January 9, 2013 | 1
It’s hard to believe that 2012 has come to a close. Lucky for us, the year saw some amazing science, and in this eBook, we’ve compiled Scientific American’s best stories of 2012 with an eye on content, authorship and news value.
Section 1 kicks off with some award-winners. First up, SA editor Katherine Harmon’s story on the role of propofol in Michael Jackson’s death. Her story won the 2012 Philip S. Weintraub Media Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Next, SA editors, especially Kate Wong, took this year’s Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers, in the Commentary or Opinion category, for an editorial in support of banning the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research. Also, two of our bloggers won awards for general excellence: Christina Agapakis and John R. Platt. Christina, who writes the “Oscillator” blog for Scientific American, won a L’Oréal USA Fellowships for Women In Science award, and John’s Extinction Countdown blog was awarded an Animal Action Award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Subsequent sections focus on various stories that made headlines and captured our imagination—physicists found a Higgs-like particle after decades of research, NASA landed the Curiosity rover safely on Mars and the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. The practice of fracking for natural gas also drew a lot of attention this year, and the bird flu stirred up trouble when scientists created a mutated strain that was easily spread among ferrets, a potential precursor to human-to-human transmission. The final section is devoted to technology, sports and health—especially relevant as the world watched Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius become the first double-leg amputee to participate in the Olympic Games. While it’s impossible to include everything notable from the world of science in 2012, we hope you find these highlights as fascinating as we do.