Skip to comments.366 days: 2012 in review
Posted on 12/31/2012 10:29:26 PM PST by neverdem
This epic year for science saw the discovery of the Higgs boson and Curiositys arrival on Mars, but researchers also felt the sting of austerity.
Two of the biggest breakthroughs of this leap year relied on breathtaking amounts of data. The ENCODE project has generated 15 terabytes of data over the past five years to uncover the functions of human DNA sequences; CERN has stored 26 petabytes of data this year alone from its Large Hadron Collider, as physicists worked to prove the existence of the Higgs boson. But data were a source of controversy as well as discovery. Arguments raged over whether information about a potentially dangerous flu virus should be published, for example, and funders, publishers and researchers discussed how to make raw data as well as peer-reviewed research more openly available. Meanwhile, high-profile cases of dubious or fraudulent results offered a reminder that above all else, findings need to be trustworthy.
The Higgs at last
Applause, relief, joy and tears: in July, the worlds largest physics experiment officially discovered the Higgs boson. It took more than 500 trillion proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Europes particle-physics lab near Geneva, before physicists could confidently announce that they had seen a new boson with a mass of around 125 gigaelectronvolts. Nearly 50 years ago, theorists including Peter Higgs had proposed that a Universe-filling quantum field imparts mass to some particles. The Higgs boson the embodiment of that field is looking disappointingly mundane so far, with no convincing hints of behaviour beyond that predicted by the standard model of particle physics. Nor has the LHC spotted evidence for the additional particles predicted by supersymmetry, a theory that would extend our understanding of the subatomic world and help to explain mysteries such...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
They are bever going to find what they seek because it’s the next universe over. And they can’t get there from here.
Like with an n.
Happy New Year, neverdem!
I’n sure glas I bever makr nistakea like thar.
Only 364 more days until the new year!
there they go with that “austerity” crap again
The USA produced 26% of the most cited research papers in the world in 2012.
We have less than 5% of the population.
And, some not so good news...
Many major European countries get considerably more “bang for the research buck.”
Individually, they produce far fewer papers.
However, their rate of most cited papers is often higher than the USA rate, for instance, almost twice as high in Switzerland.
This indicates to me that America may be wasting a considerable amount of research money compared to other highly developed nations.
Or, it may indicate there is a law of diminishing returns in R&D.
Or, it may indicate that smaller countries focus particularly well on a limited number of projects.
My guess - there is only so much world class intellectual talent.
As more and more of that talent stays in it’s home country, America may be funding more and more second rate talent.
Global warming, ocean acidification, human embryonic stem cell research, tons of social science nonsense, etc.