ACS Environment Au was launched in January 2021. This broad-based open access journal offers environmental scientists a high-quality outlet for their research if they want to publish open access or if their sponsor requests it.
Professor Xiang-Dong Li from Hong Kong Polytechnic University is the magazine’s deputy editor. In the interview he reveals more about himself and gives tips for developing a scientific career.
So, Xiang-dong, what attracted you to environmental science?
I got my first degree in geosciences and my masters degree in geochemistry. I’ve had a number of field trips for my research projects. They made me realize that mining and smelting operations pose many environmental problems. That sparked my interest in environmental science. When I had the opportunity to do my PhD in the UK, I decided in the late 1980s to join Professor Iain Thornton’s Environmental Geochemistry Research Group at Imperial College London. That was the start of my fascinating exploration of soil, sediment and air pollution over the past 30+ years.
What have been the greatest challenges for you in developing a scientific career?
In my early research career in Hong Kong, setting up an environmental chemistry lab in a civil engineering department was challenging. I was fortunate to have the support of many colleagues from the PolyU and other local institutions. Switching from our traditional soil and sediment research to the air and health sector has been another challenge for me over the past ten years. We are excited to expand our research focus to new frontiers in the areas of air pollution, toxicity and antimicrobial resistance.
Do you have any tips for prospective researchers to improve their careers?
It is crucial to ask important scientific questions in your area of expertise. You need to build your expertise on the chosen topic. Interdisciplinary research can be fun in many ways. Building a research network is very helpful for your career development. Promote the members of your research team (PhD students and postdocs) – help them to be successful!
What does Open Science mean for you as a researcher?
As scientific communication advances, open science will certainly help our global research community build close collaborations across academic disciplines and geographic locations. This is especially true for many developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Another key benefit of Open Science is public access to high quality science, which ensures that critical information is available to society as a whole so that decisions can be made based on scientific knowledge.
As deputy editor of ACS Environment Auwhat are you looking for in a job?
We are looking for papers that address important environmental issues that we face today. We welcome manuscripts on many topics at the global and regional levels. I really appreciate the novelty of scientific approaches and their importance for solving real environmental problems. The journal strives to publish high quality work with an interdisciplinary character that integrates scientific and technical applications.
If we could finally grant you a super power: what would it be and why?
I would like the super power to return to Earth 5,000-10,000 years ago to see it for what it was before human activity changed our planet.
ACS Environmental Au is ready to accept your research. It is subjected to the same robust, fair, and efficient peer review as all ACS journals to ensure that it promotes science that really moves environmental science forward. With Open Access, all interested readers have instant access, so your work can achieve more impact faster.