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Science Careers 2012: The Year's Best Stories

(Credit: Lawrence Lawry, Photodisc.)

Firing Up Tomorrow's Science Stars
Sharon Ann Holgate, 6 January
Astrophysicist Aude Alapini-Odunlade's passion is earthbound: helping teachers give students a solid science education.

Building Up Brazilian Brain Research
Susan Gaidos, 13 January
Neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis has turned his lab in Natal, Brazil, into an epicenter of brain-machine interface research.

Experimental Error: The Top 10 Worst Things About Working in a Lab
Adam Ruben, 27 January
Lab work left you feeling dissatisfied? Our Experimental Error columnist feels your pain.

Taken for Granted: How to Live With Danger
Beryl Lieff Benderly, 10 February
As the Sheri Sangji case moves toward a legal judgment, will the academy learn its lessons

Kelly Krause, AAAS

 CREDIT: Kelly Krause, AAAS

Tooling Up: The Big Disconnect
David G. Jensen, 17 February
In today's pharmaceutical and biotech job market, pinpoint hiring is the rule.

The Year's Most Popular Articles
For the second straight year, three of the year's most popular articles were in Adam Ruben's Experimental Error series:

Experimental Error: How to Write Like a Scientist
Adam Ruben, 23 March
Why do we require scientists to write badly?

Experimental Error: The Top 10 Worst Things About Working in a Lab
Adam Ruben, 27 January
Lab work left you feeling dissatisfied? Our Experimental Error columnist feels your pain.

Taken for Granted: A Stellar Opportunity
Beryl Lieff Benderly, 6 July
Two reports propose significant reforms for graduate students and postdocs.

Experimental Error: I've Got Your Impact Factor Right Here
Adam Ruben, 24 February
The Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine is only the beginning.

Perspective: Preparing for a PUI Career
Rachel Narehood Austin, 2 March
A chemistry professor at a top liberal arts college offers advice on preparing for jobs at colleges like hers.

Science in the Community
Elisabeth Pain, 9 March
Researchers have much to gain from involving citizens as research partners.

Plant Hunters
Elisabeth Pain, 30 March
With many species still undiscovered, plant collecting can offer exciting opportunities for adventurous scientists—at some cost in comfort and job security.

Does a Professional Science Master's Degree Pay Off?
Siri Carpenter, 30 March
Hard data on Professional Science Master’s degree graduates are scanty, but anecdotal evidence of their success abounds.

Taken for Granted: What the Doctors Ordered
Beryl Lieff Benderly, 6 April
Medical practice has changed to meet the needs of female physicians. How likely is it that academic science will make a similar adjustment?

Perspective: Troubled by Interdisciplinarity?
Stephanie Pfirman and Melissa Begg, 6 April
If you choose an interdisciplinary research career, it's up to you to create a context in which you can succeed.

Computational Biologists: The Next Pharma Scientists?
Michael Price, 13 April
Drug development companies are now hiring more computational biologists, creating an abundance of high-paying jobs.

CREDIT: Darwin Initiative Project 162/11/010

CREDIT: Darwin Initiative Project 162/11/010
Plant collector John Wood

Tooling Up: You Will Never Be Appreciated
David G. Jensen, 20 April
Scientists and other professionals can increase their job satisfaction by kicking their addiction to praise.

Taken for Granted: Two Reports and the Worlds They Made
Beryl Lieff Benderly, 4 May
Why do clinical medicine and academic science—both expert labor markets—offer such different career outlooks?

(Kelly Krause, AAAS)

 CREDIT: Kelly Krause, AAAS

Experimental Error: The Unwritten Rules of Journalism
Adam Ruben, 25 May
The key to understanding the way the media covers science is to know the rules that science journalists adhere to.

Just Herself
Vijaysree Venkatraman, 1 June
In her life and her search for gravitational waves, the MacArthur Fellowship–winning Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Nergis Mavalvala is comfortable in her own skin.

<p><font size="1"><span style="font-size:12px;">Nergis Mavalvala</span></font></p>

Nergis Mavalvala

Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Nergis Mavalvala

Science Training and Mental Health
Micella Phoenix DeWhyse, 10 August
In the wake of the Colorado shootings, the scientific community should pay more attention to the psychological wellbeing of emerging scientists.

Perspective: On Motivation
Jim Austin, 24 August
The best way to motivate scientists is to engage them, encourage them, and stay out of their way.

Spotlight on Diversity
Michael Price, 31 August
Blind filmmaker and physicist Aziza Baccouche showcases the challenges and successes of diverse scientists in a new documentary series.

Editorial: Planning Career Paths for Ph.D.s
Jim Austin and Bruce Alberts, 7 September
By turning introspection into a structured exercise, myIDP allows science trainees to translate a vague source of anxiety into a working plan.

A Career for Two, With Empathy
Elisabeth Pain, 5 October
A husband-and-wife team studies the brain areas that allow us to feel what others feel.

Consulting Agreements: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Edward Klees and H. Robert Horvitz, 12 October
A leading attorney and a serial entrepreneur explain how to avoid potholes when reviewing consulting agreements with biomedical companies.

No Starry-Eyed Astronomer
Vijaysree Venkatraman, 19 October
This year, astronomer Jane Luu won two of the top prizes in astronomy. So why is she working as an engineer at a national security lab?

CREDIT: Leaf Liang

 CREDIT: Leaf Liang
Jane Luu

Successful Careers: A Matter of Confidence
Sharon Ann Holgate, 23 November
Identifying and addressing confidence issues can help early-career scientists make swifter progress.

Time Off for Dad
Susan Gaidos, 30 November
Paternity leave helps fathers and mothers advance their careers; too bad it's not more common.

Experimental Error: The Myth of the Well-Rounded Scientist
Adam Ruben, 14 December
Despite what grad school admissions committees seem to believe, outside interests are good.

Big Hopes, Small Changes for Biomedical Training
Michael Price, 14 December
In implementing the recommendations of its Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group, the National Institutes of Health decides to play it safe.

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