Elsewhere in Science, 14 February 2014

The WISSARD drilling project


Each week, Science publishes a few articles that are likely to be of interest to career-minded readers. But because those articles aren't featured on Science Careers, our readers could easily overlook them.

To remedy that, every Friday we're pointing readers toward articles appearing in Science—the print magazine as well as the other Science-family publications (ScienceInsider, ScienceNOW, Science Translational MedicineSci. TM—and Science Signaling)—that hold some relevance or nuggets of advice for readers interested in furthering their careers in science. (Please note that while articles appearing in ScienceInsider and ScienceNOW can be read by anyone, articles appearing in Sci. TM, Science Signaling, and Science may require AAAS—publisher of Science Careersmembership/Science subscription or a site license.)

• Perhaps this week's biggest career-related news is the announcement by AAAS (publisher of Science Careers) and Science of the launch of a new, online, open-access journal, Science Advances. Jocelyn Kaiser and David Malakoff described the project in a Wednesday ScienceInsider post. Science Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt and AAAS Chief Executive Officer Alan Leshner wrote about the new journal in a Science editorial posted Wednesday on the Science website.

"Like Science, the new journal will span all scientific disciplines, from social sciences to biology to engineering," Kaiser and Malakoff wrote. "To cover publishing costs, Science Advances will charge a per-paper fee expected to be within the range of what other open-access journals charge, typically about $1200 to $5000. Within 5 years, the journal aims to ramp up to publishing a few thousand papers annually, and be breaking even on the balance sheet."

In the editorial, McNutt and Leshner wrote that Science and AAAS’s other journals have been turning away many high-quality papers. Science Advances will "help meet this need," they predict. Well-reviewed submissions rejected by the three AAAS research journals—Science, Sci. TM, and Science Signaling—can be considered automatically for publication in Science Advances, without additional review. Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and an open-access advocate, called the announcement "great news."

• Few scientists start out their careers intending to become academic administrators, but it's hardly a rare trajectory. Chemist Holden Thorp was named chancellor of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2008 and stepped down at the end of the 2012-13 academic year to become provost at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Several current or past college presidents are scientists, including the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Shirley Jackson and former National Science Foundation (NSF) head Subra Suresh of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Now the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) has selected physicist Patrick Gallagher as its next chancellor, as Robert Service wrote Wednesday at ScienceInsider. Gallagher has spent his career in government research and research administration; he joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1993 following a 2-year postdoc at Boston University—he earned his Ph.D. from Pitt—and became the NIST director in 2009.

• For many Americans, memories of last October's government shutdown may be fading, but not for U.S. researchers working in Antarctica. They're still reeling from the shutdown's impact, which is likely to continue at least into the 2015 research season.

The 5% budget cut resulting from sequestration also forced NSF to reduce its Antarctic research ambitions. "Together, those two events created a logjam that forced NSF to scale back work on a dozen scientific projects being carried out during the current season," Jeffrey Mervis wrote Thursday on ScienceInsider. "And scientists with another 17 projects on this year’s lineup were told that they must wait until next year. In turn, the reshuffling of those 29 projects in all has created another logistical headache."

Deferred projects mean tighter budgets next season and more competition for limited NSF funds. But Scott Borg, the head of NSF’s Antarctic science program, provided some reassurance by sending out a "Dear Colleague" letter encouraging scientists to apply for funding. "The point of the letter was to say, 'Hey, things aren’t that bad,' " Borg told ScienceInsider. "Yes, we are facing some tough fiscal realities, but we don’t want people to give up."

• A lot of attention has been paid to the decline of U.S. science in comparison to the rest of the world. Yet, as Mervis showed in a News & Analysis article this week, the United States continues to dominate several of the most important scientific metrics. The United States is far ahead of second-place China in total research and development (R&D) spending, for example, although it lags South Korea, Japan, and Germany in "research intensity," the percentage of gross domestic product spent on R&D. U.S. scientists are responsible for 46% of the top 1% most cited scientific articles worldwide; the European Union (EU), in second place, can claim about 30%. Venture capital investment in the United States dwarfs that in all other countries—some $28 billion compared to about $6 billion for the second place EU.

Science Careers has noted the plight of young researchers as they struggle to receive credit for their scientific work. Tuesday at ScienceNow, Science Careers contributing editor Elisabeth Pain wrote about 88-year-old pediatric cardiologist Marthe Gautier and her role in discovering the cause of Down syndrome in the late 1950s. Gautier claims that she deserves more credit for the discovery; most of the credit went instead to her male colleague, Jérôme Lejeune. Last month, at a meeting in Bordeaux, Gautier was set to receive a medal and give a speech about her contribution to the discovery, but it didn't happen. "The French Federation of Human Genetics (FFGH), which organized the meeting, decided to scrap the event after two bailiffs showed up with a court order granting them permission to tape Gautier’s speech," Pain wrote. The bailiffs were sent by the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, because "it had reason to believe Gautier would ‘tarnish’ the memory of Lejeune" during the speech.

There is more than one side to every story, but Bernard Dutrillaux, who worked in Lejeune’s lab from the mid-1960s until the early 1980s, said that both sides should know better than to fight such "petty, rear-guard battles."

• Are you attending the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago? Don’t miss out on the cool Science swag hidden around the meeting space. Follow @ScienceNews  and look for hints tagged #scienceswag to find the items.

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