Findings

Science  28 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6140, pp. 1507
  1. Women Biologists Avoid Spotlight at Conferences

    A new study finds that women are much less likely than men to accept invitations to speak at major biology conferences. A report in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology found that only 16% of invited speakers at the European Society for Evolutionary Biology Congress between 2001 and 2011 were women, half their presence in the overall pool of senior life scientists, and that they were twice as likely as their male counterparts to turn down an invitation to talk in slots reserved for presenting original and important work. At the same time, the number of female presenters of posters and uninvited talks was almost at parity with men.

    Possible reasons include the large number of such invitations, tight budgets, and anxiety about balancing the demands of family and work. The authors, Julia Schroeder of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany and Hannah Dugdale of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, say that the next step is to find out why so many women say no. "Then we [will] know what can be done to change their minds,F Schroeder says. http://scim.ag/BioWomen

  2. Voyager's Not Gone Yet

    CREDIT: NASA/JPL-CALTECH

    Last summer, it looked like the Voyager 1 spacecraft might have finally reached its ultimate destination. Thirty-five years out from Earth and three times farther from the sun than Pluto, the decrepit spacecraft reported a sharp drop in plasma blowing out from the sun and a sharp jump in cosmic rays streaming in from out in the galaxy.

    But three papers published online this week in Science conclude that Voyager 1 has not left the heliosphere—the sun's magnetic bubble inflated by its blowing plasma—and entered interstellar space. That's because Voyager found no accompanying switch from the magnetic field spiraling out from the sun to the magnetic field of interstellar space.

    Instead, Voyager has discovered a hybrid part of the heliosphere lying between the heliosphere proper and true interstellar space. And nobody knows how far that hybrid extends and when the spacecraft will actually make humankind's first contact with interstellar space.

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