Dynamics of Local Group galaxies: Evidence for a past Milky Way–Andromeda Flyby?

The following is a guest post by Indranil Banik. Indranil is a PHD student at the University of Saint Andrews, part of the Scottish Universities’ Physics Alliance. He was born in Kolkata, India and moved to the UK with his parents a few years later. Indranil works on conducting tests to try and distinguish between standard and modified gravity, especially by considering the Local Group. Before starting his PhD in autumn 2014, he obtained an undergraduate and a Masters degree from... Read more


What A Loser: Learning From Rejection

You find the strangest things when you pack up your house to move. So far I've unearthed a lifelike stuffed emu, my father-in-law’s high school yearbook, and a Cabbage Patch Kid – still in the original packaging. The real find was a folder labeled Reject Letters. It was full of the many ‘thanks but no thanks’ letters I received when I was searching for my first full-time job after graduating from college. I desperately wanted to be a broadcaster, and applied for... Read more


The SCICOMM 25 (June 2016)

Welcome to the SCICOMM 25! This is where I pull together 25 (or more) of most talked about science communication stories, determined by the engagement rate of stories I've shared on Twitter. Many are written by the world's leading science communicators. Some offer tips and advice, while others tackle important issues we need to discuss and debate. All of them are worth checking out. I hope you enjoy this month's list, which includes posts I found during the month of June 2016. Top... Read more


Say it ain’t so, SciLogs!

SciLogs is coming to an end? How can this be? Science journalism and its sister, science blogging, are growing, aren't they? Is science journalism on the decline? I hope not, as for the last 11 months, I’ve been teaching students about science journalism and encouraging them to become a part of it all. Take a look at a few of their stories at Arizona Illustrated, a feature of Arizona Public Media. Teaching and research cut into my ability to blog, but I... Read more


Goodbye, Old Blog – Hello, New Blog

SciLogs announced earlier this month that it will be shutting down in September. This marks the end of Communication Breakdown, but the beginning of my new blog, Science Communication Breakdown. I was invited to join the SciLogs blogging team in the autumn of 2012. In my first post, published October 24 of that year, I posed a baseline question: Is there enough to say about science communication to sustain a blog? The answer is, apparently, yes. To date, I’ve published... Read more US is shutting down…Quiet Branches Will Continue Where it Started.

I got the email that SciLogs US is shutting down as of September and that the blog network will still exist in it's native Germany and only in German. Its a business decision that happens from time to time and understandable. When Paige recruited me to write here, I was really honored and I've tried to do more ambitious posts since I've started writing here. It was a vote of confidence to me that I really can write well enough... Read more



Farewell It is with great sadness that I write that Spektrum der Wissenschaft, the media host of, has decided to shut down this English-language blogging network. I have been blogging here since 2011. At first what are now the blogs were hosted by Nature Network, an online forum and social network site at Nature Magazine. Our blogs were then transitioned to being hosted by Spektrum, and became the blogs. The official message is that Spektrum had for business... Read more


All Good Things Must Come To An End

I am immensely, indescribably sad to learn this morning via an emailed missive from Spektrum der Wissenschaft (the German publishers behind our platform) that they are going to shutter this platform down in September, the ostensible reason being that they "weren’t able to find investors for this platform" – the bane of any private endeavor. Some of you, my fellow Scilogs bloggers, may have known this already, but I certainly didn't. More fool me. The email paints the origin... Read more


Dysfunctional pipelines and other insights from NIH conference on women in biomedical careers

Earlier this month I attended a conference at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on new interventions to help support women in biomedical research careers. You can view the webcast here. A reoccurring theme was that a critical mass of women going into research careers is not enough. Women make up roughly half of STEM Ph.D.s but just 20% of full professors.  I’ve heard the justification that women are dropping out of the pipeline to raise children. While this might... Read more


Paleo subsistence: hunting, bones, butchering at Matcharak archaeology site

“Up until the point that the Matcharak Peninsula Site was found, you could essentially fit all the identifiable materials from these Northern Archaic sites into a shoebox,” archaeologist Joe Keeney said. The Matcharak Peninsula site is "A very unique site that has such good preservation, and such high numbers" of bones. The site's details shed light on the people who inhabited what is now Alaska during prehistory. Joe Keeney is an archaeologist with the National Park Service for Gates of... Read more


What News Story Characteristics Make People More Likely to Share It?

Online news outlets are interested in driving traffic to their websites. One way to do that is to get people to disseminate news stories through social media. A recent study attempts to outline which features in a news story make people more likely to share it. Getting people to share news stories online is important to online news companies, particularly those whose revenue models rely on online visitors. A study from Columbia University and the French National Institute found that... Read more


Brexit, Science policy, and Unintended Consequences of Trading Lemons.

If you’re a plant scientist in the UK or EU (or a scientist of any kind), please do use the comments section below to talk about what Brexit might mean for you and your career. This post can serve as a repository of accounts about how policies impact STEM and vice-versa.     Though the precise nature of a post-UK EU isn’t fully known, it is safe to say that funding for science that is EU dependent will no longer... Read more


People Deem Feminine Women Less Likely to Be Scientists

A paper published in the journal Sex Roles, reports that people think that the more feminine a woman is, the less likely she is to be a scientist. The same stereotype holds true for attractive people of either gender, the paper reports. Ugh. The paper, “But You Don’t Look Like a Scientist!: Women Scientists With Feminine Appearance Are Deemed Less Likely to Be Scientists,” was published online Feb. 5. The paper was authored by Sarah Banchefsky, Bernadette Park and Charles... Read more


A Catastrophic Day that Will Only Get Worse

Today is a very sad and dark day. Our country has voted to leave the European Union based upon lies, lies and more lies. I never thought I would experience such a spectacle of lies and illogical arguments. One could accept the result had people voted upon evidence, yet this was not the case. Rather we had a shallow debate, and people were denied the level of discussion needed to make a well thought out, logical structured decision. Instead it... Read more


Songs of Science: They’ll Make You Think, Laugh and Learn

(NOTE: 27 new songs added 6/28) Search the web for 'science songs' and you'll probably be disappointed. I was. The lists I found were short and filled with many of the old 'expected' tunes...and I knew there was so much more out there. A while back I polled my Facebook friends, scoured by personal music library and asked for input on Twitter. This list came from that effort, but it's not complete. Now it's your turn to help add to this list... Read more