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Marcia McNutt '74 Named Editor-in-Chief of Science

Marcia McNutt, a 1974 graduate of Colorado College, will become editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals beginning June 1. McNutt, who majored in physics at CC, was the first woman director of the U.S. Geological Survey. Now she will become the first woman editor-in-chief at Science since the journal’s inception in 1880.

Marcia McNutt '74 Named Editor-in-Chief of Science

Marcia McNutt, a 1974 graduate of Colorado College, will become editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals beginning June 1. 

McNutt, who majored in physics at CC, was the first woman director of the U.S. Geological Survey. Now she will become the first woman editor-in-chief at Science since the journal’s inception in 1880.

"Thirty-five years ago, when I was a graduate student and my very first research paper was published in Science, I do not think I could ever have dreamed that one day I would have the honor of becoming editor-in-chief of this most distinguished journal," McNutt told the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "I am both excited by new opportunities to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery by improving interdisciplinary scientific communication, and humbled by the reputations and accomplishments of the editors-in-chief who have served before me."

Appointed as the director of the USGS in 2009, McNutt joined a group of accomplished scientists selected for top government posts by President Obama. During her tenure, the USGS responded to a number of major disasters, including earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and the Deep Horizon oil spill.

Prior to joining the USGS, McNutt served as president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), in Moss Landing, Calif. She began her faculty career at MIT where she became the Griswold Professor of Geophysics and served as director of the Joint Program in Oceanography & Applied Ocean Science & Engineering, offered by MIT & the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

McNutt served as president of the American Geophysical Union from 2000-2002. She was chair of the Board of Governors for Joint Oceanographic Institutions, helping to bring about its merger with the Consortium for Ocean Research and Education to become the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, for which she served as trustee. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Association of Geodesy.

McNutt’s honors and awards include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also holds honorary doctoral degrees from Colorado College, University of Minnesota, Monmouth University and Colorado School of Mines. She was awarded the Macelwane Medal by the American Geophysical Union in 1988 for research accomplishments by a young scientist and the Maurice Ewing Medal in 2007 for her significant contributions to deep-sea exploration.

Founded in 1880 by journalist John Michels and with seed money from Thomas A. Edison, Science has been the official journal of the non-profit AAAS since 1900. In its early days, the journal was best known for physical sciences research, from wireless telegraphy to new chemical elements and early reports of the Wright brothers' flying experiments. Since then, Science has published many important biological breakthroughs, too, such as the discovery that brought Mendel's laws of heredity to light, and the historic sequencing of the human genome.

Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed, general science journal in the world. Each week, an estimated one million people worldwide read the journal at home, and in libraries, schools and research institutions. McNutt will oversee both the journal's staff of Ph.D.-level editors and Science's award-winning team of journalists. Science's editors and news reporters work in Washington, D.C., Cambridge, U.K., and other locations worldwide, from China and Japan to Europe and Africa.

McNutt was on campus a year ago to speak at CC's State of the Rockies events. She shared how CC shaped her career in geophysics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ8XPcmlwKk