Elsewhere in Science, 24 January 2014

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 Medicine—Sci. 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 membership/Science subscription or a site license.)

• In News & Analysis, Jeffrey Mervis noted that when it comes to increased spending on science in the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is no longer, apparently, “first among equals.” Due perhaps to the perception that physical science spending has a more direct impact on jobs, most of the new spending in the 2014 science budget goes to physical-science agencies. 

• Grant or manuscript rejection got you down? Consider the plight of Syrian academics, “dozens” of whom have been kidnapped or executed during Syria’s civil war, according to a News & Analysis article by Richard Stone. Also, “reports of interrogations and torture of professors and students in detention are becoming commonplace.” The Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York City has been handing out fellowships for displaced Syrians and is now raising additional funds and seeking safe havens for them. But ‘the need is 10 or 100 times what any of us are able to raise,’ ” says Allan Goodman, the president of IIE.

• Last Friday on ScienceInsider, Jocelyn Kaiser reported that “Congress took a small step toward expanding a requirement that science agencies make federally funded research papers publicly available,” in the form of a 1-year provision found on page 1020 of the 1582-page spending bill approved last week. The provision covers a number of agencies, but some major science agencies, like the National Science Foundation (NSF), were left out. “Those agencies are already working to comply with a February 2013 directive from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requiring that they develop public access policies with a 12-month posting requirement (with some wiggle room on the 12 months).” NIH already has similar requirements.

• When Justin Esarey, an assistant professor of political science at Rice University in Houston, Texas, applied for an NSF grant, he was careful to follow a directive from Congress “that any awards made by NSF’s division of political science must foster national security or economic development,” wrote Mervis on ScienceInsider. However, the 2014 spending bill passed last week did not include that language, which originally had been proposed by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). Although Esarey has already submitted his grant application, he is happy about the news. “We’re all delighted that this is no longer a special burden for political scientists,” Esarey says.

• A unique science journal aims to give new life to the journal article review process. University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientist Robert Knight “convinced the Nature Publishing Group (NPG) to launch an online research journal called Frontiers for Young Minds which is not only geared toward kids, but edited by them.” It works like this: A team of about 50 adult neuroscientists write the articles, and editors ages 8 to 18 (assisted by mentors) evaluate the journal articles. “My wife can tell when I’m working on the journal because I’m happy,” Knight says.

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