Edanz expert editors bring so much more to us than their meticulous editing skills and insight. They have a fascinating wealth of life and study experience that we seldom get the chance to see. In this series we get to know the experts on the other side of your manuscript.
Richard Haase, PhD, has been working with Edanz since 2008. Once an in-house editor at the Edanz office in Beijing, Dr Haase now edits from New Zealand. He is a physicist, cultivator of roses, and expert on a variety of quandaries from the mathematical to the atomic.
How did you get into editing? What sparked your interest in becoming an editor for Edanz?
After returning to New Zealand following a 20-year period of academic positions abroad in Austria, Germany, and Colombia, finding a position in academia quickly proved difficult. A friend drew my attention to the possibility of freelance editing with Edanz. It was supposed to be temporary, but 9 years on it has proved to be attractive and alluring, from simply proofreading to the deeper levels of science communication. During this period, I worked for 4 years as Senior Editor for Physical Sciences in Edanz’s Beijing office.
How was the transition from academia to editing?
I have lived and worked in non-English speaking countries, immersed in the German and Spanish languages. Hence I understand the problems of researchers there writing in English. For example, Spanish can be very wordy, which does not help in constructing English sentences for order and brevity. During my time in academia abroad, I viewed many drafts of articles from colleagues and theses of students. I felt I could contribute, given my language experiences as well as my background in applied mathematics and physics.
What do you like most about being an editor?
I enjoy reading what researchers are working on. It’s a form of interaction with researchers at what is a crucial stage of their project. Much hinges on the need for their results to be published. To contribute to making that happen is quite rewarding. It is akin to being part of the team. There is also a degree of flexibility in hours and being able to set my own work schedule. The modern-day researcher can be too focused on a singular topic with little time to explore other fields. The appeal of editing is that this opportunity to broaden your experience is already present, albeit serendipitously.
What work, research, and other activities do you do apart from editing for Edanz?
Having retired from playing squash and golf, I spend much of my time quietly in the suburbs of New Zealand, occasionally visiting restaurants and family.
My hobbies tend to focus on learning something new. I read articles from other fields for which I have an interest to keep up with current developments (to make connections, learn new terminology) and also to further explore the history and development of science.
My interests are quite broad, ranging from topological insulators and metamaterials to emergent space-time physics to more esoteric fields such as origami and kirigami, less for the creations themselves, beautiful and artful though they may be, and more for the mathematics and algorithms where folding valleys and mountains generate sequences of operations. One only has to observe the unfolding of solar panels on spacecraft in orbit to appreciate their utility.
Whenever possible, I still pursue quite ardently my own research on symmetries in nature—the arrangement of atoms in solids, the symmetries of nuclear states, the gauge groups of the standard model and beyond, and the nature of dark energy and dark matter are a few examples. I like tackling problems and discovering, pushing the boundaries of knowledge.
Look for more Q&A with Dr Haase as well as other editors in the future.
View Dr Haase's full profile.