2.19.2018

What's the biggest quantum physics myth? What does VR do to your brain? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of February 12-18 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

There were lots of exciting space data this week, while physics posed some fascinating puzzles. But these are just some of the many topics tackled by ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise for the past seven days. Here is the full round-up of the ScienceSeeker Editors’ Selections:
Check back next week for more great picks - and if you're a science writer or communicator, don't forget to enter ScienceSeeker's 2018 awards!

2.12.2018

How future-thinking are Americans? Why are relationships important? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of February 5-11 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

SpaceX's exploits last week were exciting, which says a lot about humanity, and there's also a lot of science involved in the Winter Olympics. These are among the topics tackled by ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise for the past week. Here is the full round-up of the ScienceSeeker Editors’ Selections:
A car flew into space this week - but what does that say about
us? Credit: Elon Musk/SpaceX
Check back next week for more great picks - and if you're a science writer or communicator, don't forget to enter ScienceSeeker's 2018 awards!

2.07.2018

A snowball’s chance in hell? How understanding probability can change your life

Even though there have been many lottery winners, the
chances of any one of us winning are hard to think about.
Credit: adrigu, used via Flickr Creative Commons licence. 
by Gaia Cantelli, PhD

What are your chances of winning the lottery? How about of making it big in Hollywood, transmitting a genetic disease to your child or dying of cancer? Some would say it’s 50:50, you either do or you don’t. But they’d be wrong.

Many decisions in life, big and small, are based on understanding probability. But how well do you really know how probability works? Taking the time to understand it could change your life.

Probability 101
We are all familiar with the idea of probability as the likelihood that any given event is going to happen. In mathematical terms, however, it is defined as the ratio of “favourable” cases, or the scenario whose probability you are measuring to the whole number of possible cases. This sounds complicated, but it’s really not. Say that you have a drawer full of pens and you know that ten of them are blue and three of them are red. You want a red pen – this is your favourable case. What’s the chance of getting a red pen?

The probability of you putting your hand in the drawer blind-folded and pick up a red pen is the number of red pens – three – divided by the overall number of pens – the three red pens plus the ten blue pens, which makes thirteen pens. Three divided by thirteen is 0.23, or 23%. So you have a 23% chance of picking up a red pen if you stick your hand in the drawer.

A simple calculation of probability is very useful for some events where everybody’s chances are the same, like buying a lottery ticket. For example, the US Lotto sells about 30 million tickets every draw. Therefore, if you only buy one ticket your probability of winning is one over 30 million, which computes at about 0.000003%. That’s much, much less than 50:50. But what does such an extreme number actually mean? Hold on, we’re getting to that.

2.05.2018

Do Buddhists fear death? Did Harry Potter create a demand for pet owls? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of January 30-February 4 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

If the prospect of dentists regenerating teeth rather than just filling cavities makes you swear it's OK - it's good for you. Swearing and tooth regeneration are just two topics tackled by ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise for the past week. Here is the full round-up of the Science Seeker Editors’ Selections:
Did people want owls as pets because of Harry Potter?
Public domain via Wallscover.com
Check back next week for more great picks - and if you're a science writer or communicator, don't forget to enter ScienceSeeker's 2018 awards!

1.29.2018

What does global warming sound like? How are religion and intelligence linked? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of January 22-29 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Big news in evolution and genetics this week, with pioneering primate cloning, work on genetically engineering corn for nutrition and a rethink of humanity's history. These are just some of the ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise for the past week. Here is the full round-up of the Science Seeker Editors’ Selections:
Fossils at Jebel Irhoud in Morocco suggests humans left 
Africa earlier than previously thought. 
Credit: Rolf Quam, Binghamton University

Check back next week for more great picks - and if you're a science writer or communicator, don't forget to enter ScienceSeeker's 2018 awards!

1.22.2018

What can we do with the ice on Mars? How does sleep loss affect us? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of January 15-21 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Public service announcement: Get a good night's sleep, don't eat detergent, and be aware that last year was still one of the three hottest on record, despite being in a cool part of the El Nino cycle. Those are just some of the ScienceSeeker editors' favourite posts within their respective areas of interest and expertise for the past week. Here is the full round-up of the Science Seeker Editors’ Selections:
Adriana Bankston talks about discovering her own life path
Check back next week for more great picks - and if you're a science writer or communicator, don't forget to enter ScienceSeeker's 2018 awards!

1.17.2018

Announcing the Long-Awaited Return of the ScienceSeeker Awards

We are pleased to announce that, after a five year break, the ScienceSeeker Awards has returned!

We hope that these awards will be a way to feature several of the most outstanding blog posts, podcasts, or videos from the past year, and highlight the widespread talent in the science blogosphere that ScienceSeeker seeks to promote.

There will be a total of nine categories, from each of which there will be one winner. We will then pick the overall winner from among the winners from each category. The posts will be judged by the ScienceSeeker editorial team. There will be no prizes other than a badge for your website and the kudos of knowing that the ScienceSeeker team liked your post most. The categories are:
  • General science posts and graphics: Including posts from sites that correspond to our art, photography, general science and science communication bundles
  • Cells and molecules: Including posts from sites that correspond to our biotechnology, cell biology, chemistry, and microbiology bundles
  • Humanities: Including posts from sites that correspond to our development, economics, ethics, gender, history, language, law, philosophy, policy, political science, religion and atheism, social science and sociology bundles.
  • The environment and our place in it: Including posts from sites that correspond to our anthropology, archaeology, climate science, conservation, evolution, geography, geosciences, oceanography, palaeontology and oceanography bundles.
  • Health, medicine and brain science: Including posts from sites that correspond to our clinical research, clinical psychology, health, medicine, neuroscience, nutrition, psychiatry, psychology, public health and veterinary medicine bundles. 
  • Academia: Including posts from sites that correspond to our academic life, student life, grants, career, education, publishing and library science bundles.
  • Podcast: Including posts from sites that correspond to our podcast bundle.
  • Physical sciences and technology: Including posts from sites that correspond to our artificial intelligence, astronomy, computer science, energy, engineering, mathematics and physics bundles.
  • Big biology: Including posts from sites that correspond to our behavioural biology, biology, ecology, marine biology and plant science bundles.
How does the nomination process work?

The nomination process will run from January 18, 2018 through midnight Pacific Standard Time on March 1, 2018, so, really, the evening of February 28 is the time for last minute nominations.


Individuals can nominate their best post of the year in only one category. The first nomination received from any individual will be the only one considered. Multiple posts can be nominated from the same site – prizes will be awarded to the individuals that created the post. In the event that there is a joint post, that will be the only post considered by the individuals involved. So, you can submit a post you created by yourself or jointly, but not both. 

The ScienceSeeker team will collectively determine the winner for each of the nine categories, as well as the overall grand prize winner. The winners will be announced on April 1, 2018.

What posts, or podcasts, or videos, are eligible?

Any post, podcast episode, or video that was first published between January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018 are eligible for the ScienceSeeker Awards. The post can be from anywhere, be it a personal blog, an institutional website, or a large media organisation. If you’re entering and are not already in our bundles, why not submit your site here?

Podcasts should only be entered in the podcast category. Infographics and sci-art should enter in the general science and graphics category. Videos and text posts can enter in whichever subject category is most applicable.

Any questions?

Feel free to leave a comment on this post, use the contact form, or tweet us @SciSeeker. For more detailed questions only, email us at sciseekers at gmail dot com.