ScienceInsider’s most read stories of 2013 make for an eclectic mix—Space Vikings and “invisible” drug trials, a fusion “breakthrough” that wasn’t, and a controversial effort to reshape grantmaking criteria at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Here’s the Top 10:1. U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants: When Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chair of the House of Representatives science committee, suggested that NSF ensure its grants are in the national interest, researchers blew a gasket. The issue was also the topic of the year’s #8 story, NSF Peer Review Under Scrutiny by House Science Panel.2. Unmasking ‘Invisible’ Drug Trials: Fed up by the fact that only about one-half of all clinical trials are published, a group of researchers in June launched an unusual initiative called RIAT, Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)3. Scientists Condemn Destruction of Golden Rice Field Trial: The August destruction of a field of experimental, genetically modified rice in the Philippines drew protests from scientists.4. Desert Farming Experiment Yields First Results: A project to “green” desert areas with an innovative mix of technologies—producing food, biofuel, clean water, energy, and salt—reached a milestone in November in the Gulf state of Qatar.5. Fusion “Breakthrough” at NIF? Uh, Not Really … : October media reports that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California had passed a “nuclear fusion milestone” turned out to be a bit premature.6. ‘Space Vikings’ Spark NASA Inquiry: NASA researchers dressed up as Vikings for a photo shoot designed to promote space science. But a senior U.S. senator questioned whether taxpayer dollars were wasted.7. In ‘Insurrection,’ Scientists, Editors Call for Abandoning Journal Impact Factors: In May, more than 150 prominent scientists and 75 scientific groups took a stand against using impact factors, a popular measure of how often a journal is cited, to gauge the quality of an individual’s work.8. NSF Peer Review Under Scrutiny by House Science Panel: See #1.9. U.S. House Passes Bill That Would Head Off Massive Helium Shortage: Whew! In April, lawmakers passed legislation that would ultimately prevent scientists from losing easy access to a crucial gas in many laboratories.10. NIH Details Impact of 2013 Sequester Cuts: In May, officials at the National Institutes of Health began to tally how a 5% cut to their 2013 budget, triggered by a congressional mandate called sequestration, would affect grant numbers and research projects. The story added detail to a gloomy fiscal forecast.
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