7.19.2018

Five reasons why a career in STEM can change your family's trajectory

STEM careers span many parts of life: These scientists
at KU Leuven in Belgium help brewers make better beer.
Image copyright: Andy Extance 
by Gaia Cantelli, PhD

Have you ever thought about a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)? You may know that jobs in manufacturing and farming are not predicted to do too well in the coming years. Such change is scary, but it could also be a great opportunity for yourself and for your family. More and more jobs require additional qualifications after high school, so you might be considering going to college, or getting a diploma in something that can help you. This is where thinking about STEM comes into play. Becoming a scientist or a doctor, however, may seem out of your league or too expensive. There are other options that seem more focused on landing you a good job – a job that can help you live a better life than your parents did. A business degree, for example, would scream “employable” from the top line of your resume, right?

Wrong. While in the US business and finance are predicted to open up around 900,000 more jobs by 2022, healthcare jobs are going to create over a million new jobs for nurses and physicians assistants alone. Meanwhile, the same studies showed that there are 1.7 open computing jobs for every unemployed computer science professional, which means that we need more computer scientists! Not only are there going to be many more science and technology jobs in the future, but these jobs are going to be secure and relatively high-paying. They may be your ticket to changing your family’s trajectory altogether.

Working in science is not what TV would have you believe – a bunch of egg-heads nerding out on a university campus. Most STEM professions are normal jobs for normal people. No matter how much time and money you are able to invest in your education, investing in STEM training is a great way to land yourself a bright future. 50% of US STEM jobs are available to those without a four-year degree and can therefore be very efficient and very wise investments, even if your means are limited. In the US, graduates of STEM programs earn on average 10% more than those with similar qualifications in other fields. They also enjoy the security of knowing that their skills are going to be in demand.

Here are a few ideas on how you can start working towards your STEM career right now, no matter where you are in life:

7.16.2018

Is lab-grown meat really meat? Should DNA donors get to see their genome? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of July 9-15 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

This week's best science posts include stories about weird particles occasionally passing straight through us - some we know are real, called neutrinos, and others we're less certain of, called dark matter. They also include the latest studies on new ways to produce food, and what we should eat and take for health. But there are many other topics touched on in 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:
Photodetectors under the South Pole  light up when neutrinos
travel through the ice. Credit: NSF/IceCube
Check back next week for more great picks!

7.09.2018

What's the science of perfect pizza? How did life emerge on Earth? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of July 2-8 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Two of this week's best science picks are a little influenced by drugs, with the US authorities approving the country's first drug derived from marijuana, while we also get the lowdown on addiction. But there are many other topics touched on in 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!

7.02.2018

What's the latest on alien life? What happens when a rattlesnake bites you on a vein? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of June 25-July 1 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

This week's best science news includes many amazing measurements, including whether planets in other solar systems have moons, the magnetism of a supernova, and the carbon contained in a city's trees. But there are many other topics touched on in 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:
In this image from the Cassini, backlighting
from the sun spectacularly illuminates Enceladus'
jets of water ice, which contain organic molecules that
may be important for life. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Check back next week for more great picks!

6.25.2018

Why can booze or food tempt us? How can AI help betting and medicine? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of June 18-24 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

I'm fascinated by the question of why, when we know we shouldn't consume something, we so often do. Are there different parts of our selves that disagree? Or are there chemical processes overwhelming us? This is just one of many topics touched on 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!

6.18.2018

What is the surprising way football can help with health? How can we reach our climate goals? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of June 11-17 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Did you know that if the World Cup trophy was solid gold it would be too heavy to lift? Maybe you don't like football - if so we've got some interesting articles for you about how the universe works. These subjects and many other topics are among 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:
Image credit: Compound Interest
Check back next week for more great picks!

6.11.2018

Can we resurrect dinosaurs? How can we use ocean plastic waste? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of June 4-10 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

As Jurassic World explores the return of dinosaurs that had no problems in killing their prey, could humans in modern society face killing for food too? These subjects and many other topics are among 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:
Resurrecting dinosaurs might not be so easy.
Credit: pixabay/azdude, CC BY-SA
Check back next week for more great picks!

6.04.2018

Can penguins love? What could transform our view of physics? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of May 28-June 3 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Space is amazing - but getting off Earth is a big challenge, while staying on a warming planet is no picnic either. These subjects and many other topics are among 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:
Love among penguins?
Image copyright cotaro70s
used via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0 licence
Check back next week for more great picks!

5.28.2018

How great an exception is the child-rescuing climber? Where might we find alien life? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of May 21-May 27 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

The amazing effort of Mamoudou Gassama to rescue a toddler hanging from a balcony is truly awe-inspiring - but maybe not as unusual as you might think. However it does overshadow otherwise amazing things, like the brain's complexity and the creation of weird-looking moons. Yet these subjects and many other topics are among 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!

5.21.2018

Can memories be transferred? Is there a loneliness epidemic? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of May 14-May 20 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Ebola is rearing its head again, but World Health Organization experts say it's not yet a global emergency, while we also now have a vaccine ready to fight it with. These subjects and many other topics are among 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:
An Aplysia sea slug (or sea hare), the species which
scientists claim to have transferred memories between
members of.
Credit: Géry Parent, used via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0 licence.
Check back next week for more great picks!

5.14.2018

Could a hangover cure finally be on the way? What is time? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of May 7-May 13 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

We worry about the environment - but in Sumatra and the Antarctic we've had some wins, and gene editing, psychology, and space offer potential ways out - or possibly just new problems. These subjects and many other topics are among 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:
Could we avoid feeling like this if we drink too much?
Image credit: Mislav Marohnić used via Flickr CC BY 2.0 licence
Check back next week for more great picks!

