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Our most popular stories from 2021

Our top-10 list is, unsurprisingly, full of stories about COVID-19 - but there is also space for persevering women scientists, a fight to combat discrimination and bring more diversity in science, and transformations towards a more sustainable, resilient world. Read on.

1. Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19

Women scientists have been crucial to the pandemic response. In order to ‘build back better’, we must continue to champion women and girls in science, and to counteract any negative effects of the pandemic on the careers of women researchers.

Read | 5 minutes

2. Climate explained: why is the Arctic warming faster than other parts of the world?

What is Arctic amplification? Do we know what is causing this phenomenon? What effects is it having, both in the region and for the world? Is Antarctica experiencing the same thing?

Read | 5 minutes

Physical distancing South Africa

3. The implications of COVID-19 on urban development research in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the importance of context in urban research – and the need for researchers to grapple with uncertainty in charting more sustainable future pathways, writes Daniel Inkoom.

Read | 7 minutes

a labyrinth with people

4. Lessons learned from COVID-19 for the Science-Policy-Society Interface

The collective global experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has provided an unprecedented opportunity to examine the relationship between science, policy and wider society in what is often called the science-policy-society interface(s).

Kristiann Allen, University of Auckland, New Zealand and the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) explore the lessons learned during the pandemic and provide six recommendations moving forward.

Read | 8 minutes

Wind turbines, Lousa

5. COP26 Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping on creating an ‘ambition loop’ for bolder pathways to change

Curbing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement will require greater action from all stakeholders – policy-makers, cities, regions, businesses, investors and society-at-large.

Read | 7 minutes

6. Salim Abdool Karim, renowned epidemiologist and the ISC’s new Vice President for Outreach and Engagement, talks “Omicron” with the Lancet

Prof. Salim Abdool Karim, leader of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, describes in this podcast with the Lancet, the discovery of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant, explains what we know about it so far, and discusses how South Africa feels about the global response.

Read | 1 minute, Listen to the podcast | 29 minutes

Woman in safety goggles

7. Celebrating women scientists on International Women’s Day, and every day

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8 March. It is an important opportunity to recognize the work of women scientists around the world, and to stand up for their freedoms.

Read | 7 minutes

female researcher in STEM

8. Combating the impacts of COVID-19 on women in STEM

A new report presents the key findings of research into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in the science. technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read | 4 minutes

9. Using the COVID-19 pandemic to transform the energy sector

The ISC-IIASA Rethinking Energy Solutions Report identifies the negative and positive lessons learnt from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in relation to energy consumption and demand, and recommends several immediate actions.

Read | 4 minutes

10. Working Scientist podcast: Why does diversity in science matter?

We all have the right to share in scientific advancement and its benefits – it’s a fundamental human right. What’s more, having diverse perspectives and ideas helps science to progress.

Read the transcript | 12 minute, Listen to the podcast | 14 minutes

Virus snowflake patterns by Ed Hutchinson / MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CC BY-4.0)

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