Every week, Science publishes articles 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’ll point 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 own careers. (Please note that while articles appearing in ScienceInsider and ScienceNow may be read by anyone, articles appearing in Sci. TM and Science may require AAAS membership or a site license.)
• Inthis week, Deputy News Editor Jeffrey Mervis introduced readers to France Córdova, President Barack Obama’s selection to lead the National Science Foundation (NSF). When she is confirmed by the senate—Mervis assures readers that it’s a question of when, not if—Córdova, 65, will be the second woman and the first Latina ever to serve as NSF’s director.
Córdova’s path into science is fascinating and highly unusual: She majored in English at Stanford University, but soon found herself in graduate school at CalTech. Details here.
• Also in ScienceInsider, Richard Kerr profiles James Hurrell, the new director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) near Boulder, Colorado, whose path to leadership was much more direct than Córdova’s: He joined NCAR immediately after finishing his Ph.D. in 1991 and has been there ever since.
• Another appointment: President Obama’s choice to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is former astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, who flew three shuttle missions, including the trip that delivered the Hubble Space Telescope. Sullivan was already acting director.
• From Science magazine’s Random Sample section (second item down): An online photo titled “Space Vikings,” taken and embellished by Stanford University graduate student and NASA Ames Research Laboratory employee Ved Chirayath, put the photographer “in the crosshairs of a government waste investigation.” On 10 July, “Senator Charles Grassley (R–IA) wrote to NASA chief Charles Bolden, asking him to investigate whether Chirayath’s photos involved the possible misuse of ARC funds and staff time. Grassley asked Bolden to help him ‘better understand the participation of NASA employees and resources in this for-profit photography exhibit.’ ” In fact, no taxpayer funds were used.
• While there’s still a lot of red tape, opportunities for collaboration between U.S. and Cuban researchers are opening up, as this collaboration demonstrates.
• Also in the magazine, Mara Hvistendahl describes the corruption and fraud that is sending a “big chill through big pharma” in China. Four GlaxoSmithKline executives are in prison, and the ongoing investigation “may jeopardize big pharma’s burgeoning R&D operations” in the country. If that happens, jobs now opening up in China could move elsewhere. For now, though, few companies are planning to pull out of China, Hvistendahl reports.
• If you are a climate scientist (or have a strong interest in the issue of global climate change), you should check out this week’s Science special issue, Natural Systems in Changing Climates. (While you’re at it, be sure to read the Science Careers article on the changing expectations for climate scientists regarding communication and activism.)
• In Science, a Policy Forum discusses the need to reform China’s science and technology system—including what the authors call flawed incentives and evaluation methods for graduate students and other early-career scientists.
• In ScienceNow, news intern Kelly Servick writes about a recent finding of potential practical benefit to grad students and postdocs who spend long days and nights in the lab under flickering florescent lights. That artificial light may be scrambling the natural cues your body needs to properly regulate your sleep cycle. Lights at night cause a delay in the release of melatonin, which “tells us what time it is in the body,” says physiologist Kenneth Wright of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Your sleep cycle is disrupted and you stay tired all the time.The solution? Go camping. A few days spent in natural light and darkness can restore your internal clock to its normal function. So, go.