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Science's Next Wave - Best of 2004


Science has long been an international endeavor, but in the year 2004, the internationalization of science picked up steam and gained greater urgency. During the past year, policy makers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and elsewhere began taking stock of their scientific workforces with spirited debates on the supply and demand for scientific talent. Earlier this month, Science's Next Wave (in conjunction with Science magazine, our parent publication) announced our breakthrough of the year -- the internationalization of science careers.

It should come as little surprise, then, that the Next Wave editors' choices for best articles of 2004 reflect that international orientation. Three of Next Wave's monthly features this past year dealt with the international nature of science: careers in science and diplomacy (June), scientific exchange with Australia (July), and international scientists (October). A feature on the scientific workforce (May) focused partly on the international movement of scientists and scientific work. And a ground-breaking editorial, co-authored by Science editor Don Kennedy and Next Wave's senior editors, took issue with the assumptions that have led U.S. and European policy-makers to believe that we need to produce more scientists.

With a tumultuous 2004 now behind us, we look forward to 2005 with anticipation, not only for what the year may bring, but also for Next Wave's continued service to the scientifc community.

Next Wave's Best of 2004


US: Tortoise With a Good Mate . Rachel Austin, 23 January 2004

For chemistry professor Rachel Austin the key to success in balancing career and family was a supportive spouse, sound time management, and a slow-but-steady approach to research productivity.


UK: CVs for Postdocs Leaving Academia . CareerDoctor, 23 January 2004

The CareerDoctor gives you tips on how to present your academic experience in a way which won't turn employers off, especially if you're considering postdocing outside academia.


MiSciNet: Unveiling the Blindness . Juan Carlos Trujillo, 20 February 2004

Juan Carlos Trujillo, a mathematics major and UC LEADS Scholar at UC-Berkeley, provides an inspirational account of his personal journey as a Mexican-American entering mathematics.


Global: Supply Without Demand . Don Kennedy, James Austin, Kirstie Urquhart, Crispin Taylor. 20 February 2004

An editorial in Science argues that the European Commission and US National Science Boards' concerns about the supply of scientists is misplaced. What needs stimulating is demand.


Netherlands: Of Noble Descent . Dick van Vlooten, 5 March 2004

In networking the sooner you get started on building your network the better. So if your parents are aristocrats then you've got a head start. But if not, don't despair -- it's never too late!


Canada: A Foot in the Door . Lesley McKarney, 12 March 2004

Training opportunities in drug discovery in Canada do exist -- you just have to know where to look.


US: Student Research Helps Discover Cancer Drugs . Almut Mecke, 19 March 2004

Cancer drug design provided a challenging PhD dissertation topic for Almut Mecke, a physics student at University of Michigan.


UK: Giving up a Lectureship for Drug Discovery . Sarah Loddick, 26 March 2004

Just after becoming a lecturer, Sarah Loddick decided that academia was not right for her after all. Since she has found what she was looking for, working in drug discovery for AstraZeneca.


Europe: Bringing an International Perspective to Postgraduate Training . Thomas Koch, 2 April 2004

Thomas Koch found his experience working in the UK and Switzerland can be put to good use as scientific coordinator of an international postgraduate programme in chemistry at Ruhr-Universit Bochum.


UK: Even Scientists Get the Blues . Kat Arney, 2 April 2004

Long days, nights and weekends slaving away at recalcitrant experiments, the fear of being scooped by a rival group or a difficult interpersonal situation can give even the most cheerful amongst us a case of blues.


Canada: Are you ready for your next job interview? Next Wave Staff, 5 April 2004

In conjunction with Toronto's York University, Science's Next Wave presented a special Webcast and panel discussion: Interviewing Skills for Scientists. The page includes a link to a streaming video of the Webcast. A high-speed or broadband Internet connection is recommended.


U.S.: Where'd My Day Go? Jerry Boss, Susan Eckert. 9 April 2004

Our Scientists at Work columnists take on a discipline that every successful scientist must master: time management.


Netherlands: Transitions Part 7 - Soccer Coach Ph.D. Stijn Oomes, 16 April 2004

Stijn Oomes tells about his present job as project leader at Delft Cooperation on Intelligent Systems Lab. In one of his projects he is the coach of the national soccer team, consisting of robots.


U.S.: No IT Job Left Behind . Alan Kotok, 14 May 2004

A May 2004 conference on the Information Technology workforce showed that job prospects for the industry look good in the long term, if it can only make it through the next few years.


