This year in science on ResearchGate

It’s been an exciting year here at the ResearchGate HQ, and an even more exciting year in science!

One important discovery and event followed the next, and all were wildly discussed in the ResearchGate community.
When physicists at CERN announced that they’d finally found the elusive Higgs boson, scientists on ResearchGate were already thinking ahead, asking themselves: “What’s next in particle physics?” While politicians at Rio+20 were drafting “The Future we want”, researchers on the network discussed the hands-on use of technology for effective bio conservation.

Take a look at some of the most interesting discussions on ResearchGate about science stories that made the news in 2012:

1. The discovery of the Higgs boson

We were thrilled and moved at the same time here at the ResearchGate HQ on July 4th as we watched renowned physicists swipe away a tear or two during the announcement that after a four century long hunt the elusive Higgs particle had finally been found (with a very, very high likelihood). And we were also surprised: most of us were still trying to grasp what this mysterious particle was, as the ResearchGate community was already discussing what this finding meant in terms of gravity, how the Standard Model (the theory of how matter and energy work together) may be completed and even what the next realistic major target in particle physics might be.

2. Rio+20 and key technologies in bio conservation

As the United Nations conference on Sustainable development, Rio+20, was wrapping up in late June, William Sutherland, Miriam Rothschild Professor of Conservation Biology at Cambridge University, was preparing for a workshop he was about to hold at his university. He posted a question on ResearchGate, asking the scientific community which technologies they wanted to see being used for bio conservation. In the following hours, William got more than 30 qualified and precise responses, suggesting, for example, how low-cost hard- and open source software could be used in the field. William took these answers and used them as the basis for a memo he was drafting together with 70+ attendees at a workshop in Cambridge. The memo was published on the workshop’s website.

3. The Nobel Prizes

When the leaves turn brown and the last warm days are long gone, the only thing that can consolidate us here at ResearchGate is that Nobel Prize season is about to start! This year the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent." That was great fodder for the ResearchGate’s stem cell experts. They asked: “What’s next in Stem Cell biology?” Most agreed that it would have something to do with tissue regeneration and reparation. Congrats were in order for two of our ResearchGate members, Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka, who were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors".

What was your ResearchGate story of 2012? We’d love to hear from you.

We wish you happy holidays and a wonderful new year with many more discoveries and breakthroughs!