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.