Scientists are under increasing pressure to perform a variety of tasks earlier in their careers. If ideas are the flames burning from the torches of discovery, scientists are the hands that hold them. Creative minds uphold the scientific enterprise. In recognition of their leading role, Nature Index 2018 Rising Stars profiles 11 up-and-coming researchers in the natural sciences. These scientists are highlighted based on their recent contributions to the 82 journals tracked by the Nature Index, and their standing in the League of Scholars Whole-of-Web ranking, which assesses individuals on their research quality and impact, industry links and co-authorship networks. Their work ranges from analysing peatland and permafrost, to developing wearable electronics.
It is a known fact that women are underrepresented in the STEM fields, comprising about only a quarter of the workforce. Previously, I written about the benefit of getting more women engaged in the STEM fields, both from an economic and societal perspective. Considering that innovation in the STEM fields drives the backbone of our economy and that the most lucrative majors are in the STEM fields, getting more women in STEM has tremendous benefit for women, such as gaining financial independence, potentially closing the gender pay gap and an opportunity to shape the world. Although there are many factors that may contribute to the reason why there are so few women in the field, a piece of research from Stanford University aims to understand how negative stereotypes affect performance in academic setting.
New analysis suggests that women's success in STEM Ph.D. programs has much to do with having female peers, especially in their first year in graduate school.