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Science Careers 2011: The Year's Best Stories

Credit: Lawrence Lawry, Photodisc

Perspective: Stumbling Through History: Discovering Unsung African-American Chemists

Stephen Weininger and Leon Gortler, 14 January

The two Knox brothers had distinguished careers in chemistry at a time when that was very difficult for African Americans.

CREDIT: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library
Lawrence Knox

From Elephants to People: A Veterinary Scientist's Unique Career Path

Sarah Webb, 14 January

D.V.M.-Ph.D. Laura Richman's discovery of a novel elephant herpesvirus led to a career in human translational medicine.

Balancing Professional Aspirations with Family

Elisabeth Pain, 21 January

Neuroscientist John Apergis-Schoute revised his professional aspirations once he started a family.

Courtesy of Alex Palazzo
Science blogger Alex Palazzo

Science Blogging and Tenure 

Vivienne Raper, 28 January

Can pretenured scientists blog about science without damaging their careers?

Falling Off the Ladder: How Not to Succeed In Academia 

Kathy Weston, 4 February

A once-promising academic scientist tells how she ended up jumping out a window of the ivory tower before she was pushed.

Tooling Up: Playing the Name Game

David G. Jensen, 18 February

Need to find out who's who inside a company? Here's how the pros do it.

Seeing Is Believing

Jennifer Carpenter, 18 February

Trained as a chemical engineer, Jonathan Heras has moved on to become a professional science illustrator and animator.

Slipping Humor Into Scientific Presentations

Elisabeth Pain, 1 April

Humor can be an added bonus in scientific talks, provided you know when and how to use it.

Tooling Up: Making the Cut in 2011

David G. Jensen, 18 March

In a job market where even entry-level jobs are going to people with industry experience, how can you compete?

Experimental Error: Achieving Immortality

Adam Ruben, 1 April

How can we ensure that future students will read our names when, many years from now, they open their science textbooks on their iPad 15s?

Photo by Dan Koestler

A Very Visual Scientist

Sarah Webb, 15 April

Nickolay Hristov is building a career at the intersection of science and visual art.

Experimental Error: Fetus Don't Fail Me Now

Adam Ruben, 27 May

With his daughter still in the embryonic stage, our columnist wonders if it's too early to steer her toward a career in science.

Presentation Tips for Non-Native Speakers

Elisabeth Pain, 17 June

Conveying complex material during a scientific presentation is difficult for everyone, but it's especially challenging for speakers who aren't fluent and confident in the conference language.

Science in Namibia

Susan Gaidos, 29 July

In a new series, Science Careers shows what it's like to do science in different parts of the world, starting with Namibia.

CREDIT: Betty Izumi
Kawika Winter

A Juggling Act in Paradise

Geoff Koch, 12 August

Graduate student Kawika Winter directs a Hawaiian botanical garden and preserve, where he intends to stay forever.

A Mathematician Takes to the Streets

Elisabeth Pain, 12 August

Portuguese mathematician Sara Santos has forged a career communicating her passion for mathematics to all sorts of audiences.

Taken for Granted: What is Wrong With High-Skill Immigration Policy?

Beryl Lieff Benderly, 2 September

A Senate hearing highlights the split between institutions' and workers' interests.

CREDIT: Justin Siegel
Brock (left) and Justin Siegel

A Father-and-Son Journey Into Synthetic Biology 

Elisabeth Pain, 2 September

Justin Siegel rationally engineered unnatural enzymes partly thanks to technology his dad helped develop.

Research Careers at Community Colleges?

Michael Price, 16 September

Science faculty at community colleges are finding ways to fit research into their jobs.

Modern Sherlock Holmes With a Business Twist

Sabine Louët, 30 September

Scientists working in business intelligence analyze large datasets for business clients.

In Person: On Shaky Ground

Yassar Alamri, 30 September

In the aftermath of an earthquake, a scientist ruminates on the uncertainties of working in science.

Tips From the Top

Michael Price, 28 October

Recipients of the latest Nobel Prize awards in physics, chemistry and medicine share advice for scoring one of your own.

CREDIT: Kelly Krause, AAAS

In Person: At Summer Davos

Madhur Anand, 4 November

At a world summit, a young scientist recognizes the importance of engaging real-world problems and the wider community.

Taken for Granted: Getting to 'Aaahhh!

Beryl Lieff Benderly, 04 November

A former postdoc finds teaching high school a deeply satisfying career.

NASA's Planetary Protection Officer

Rachel Kaufman, 11 November

Cassie Conley's job is, among other challenges, to protect Earth from the scum of the universe -- especially the pond scum.

A Mycologist Reaps the (Glowing) Fruit of His Labor

Sarah Reed, 18 November

Patrick Hickey's career growth has been as unpredictable as the growth of the organisms he cultivates.

Science in the Military

Rosalind Pidcock, 2 December

From oceanography to artificial intelligence, there is a host of opportunities for early-career scientists within the United States armed forces.

CREDIT: Kelly Krause, AAAS

A Pharma Industry in Crisis

Elisabeth Pain, 9 December

Scientists seeking pharma careers must adapt to sweeping changes in the industry.

Tooling Up: Inflection Points

David G. Jensen, 16 December

From dramatic changes arise new opportunities.

Breakthrough Behind the Scenes

Michael Price, 23 December

Kimberly Powers's epidemiological research on HIV's early stages helped set the stage for this year's Science Breakthrough of the Year.

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