Elsewhere in Science, 7 March 2014

Each week, Science publishes a number of articles that are likely to be of interest to career-minded readers. Because those articles are published on the other Science sites, Science Careers readers could easily overlook them.

To remedy that, every Friday we’re pointing our readers toward articles appearing in Science—the print magazine as well as ScienceInsider, ScienceNOW, Science Translational Medicine (Sci. TM) and Science Signaling—that hold some relevance to careers in science and technical fields. (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—publisher of Science Careers—membership/Science subscription or a site license.)

As described by David Malakoff Tuesday at ScienceInsider, in the president’s 2015 budget request—totaling $3.901 trillion—the major science agencies fair poorly. If the budget were approved as proposed, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive an increase of just 0.7%. In the unlikely event that Congress supports the president’s Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative (OGSI), NIH would get a $1 billion boost. A few NIH programs would benefit from the proposed budget, including the Common Fund and the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative. Most Institutes and Centers would have flat budgets.

In percentage terms, the National Science Foundation would do very slightly better, with a full 1% increase. NSF, too, would gain additional funds if Congress approves OGSI.

The budget proposal includes essentially flat funding for NASA, which would be sufficient to keep the James Webb Space Telescope on track. However, other projects, like the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy—”an airplane observatory developed through a partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center”—would likely be put on ice.

You can read more of the News team’s budget coverage at Insider.

• According to a Signal/Noise post, “there is no significant difference in earnings between male and female engineers pursuing the same career in the tech industry.” Even more interesting for readers of Science Careers is that apparently the same is true in the physical and life sciences: no salary difference between men and women as long as you correct for hours worked and other factors. Note that the research does not encompass graduate degrees.

The post points to a Quartz article that includes findings from a study by the American Association of University Women, which examined “15,000 graduates with bachelor’s degrees who are 35 years old and younger” and found, across all fields, a 6.6% “earnings difference between men and women 1 year after graduation.”

“In a 4-year period, female full professors co-authored only 14 papers with female junior faculty members in their departments, half as many as expected,” the team reports online …  in Current Biology. Female full professors did collaborate as much as expected with female peers in their departments, as well as male junior faculty.” The authors note, however, that their study did not answer the question of whether the senior or the junior women were at fault.

Joyce Benenson, a psychologist at Emmanuel College in Boston and coauthor of the paper, says that women face a number of challenges starting from a very young age that could fuel this issue. “From early childhood onwards, girls [more than boys] prefer to interact with one other equal same-sex peer in an exclusive, intensive, intimate relationship. … This means that higher-ranked and lower-ranked girls are avoided and extraneous girls are excluded.”

• In this week’s issue of Science, Martin Enserink reported on a nasty case of alleged research sabotage. In July 2011, Magdalena Koziol was working in the Yale University lab of Antonio Giraldez when her experiments started failing unaccountably. Using video footage, the researcher determined that another postdoc, Polloneal Jymmiel Ocbina, was sabotaging her work. Koziol is suing Ocbina, Giraldez, and Yale University. Koziol claims that “Yale broke its contract with her by failing to report her case to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), the U.S. agency that investigates misconduct in federally funded biomedical research.” Giraldez, too, is implicated: “[A]fter the saboteur was nabbed, Giraldez didn’t allow her to speak about the affair, became increasingly hostile, and threatened to fire her.” Yale calls the allegations against Giraldez and the university “factually distorted and legally baseless.”

“The complaint says [Giraldez] refused to provide her with a letter about the sabotage, which presumably would have helped explain her lack of data to future employers. Koziol alleges that he criticized her work and character, didn’t help her make up for the lost time, gave her ‘angry looks when passing in the lab,’ didn’t list her as a contributor to a Nature article, and threatened to fire and ‘destroy’ her,” Enserink wrote.

Top Image: Magdalena Koziol  CREDIT: John Overton

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