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Our favorite stories of 2015

We’ve covered a lot of ground at Science Careers this year. On the news front, we wrote last winter about a study quantifying elitism in academic hiring and a report describing barriers for women of color in science, and in the spring, we covered a report on depression among science and engineering graduate students. Over the summer, we wrote about a study suggesting that, as research teams grow, career prospects may shrink, and in the fall, we covered a study reporting that men have a greater tendency than women to cite themselves, with potential career implications.

But here at Science Careers, we also go beyond the breaking news. We dig into the stories behind the research, investigating the hardships and successes that scientists find as they strive to reach their career goals. We provide insight and guidance to overcome career challenges as diverse as pursuing risky research, suffering from career uncertainty, encountering gender bias, and responding to life-changing experiences. So, as we reach the end of the year, we’d like to take the opportunity to share with you some of our favorite stories of 2015.

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Scientists under the microscope
by Elisabeth Pain, 28 January
In an era when scientists are increasingly exposed, they need to be careful to distinguish between scientific criticism and personal attacks.

The science of schmoozing
by Eli Kintisch, 04 February
How one geoscientist built a career using data, charisma, and connections.

What’s the purpose of a scientific career?
by Beryl Lieff Benderly, 05 March
Research shows that many members of groups underrepresented in academic science seek careers that express values beyond pure research.

All in the family
by Rachel Bernstein, 27 May
Husband-and-wife chemists discuss working with a spouse and the role of gender and family in an academic career.

Renee JiJi (left), Josephine (JoJo) Amelia Cooley, and Jason Cooley (right)

Renee JiJi (left), Josephine (JoJo) Amelia Cooley, and Jason Cooley (right)

Courtesy of Renee JiJi and Jason Cooley

Feeling stuck
by Carrie Arnold, 28 May
For aspiring scientists, not knowing their career options can be a major source of anxiety.

You'll be OK
by Michelle E. Portman, 12 June
Michelle E. Portman has learned to value all of life’s ups and downs.

What happens after a retraction?
by Rachel Bernstein, 23 June
Retractions, whether for honest error or misconduct, diminish future citations to researchers’ old papers by 10% to 20%, a study says. 

A hidden start
by Trisha Gura, 1 July
Startup jobs require brilliance and versatility, and they’re often hard to see.

Credit: erhui1979/iStockphoto

Taking the road less traveled
by Beryl Lieff Benderly, 8 July
Pursuing controversial or unconventional research ideas can carry serious professional and personal risks.

Journeying back in time with ancient DNA
by Rachel Bernstein, 23 July
Three young researchers establish careers in the exciting field of ancient DNA.

Countering gender bias at conferences
by Carrie Arnold, 29 July
Female speakers are underrepresented at some conferences, but a vocal group of advocates is working to address the problem.

When your work title is a working title
by Adam Ruben, 27 August
Does your job title really matter? Our columnist explores what's in a name.

Credit: Robert Neubecker

The fungi that ate my house
by Joan W. Bennett, 28 August
Joan W. Bennett shares how she was able to pick up the pieces and revitalize her research after Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home.

When science fails a scientist
by Kim Hunter-Schaedle, 4 September
Kim Hunter-Schaedle describes how a family tragedy pushed her to strive for a better work-life balance.

Scientists should defend, not defund, the humanities
by Adam Ruben, 23 September
A crisis for the humanities is a crisis for all, our columnist argues.

Credit: Robert Neubecker

After the bombs
by Elisabeth Pain, 30 September
A Syrian computer scientist describes her professional life before the war and her efforts to rebuild her career and a future for her family in Europe.

Passion: Your secret weapon for job search success
by David G. Jensen, 14 October
Our columnist advises interviewees to express the emotions driving their career choices.

The best decision I ever made
by Kamal J. K. Gandhi, 26 November
Early in her life, Kamal J. K. Gandhi vowed that she would move anywhere to pursue her dream of becoming an ecologist.

From the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Faculty: Making Your Research Count
by Chris Tachibana, 30 January
Faculty members don't usually get formal training in research program management, but that might be changing.

Transitioning fields between a Ph.D. and postdoc
by Alaina Levine, 28 August
Switching fields midstream requires thoughtful analysis, research, and due diligence. Hear advice from researchers who have made the transition. 

Effective teaching: to be an effective educator, get active
by Chris Tachibana, 18 September
Evidence-based teaching strategies are changing how some faculty shape their courses. 

Annual top employer survey: Top firms prioritize transformative technologies, patients
by Kendall Powell, 30 October
The firms landing at the top of the 2015 Science Careers Top Employers Survey harness innovation and create workplaces that recruit the brightest scientific minds.

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