s Editorial Assistant. Last but not the least, thank you, members of the ESRS, for all your support for your Journal – bon voyage JSR!