Elsewhere in Science, 21 February 2014

Science Cheerleader

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.)

• In December, Elisabeth Pain, Science Careers' contributing editor for Europe, provided a detailed assessment of the funding opportunities for science in the European Union's Horizon 2020 program. Those opportunities are available to researchers not just in E.U. member states but also in affiliated countries, including Switzerland. But Switzerland's eligibility for Horizon 2020 funding may be in jeopardy as a result of a recent immigration referendum, Tania Rabesandratana reported on Monday at ScienceInsider. Because of the referendum, in which the Swiss people voted to cap the entry of migrants, Switzerland may not be able to comply with E.U. requirements on the free movement of persons within the European Union. Specifically, the referendum limits immigration from Croatia, which entered the European Union last year. If an agreement cannot be reached—and "[t]he window of opportunity in which to reach an association agreement is small and closing fast (we are talking about days, not weeks)," a European Commission official tells ScienceInsider in an email—Swiss scientists may not be eligible for funding from, among other programs, the European Research Council, which saw it's research budget increase dramatically in the Horizon 2020 program.

• In last week's "Elsewhere" piece, we reported that AAAS would be launching an open-access journal—Science Advances—in 2015. This week, Britain's Royal Society—the world's oldest scientific society—announced similar plans, as Daniel Clery reported Monday at ScienceInsider. Royal Society Open Science, which is slated for launch later this year, will "provide a scalable publishing service, allowing the Society to publish all the high quality work it receives without the restrictions on scope, length or impact imposed by traditional journals," according to a statement from the Royal Society. The journal will publish articles on the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science.

• There aren’t many scientists in Congress, and soon there will be one fewer. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), a physicist, who hasn't focused on science issues but takes a thoughtful, evidence-based approach to policy, announced that he will retire at the end of this year, Jeffrey Mervis wrote Tuesday at ScienceInsider. Holt didn't say why he's leaving Congress, but there's speculation that he intends to run for governor. Science Careers interviewed Holt in 2006. You can read that interview here.

• More than 50 scientists and administrators are snared in a graft probe in the Guangdong province in China, Christina Larson wrote at ScienceInsider on Wednesday. Scientists are accused of skimming money from government funds that were intended to support corporate research and development. Cao Cong, an expert on Chinese science policy at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, asks, "If China spends so much money, why haven’t we achieved more significant accomplishments?" One reason, he suggests, "may be that much of the money is stolen."

• In an editorial in Sci TM, leaders of the UK Biobank invited researchers to "[c]ome and [g]et" their open-source collection of data, which includes information and samples from 500,000 people between ages 40 and 69 who are registered with the UK National Health Service. So go and get it.

• This week's issue of Science includes the list of Gordon Research Conferences (GRCs), which is published twice each year in Science. This issue lists the "Session II" conferences, which are held in summer, mostly in New England.

If you're an early-career scientist, you should not miss an opportunity to attend one (or more) of these intimate conferences. Presenters get plenty of podium time, and all participants have ample opportunity to get to know each other. If you can't get in to a regular GRC, then attend a Gordon Research Seminar; these 2-day courses precede regular GRCs and are intended for graduate students, postdocs, and other young scientists.

• University of  California, Davis, biologist and open-science advocate Jonathan Eisen is collaborating with cheerleaders on a novel science project with microbes to be conducted in outer space. Science? Cheerleaders? Microbes? Outer space? No, this is not a sci-fi parody. The cheerleaders will collect microbial samples from sports facilities around the United States; the microbes will compete in space to see which grow the fastest, according to a Random Sample in this week's Science.  Eisen and his team are still trying to decide what surfaces to sample: Balls? Entryways? Keyboards? Dusty spots? They will not collect samples from people because of informed consent issues. The project is an initiative of Science Cheerleader, an organization of professional cheerleaders pursuing science careers founded by Darlene Cavalier.

• In a News Focus article, Kelly Servick wrote about a new research field, soundscape ecology, which uses sounds as a proxy for biodiversity.

• Finally, this week's issue of Science included the official announcement of the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists. To be eligible, you must have received your Ph.D. in the year preceding the application deadline. Applicants must submit an essay describing their thesis research. The winning essay will receive $25,000, a runner-up will receive $5000, and two other finalists will receive $2500.



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