Netherlands: The Perfect Match . Terry Vrijenhoek, 28 May 2004

Professor Verstegen of Wageningen University and his wife work as a team to welcome foreign PhD-students and support them and their families during their time in Wageningen. Their caring approach makes the students feel at home.


Germany: Expiry Date for Researchers in Germany? Anne Forde, 28 May 2004

Researchers in German universities and publically funded research institutes are allowed to work for an accumulative of 12 years (including the doctoral period) on temporary contracts. Next Wave investigates this major workforce issue.


U.S.: A Kiwi Soars . Gary Muir, 11 June 2004

One flightless bird, 150 applications, three interviews, three offers...and one great tenure-track job.


UK: Women in Science - Ask Dr Bridget for Advice . Kat Arney, 18 June 2004

A more incisive and tongue-in-cheek article from our Kat than ever before. She takes the hat of an agony aunt and answers the queries of female scientists in distress. Hilarious piece, with sadly a lot of truth in it...


Canada: Opening Doors on a World of Research . Andrew Fazekas, 9 July 2004

Universities strive to build international reputations, maximize their impact on the global stage, and bring world-class opportunities to their campuses. Campus offices of international research and development play a key role as liaison between university's scientists and potential foreign partners.


MiSciNet: Making Their Own Mark - Brothers Building Diversity in Science . Edna Francisco, 16 July 2004

Frederick Moore and Michael Penn, founders of the non-profit organization, Brothers Building Diversity in Science (BBDS), hope to inspire underrepresented minority students to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences.


Netherlands: Innovation in the Ice and Inline World . Terry Vrijenhoek, 6 August 2004

Being general manager and design engineer of Sportsline International, Diederik Hol develops and sells innovative ice speed- and inline skating products. Read about how a seemingly hilarious project turned out to be the starting point of a smooth career in sport science.


U.S.: Blending Biology and Bioinformatics . Mark Yandell, 10 September 2004

Berkeley's Mark Yandell describes how his career progressed to the point where he can combine the worlds of bench research and computer programming, and move from academics to industry and back.


UK: Starting Your PhD on the Right Track . CareerDoctor, 10 September 2004

This column is dedicated to those planning to start a PhD - how to choose the right PhD and supervisor, and tips on managing the project, your supervisor and what is expected of new PhD students.


Europe: Young European Scientists Come Together . Terry Vrijenhoek, 1 October 2004

Several networks for young European scientists have been set up recently. These networks are concerned with issues such as the social status of young scientists, representation of the next generation of researchers, or establishing contacts for the future; others are for young scientists in certain research areas.


MiSciNet: A Model of Departmental Diversity . Clinton Parks, 8 October 2004

Next Wave's Clinton Parks talks to Gerry Dozier, Juan Gilbert, and Cheryl Seals, three African-American professors at Auburn University's Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE) Department.


Germany: Destination Germany - Researcher's Mobility Tool . Anne Forde, 22 October 2004

The Researcher Mobility Portal is one of 17 Web sites and National Mobility Centres set up by the European Union to assist researchers who would like to move to a member state. Next Wave's Anne Forde, who worked as a postdoc for many years herself in Germany gives us a user guide to the service.


Canada: Sowing the Seeds of Science . Andrew Fazekas, 12 November 2004

Canada has been battling the infamous 'brain-drain' but the tide is turning. In 2000, the Government of Canada provided $900 million to establish the Canada Research Chairs (CRC), in Canadiian universities. The CRC Executive Director gives a report and a young physicist shares his thoughts on the program.


Italy: New PhD Programme in Molecular Medicine . Marta Paterlini, 12 November 2004

After having withdrawn from the Human Genome Project a year before its completion, Italy thought the opening of an institute with the ambition to train the next generations of scientists in molecular medicine would help the country re-enter the post-genomic game.


MiSciNet: Scientific Entrepreneurship is an Option . Sonya Clemmons, 26 November 2004

MiSciNet Advisor, Sonya Summerour Clemmons, helps a Ph.D. student interested in turning his thesis into a successful biotech company. The student's advisor has given him permission to take his research with him after graduation, but he needs help navigating the business landscape.


Spain: A Mathematical Model for Lyrical Singing . Ixone Arroabarren, 3 December 2004

While working on her Ph.D., communications engineer Ixone Arroabarren listened to classical singing's vibrato carefully, to relate what we perceive acoustically to what is generated physiologically. Her research may be applied to both the teaching of singing and the medical treatment of voice pathologies.