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Always a Bridesmaid: The Top 5 Overshadowed Science Stories of 2012

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Let’s face it: there is always someone who loses out big time when a massive story hits the presses on the same day as their own. It happens all the time in diverse areas of reporting – from current events to sports, politics, entertainment and of course science. Timing is critical – if your story breaks on the same day as a much bigger one, you lose. So this year, I decided to make a video about some science stories that were perhaps lost in the shuffle of the massive press garnered by other stories released at the same time. As part of my editorial position with ScienceAlert, I create a weekly video about current developments in science called ‘Behind the Headlines‘. My new year’s edition celebrates the top 5 overshadowed science stories of 2012.

Carin Bondar About the Author: Carin Bondar is a biologist, writer and film-maker with a PhD in population ecology from the University of British Columbia. Find Dr. Bondar online at, on twitter @drbondar or on her facebook page: Dr. Carin Bondar – Biologist With a Twist. Follow on Twitter @drbondar.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. friedrichvisch 10:47 pm 01/4/2013

    til I looked at the bank draft which was of $9219, I be certain that my neighbour woz like really making money parttime from there pretty old laptop.. there aunt had bean doing this less than 12 months and as of now took care of the mortgage on their home and got Ariel Atom. I went here….. BIT40.ℂOℳ

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  2. 2. Happy Phil 6:32 am 01/5/2013

    Well done. Very entertaining and informative. Keep up the good work.

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  3. 3. cat108 8:51 am 01/5/2013

    I could only watch about 60 seconds before turning it off…
    I know there is a trend of dumbing down science for “popularity,” but I could read a list faster than watching a 6 minute video.

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  4. 4. julianpenrod 5:34 pm 01/5/2013

    It can be helpful to address this issue now, rather than wait for the short period when it is foremost in coverage and be lost. There is another story which is always overshadowed, calculatedly, and likely would have been this year, too, if this wasn’t brought to attention.
    Punxsutawney Phil is scheduled to make his prediction for the weather on February 2. Typically, “science” devotees downgrade the system, saying that, in predicting an early spring or late spring, Punxsutawney Phil has an “accuracy” of only about 39%. They say that such a low “reliability” is horrendous, and then proceed to try to apotheosize “s cience”.
    But, if you think about it, in a binary decision system, where there are only two possible outcomes, heads or tails, say, 50% correct is the worst possible rating you can get! If your “predictions” are “wrong” most of the time, simply turn the interpretation around and your system will be right most of the time!
    In Punxsutawney Phil’s case, the two predictions are “sees his shadow” or “doesn’t see his shadow”, with “late spring” and “early spring” being the two interpretations. For the traditional “interpretation” to be wrong 61% of the time means that, when Phil saw his shadow it was an early spring and, when he didn’t, it was a late spring. That means, that, if you interpret his actions the opposite of what was done traditionally, you should get correct predictions almost 2/3 of the time! And it can make sense that a cloudy day could signal still inclement weather, while a sunny day might mean warm weather coming soon!
    This is critical, too, and this might cause this not to be printed or to be removed, because it means generations and generations of “scientists” and “science” devotees could have realized this and didn’t, or, if they did realize this, they didn’t tell the public! What else aren’t they telling the public?

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  5. 5. friedrichvisch 6:40 pm 01/5/2013

    my co-worker’s sister-in-law makes $84 hourly on the computer. She has been without work for 5 months but last month her income was $19519 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site….. BIT40.ℂOℳ

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  6. 6. Mythusmage 7:27 pm 01/5/2013




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  7. 7. Carin 2:00 pm 01/7/2013

    Thanks all for your comments, I appreciate the feedback!

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