5.07.2018

What's the latest theory on consciousness? Can dogs understand us? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of April 30-May 6 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

While we are learning more about how the moist warmth of a sauna is good for us, we have also discovered that the fact we live in cold climates seems to have given humans migraines. Also: contact lenses that turn eyes into lasers! Yes, really! These subjects and many other topics are among 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!

4.30.2018

How can you remember dreams? Can chocolate boost your memory? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of April 23-29 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Space is beautiful, mind-bogglingly enormous - but also kind of funky-smelling on one of our notorious solar system neighbours. These subjects, a number of intriguing life hacks, and many other topics are among 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!

4.23.2018

How do we find new stars and planets? How does meditation benefit people? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of April 16-22 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Meditation can apparently influence gene expression and enables attention without control - or can it? These and many other topics are among 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:
Stellar scientist Annie Jump Cannon
used star-hunting techniques that
are still to be found in software
named after her



Check back next week for more great picks!

4.19.2018

Causation vs Correlation: How tell when someone's trying to feed you baloney

Don't fall for people misusing evidence to
tell you what you're doing is wrong.
Credit: Arlette Cifuentes Meneses via Flickr CC BY 2.0 licence.
by Gaia Cantelli, PhD

Last time that somebody told you that what you were doing was bad, did they offer evidence - and did you believe it? 

In an age obsessed with fake facts, hopefully you have an armour of skepticism forming already. But here's a chink in the armour you may not have thought of: perfectly true facts can also be warped to manipulate people. One of the most common ways to do this is by mixing up causation and correlation.

Causation and correlation are both extremely boring statistical words that underlie very simple concepts. Two events are correlated if they happen at the same place, or at the same time. For example, in children, shoe size is most likely correlated with the number of books they have read – older children have both read more books and have bigger feet. The two things do not cause each other but do happen at the same time. Causation, on the other hand, means that one of the two events is happening because of the other. For example, students who do better in exams also have a higher acceptance rate into college - because grades are one of the things that college considers when evaluating an applicant.

4.16.2018

What do coffee, ayahuasca, and being ill do to our brains? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of April 9-15 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

From South American psychedelic substances to coffee to sickness, many things in our world influence how we think and who we are. These and many other topics are among 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:
This neutron star is glitching. Image credit:
NASA/CXC/University of Toronto/M. Durant, et al.
Check back next week for more great picks!

4.09.2018

Towels or air driers after cleaning hands? Why are whales so big? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of April 2-8 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

Is who we think we are defined by the people around us? Or can behaviour like infidelity be determined by our genes? Or are both things true? These and many other topics are among 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:
Whales are awesomely large - but why?
Image credit: Leigh Hilbert, used via Flickr
CC BY-SA 2.0 licence
Check back next week for more great picks!

4.02.2018

How can you get involved in science? Why can vampires handle candles but not the sun? Find out in ScienceSeeker's picks of the best posts for the week of March 26-April 1 2018 #sciseekpicks #scicomm

How we do in school is less tied to our genes than has recently been suggested, which may be just as well as infertility treatments are removing one element of human evolution. These and many other topics are among 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:
Come on, smile, make my brain light up!
Credit: Natalie Holmes
Check back next week for more great picks!

4.01.2018

Announcing the Winners of the Science Seeker Awards 2018!

No, it's not an April fool - we are announcing the winners of the return of the ScienceSeeker Awards! Thanks go out to everyone who entered.

As a reminder, there were nine categories, from each of which we selected winners We then picked the overall winner from among the winners from each category. Without further ado, the winners in each category were:

  • General science posts and graphics: Including posts from sites that correspond to our art, photography, general science and science communication bundles. Winner: Darcia Schweitzer at Promega Connections for Knots: Friend or Foe? 
  • Cells and molecules: Including posts from sites that correspond to our biotechnology, cell biology, chemistry, and microbiology bundles. Winner: Kate Bredbenner for 2017 Nobel Prize for Circadian Rhythm
  • 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. Winner: Philip Strange for A Cough Medicine That Really Worked, and it Contained Opium - The Story of Fudge's Firewater
  • 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. Winner: Shreya Dasgupta at Mongabay for Experience or evidence: How do big conservation NGOs make decisions?
  • 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. Winner: Maya Gosztyla at AlzScience for How Sleep “Cleans” Your Brain and Fends Off Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Academia: Including posts from sites that correspond to our academic life, student life, grants, career, education, publishing and library science bundles. Winner: Pete Etchells at Head quarters for The human cost of the pressures of postdoctoral research
  • Podcast: Including posts from sites that correspond to our podcast bundle. No overall winner. 
  • Physical sciences and technology: Including posts from sites that correspond to our artificial intelligence, astronomy, computer science, energy, engineering, mathematics and physics bundles. Winner: Paula Rowinska at Certain about uncertainty for Simpson in: “Kidney Trouble”
  • Big biology: Including posts from sites that correspond to our behavioural biology, biology, ecology, marine biology and plant science bundles. Winner: Bridget Menasche at Science Buffs for Field Study. 
And the overall winner is: Pete Etchells at Head quarters for The human cost of the pressures of postdoctoral research

Congratulations to all the winners! We'll be in touch shortly with badges to show that you won.

Thanks also to the judges, our editors: Shriyaa Mittal, Jesse Zondervan, Teodora Stoica, Thanassis Psaltis, Joana Neto, Natalie Holmes and Kayla Matz.