At the turning of the year, science past and future

The new year has begun. It’s a time to look back and to look forward. If you’ve managed to recover from your New Year’s revelry, I invite you to look at a few places that review the best science of 2005 and try to anticipate what 2006 may bring.

Science decided that “Evolution in Action” was the biggest breakthrough of 2005. They’ve made their Breakthrough of the Year section available to everyone who their website, not just subscribers. They make special note of four developments in evolution: the sequencing of the chimpanzee genome, recent discoveries in human evolution, speciation, and avian influenza.

The Breakthrough of the Year runners-up are also discussed in a separate article. In addition to reviewing the achievements of 2005, the Science staff made predictions on which scientific areas to watch in 2006, as well as evaluating the predictions they made at the end of 2004. For 2006, I’m particularly interested in RNAi and the avian flu.

When I get articles from Science, I usually prefer to look at PDFs, which look nicer when printed. However, some of the full text HTML versions on the Science website include reference lists, however, which you might find useful if you want to read further. The links provided above go to full text HTML pages rather than PDFs.

In addition to Science’s end of the year special, Scientific American has also named their top 50 leaders in science for 2005. Unfortunately, it was recently revealed their choice for research leader of the year, Dr. Hwang, fabricated many of his stem cell and cloning findings. Scientific American also compiled a list of the top 25 news stories of 2005.

This post refers to:

Breakthrough of the Year Section. Science Magazine. December 23, 2005. (See orange box in the Table of Contents for links to PDF files.)

Scientific American 50. Scientific American. November 21, 2005.

Top Science Stories of 2005. Scientific American. December 26, 2005.

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